THERESA CHONG

 

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ART IN REVIEW; Theresa Chong

By KEN JOHNSON
Published: October 12, 2001, Exhibiiton Through Oct. 20

In Theresa Chong's ravishing paintings you can see evidence of her conservatory-trained musicality (she's an accomplished cellist). The all-over layering of different systems of abstraction -- including grid patterns like computer circuitry, freely improvised scribbling and irregular patches of color, all on solid background fields -- is like the point-counterpoint of a string quartet. But Ms. Chong also has a painter's feel for sensuously glossy surfaces and lush color: saturated green on deep purple in one case; a tropical harmony of yellow-green, baby blue and raspberry red in another; or a dissonant combination of pinks, green and black in a third. All of which makes for an uncommonly captivating visual experience. On closer examination, you discover that seemingly different canvases bear the exact same compositions, only with altered colors. This arouses suspicion of the work's software-assisted design and machine-made perfection. Ms. Chong's paintings are undeniably seductive, but you wonder whether she ought to surrender so completely to the charms of the digital.