By Robert R. Shane
TROY, NY — Scrolling volutes and arabesque lines form melodic contours that resound with brilliance across backgrounds of meditative, atmospheric color in the impressive twenty-six painting show “Fugue States” by Virginia Bryant at Chapel Cultural Center. The Troy-based artist, formerly a theater and costume designer during the 1970s and 80s in her native San Francisco, seamlessly combines 18th century decorative Baroque and Rococo styles—contemporaneous with the heyday of the musical fugue her exhibition title invokes—with the 20th century biomorphic abstraction once employed by the Surrealists. Her result pulls the viewer into a simultaneously ecstatic and frightening drama, not unlike the music of Stravinksy whom Bryant often references with her titles. In addition to music, Bryant's early training in ballet informs her work, as her gravity-defying forms leap across the canvas like dancers across a stage.