Art Review: Harriet Wood, Vermont Supreme Court Lobby

Harriet Wood’s “Inner Doors” show of abstract-expressionist paintings bursts forth as a late flowering. With 20 canvases and scrolls hanging in the lobby of the Vermont Supreme Court in Montpelier, the 75-year-old Marshfield artist reinvigorates a movement that’s nearly as old as she is. These sure-handed and sharp-eyed ab-ex paintings demonstrate Wood’s mastery of what she describes as a “challenging” form — one to which she has turned late in her career.

“Flowering” is an apt metaphor, since many of the pieces in this cheerful exhibit riff on floral themes. Wood’s titles often point explicitly to the sources of her inspiration in seasonal landscapes. Militantly abstract painters strive to divorce their creations from the natural world, but it may be hard for Vermont artists, no matter how strong their devotion to nonobjective expression, to disguise the influence of the world outside their windows.

“Spring, Jug Brook Road,” the first work

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