SOUTHWEST HARBOR — Daniel Doolittle’s colorful, Cubist-style paintings, now on display at the Southwest Harbor Public Library, offer a compelling, abstract take on the everyday. Landscapes are fractured into patterns, covered with swirling lines and breathing forms. Portraits break into curving geometric shapes, the figures left coherent only by a peek of ear or strangely-domed head. Flowers are rendered to their essence.
Mr. Doolittle’s paintings are quite different from the straightforward representation of form usually seen here. Following a tried-and-true Cubist method, he displays a myriad of perspectives all at once, with light and shadow mingling in a spirited interplay. The work is at turns beautiful, odd and intriguing.
A palpable sense of motion is broadcast from the best of these paintings. Shifting perspectives and swirling designs create a visual fluidity that grabs the viewer’s attention and holds it tight. A sense of underlying mystery begins to emerge with prolonged viewing.
Mr. Doolittle’s technique and color palate give these paintings a great, energetic feel. Colors are layered, repeated and highlighted to varying hues and degrees. Paint is pushed and swirled onto the canvas, with an impasto quality that creates a hearty texture.
The spectrum of colors deployed in some of these paintings is impressive, and the more so because they work together so well. The portraiture delves especially deep, summoning psychedelic purples and blues to present a truly inquisitive perspective on the human spirit.
“My art exemplifies the stages of emotional, physical and spiritual properties that reflect back on viewers their deepest core beliefs,” Mr. Doolittle says in an artist’s statement.
With this show, viewers have a chance to view that grand ambition at work.
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