Zheni Warner

Grapevine Gallery, Unthank Road, Norwich

Grapevine Gallery, Unthank Road, Norwich

Through the use of luxuriously indulgent colour, Warner seeks to express visual experiences such as her garden in full bloom.

The exuberant gestures radiate an uplifting vivacity, and spontaneous movement is achieved by pouring paint on to the canvas. 'A bundle of tempestuous cloud is blown about the sky' features a riot of upturned tulips, bursting diagonally off the picture plane.

Do not be discouraged by the preposterous literary titles, such as 'When the swan must fix his eye, upon a fading gleam' nor spend time trying to interpret the work tangentially. Rather focus on the crisp white cross, which brings an orderly sharpness to this work.


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Building up layers of matt background paint, which acts to absorb light, and defining a central area with an explosion of reflective glossy paint - the works erupt out of the canvas in a profusion of kaleidoscopic colour. Also inherent in the 'square within a square' compositions is a conscious homage to the spiritual icons of Warner's Bulgarian heritage.

While the smaller pieces function best when relying on a confection of candy colours, one of the large works No 5 explores a darker more muted background palette with great dramatic effect, probing hidden depths and throwing into sharp contrast the jewel-like sphere that orbits the central section .

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Some of the pieces have been encumbered with inhibiting frames; they ought not to be restrained in any way and my advice to the talented Warner is to liberate her work from all constraints, especially the nonsensical literary type. It's potently powerful stuff and speaks admirably for itself.

t Exhibition ends March 19.

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