Off the grid: Paul Gillis and Maura Bendett display at Cabana Home

Paul Gillis - Night III
Paul Gillis – Night III

Two very different approaches to painting can be found at the current and very modest show at Cabana Home. Artists Maura Bendett and Paul Gillis approach canvas as a puzzle to be solved, but as these dozen or so pieces show, there’s more than one solution.

Mr. Gillis works in infinitesimally small grids, creating problems for himself, then working himself out. Although his online portfolio shows familiar objects and silhouettes in his work, the selections at Cabana Home tend toward the abstract and geometric. His method consists — it appears — of working on top of stretched hessian fabric adhered to a canvas. Hessian is the underlying coarsely woven material used in rugs and tapestry, but here it becomes a grid for a further grid placed on top, drawn with graphic, ruler, and, one would assume, steady nerves.

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On the web last week there was a viral photo going around. A man had photographed a single drop of ocean water and magnified it thousands of times, revealing a universe crowded with creatures of all size and shapes, beyond our science fiction dreams (or nightmares.) With this on my mind, Brad Miller’s work at Cabana Home — on view now through June 14 — struck a chord.

While there are no creatures to be found in his work, he too is invested in the microscopic universe that’s under our noses. Sometime he reveals it in his bubble and wave photographs, and sometimes he recreates it in his ceramics and his work on wooden canvas.

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