I went to several openings tonight. I think that the three that were most notable were Andrew Purchin's paintings at the County Building group show, which features some other interesting work as well, Charles Prentiss' at the Michaelangelo Gallery, and Gloria K.Alford retrospective at Felix Culpa.
Some quick notes--
Purchin's work is a kind of nature expressionism, what I would almost call anxious impressionism. His work uses broken color and optical contrast in a way that is very similar to that of the plein air impressionists, but with his stroke seething, restless and never still, and in a darker manner in which chiaroscuro plays more of a role, that makes his paintings very personal and expressive.
Prentiss' earlier paintings in this show tend to dazzle, and use very active color. This is something that naturally attracts me. However, some of his later paintings, although somewhat more subdued, seem to have a superior, in fact exquisite structure and balance, and without ever appearing somber or constrained.
In the Alford show, I was mostly attracted to Alford's paintings, primarily on paper, by her intuitive and rich handling of paint in a surprising number of different ways. There are also a number of works of some cleverness involving a kind of three dimensional print making which was centered around imagery, but these did not speak to me as directly.