Liz Gribin is, it seems to me, a painter with her own distinct style. Although her art, she has said, “comes from other art,” there’s nothing derivative about it. Nevertheless we sense her admiration for the work of artists as diverse as Matisse and Diebenkorn in her canvases – there’s even a slight air of Modigliani about her figures, seen in a space that moves from shallow to deep across the picture plane.
The figures are emotionally loaded. It’s not, however, facial expressions that carry the emotion but their postures and placement in space.
Often the background in these pictures seems to merge with the figures, and there is, in the composition, a cubist feel in the way pictorial elements interrelate.
Ms. Gribin’s drawing lends the pictures a classically modernist feel. She draws directly on the canvas, but she can also draw with paint. Because acrylic dries quickly, she is able to add color in layers, and this gives all of her works, no matter how carefully structured, an improvisational feel; they are infused with genuine liveliness. The combination of acrylic and charcoal also gives the pictures extra texture. Colors, too, are remarkably handled.
Just this side of bright, they are varied and balanced, crossing the spectrum. It’s in her use of color that Ms. Gribin reminds me of painters as different as Bonnard and Braques.
By internalizing so many modernist influences, and by finding her own particular way of locating a figure in interior space, and letting the picture take shape, each time, as an experiment in form, Liz Gribin has found her own distinct niche in contemporary art.