There was an event at the end of March at the Westbeth Gallery on Bethune and West Streets. The event was the opening of a five-woman art show, called “Worlds Seen and Unseen,” using all four rooms of the large gallery. There were five distinct and very different styles of painting.
Karin Batten’s smooth, accompllshed semi-abstracts, colorful and imaginative in scope, and holding within them some current troubling ideas such as the fouling of our oceans, are the most sophisticated.
Then comes the two different styles of Carolyn Oberst. The first style, colorful abstract patterns (many triangles) floating on a pale background. The second style, with many human figures arranged on patterned backgrounds, has themes aboutmemory and the mind, and the processing of experience, possibly with the aid of a
therapist. These are among the “unseen” worlds in the show’s title. So we, theviewers, are left with questions such as, What is being remembered? Why is it important? Who is this person or that person, in Oberst’s life and memory?
Carolyn Golden pastes, meticulously, little scenes of just slightly off corners ofhomes. Two huge eggs rest on a love seat, for example, and a tiny rowboat isstashed in a nearby corner. And all of the scenes are framed in a homey green multiple frame which is part of the picture.
Maggie Hinders, who also curated this show, is another of the five artists; she paints very strong canvases with blatant stripes and great splashes of color, and the
bizarrely happy faces of small animals smiling at the viewer. Sometimes the bold yellow-and-black stripes seem a kind of prison for the animals.
Finally, there is Barbara Rachko, whose very large and dark pictures, derived from Mexican folk art figures placed in everyday but bizarre settings. She reproduces them with 25 to 30 layers of pastels, painted onto sandpaper. The results are mystifying and somewhat Mexican-looking.
The opening was very crowded, mostly with the