Chrystler Museum, Norfolk, VA
Mead Art Museum, Amherst, MA
Brattleboro Museum and Art Center, VT
Florence Griswold Museum, CT
Vermont Institute for Contemporary Art, Chester
Trump consistently pursues a unique visual language, combining quick, gestural marks with broad swaths of paint, continuously layering and, at times, sanding back into those layers which creates an archeological quality to the works. The strength of his composition is derived from an association with architectural and landscape elements, as well as the figure: clear horizontals and verticals, intentionally broken by definitive brushwork. Because the strong frameworks of these compositions are interrupted, there is always a portal through which the viewer can tease out his own narrative - a jazz-like storyline that underpins every painting. Trump’s working methodology is indeed a ‘call and response’, whereby the history of marks and gestures compel an artful reply. Trump is the willing respondent, addressing and readdressing the surfaces over time, until the visual activities have settled into a cogent, natural conversation. It is a wonderful thing to enter into -- to become part of that exchange.It is through his spontaneous yet measured approach that Trump imbeds his paintings with vitality. Given the inevitable dialog that develops over time, these paintings contain agitation and friction that serve their compositions well, and the viewer is provided ample room to receive their kinetic energy. This current exhibit features outstanding recent works that emphasize negative spaces bracketed by suggestions of boundary, and which employ a quiet use of color. Happily, the show also includes a number of his diminutive works on paper, a format that Trump has explored throughout his painting life. This grouping is a trove of compositional riffs in a rich palette that is a delight to explore.