Barry Burcaw studied graphic design in school, earning a degree from the University of Bridgeport, but he only began painting once he retired from a long, successful career in advertising. This provides an easy explanation of why his compositions are so dominated by forceful geometric structure and bold saturated colors.
Often the abstract images remain rooted in representational sources; Burcaw is fond of landscapes and architectural sources as a point of departure, but it is not unusual for him to veer into diagrammatical structures of pure pattern and shape. “Pixilated” does this, as does “Vernal Equinox”, even if the title makes explicit that the qualities of atmosphere and climate that we assume were in the artist’s mind here. The lower half containing dark grey and earth tones beneath the blue and yellow tones in the upper half cannot help but connote landscape, if only because our expectations fill in the blanks with little prompting – doesn’t the abstract artist appropriately depend on the viewer’s frame of reference? “Solar Flares” is more obvious in its subject, placing a brilliant yellow orb in the center, and Burcaw’s curled linear forms representing the sun’s angry expression are more whimsical in their effect than the fiery astronomical phenomenon that provide the inspiration for the piece.
There is an unyielding exactitude in Burcaw’s work that suggests a highly structured perspective on the world at large. Perhaps this is a common underlying truth of any artist who utilizes geometry in such bold, almost confrontational terms.
Burcaw recently placed 4 paintings with Zephyr Gallery as part of their Corporate Art Program.
Hometown: Palisades, New York
Education: BS in Graphic Design, University of Bridgeport, CT
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Written by Keith Waits. Entire contents copyright © 2017 Louisville Visual Art. All rights reserved.