D E B R A J A N B I B E L
Reviews of Exhibits
East Bay ProArts: The Quarterly at Latham Square [solo exhibit]
5 December 2008 — 15 March 2009
Passage; Penelope's Ploy; Celestial Dragon; Quantum Moon; Full Circle; Pith; Dorje; Four Symbolic Etudes; Thelonious in Chau-Tal
East Bay Express
Science and religion are generally considered to be mutually exclusive, but some sentient beings are able to reconcile both modes of thought. Oakland's Debra Bibel, a scientist and a Zen Buddhist, makes hard-edged abstract paintings that reflect the clarity and logic of the former and the iconoclastic anti-theoretical trust in introspection, intuition, and insight of the latter, which the Beats embraced in their idiosyncratic, freewheeling way. Early abstractionists sought to represent spiritual realities using geometric form, and Bibel's visual vocabulary of arcs, stripes, and concentric circles recall Kandinsky and Klee. Her mandala-like symmetrical compositions and joyously saturated palette, however, suggest Asian influences beyond traditional Zen calligraphy and hagiography. "Thelonious in Chau-Tal," "Full Circle," and "Celestial Dragon" are highlights.
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