In Karen Vornov's multi-part paintings at Knight Gomez (through November 24), there is something of postmodernism, something of the fragmentation of modern-day life, something of the media barrage of stimuli.
In "Riomaggiore," the viewer feels on a roller-coaster of kaleidoscopic colors and conflicting spaces -- in one panel being hurtled into the picture, in another abruptly stopped. "Pigeons in the Ruins" gives us a columned porch and a Palazzo Vecchio-like tower lurching this way and that, as if disoriented. "Sunken Scow" is a series of urban views presented as momentary glimpses.
Vornov's got a good idea going in these but there is something overdesigned about some of her larger, more finished, more visually aggressive works. Some of the smaller studies also included here, such as "Study for Dumpsters," are in certain ways more satisfying -- they are more abstract, their colors are more subdued, they let you participate in a way that "Riomaggiore," for instance, doesn't. There's a point, of course, to Vornov's stridency, but it's off-putting, even if intentional. "Sunken Scow" is one of the most successful works in the show because it walks a line between the bigger and louder works and the smaller and quieter ones.