Mark Barry's paintings have always been fun, catching the flavor and tempo of the urban scene and giving it a humorous spin. In the two-person show "Mark Barry and Raya Bodnarchuk," now at Knight Gomez (through June 29), his work on the whole contains less of the obvious humor, but it has grown deeper, as his means have become more fully integrated with the spirit of the work.
The two musical paintings here, "Combo" and "Jazz Movement," are particularly good examples. In both, color and the blending of colors act as visual metaphors for music. The muted background and costume colors -- purples, blues and blacks -- of "Combo" act as an obbligato against which the yellow-orange of the saxophone and the softer brown of the bass play their solos. The pink and blue of the wall and the green, brown and yellow of the floor in "Jazz Movement" now blend, now separate, like lines of music coming to the surface then sinking back into the general flow. The dark, soft atmospheres of these paintings capture the feel of friendly late night jam sessions and bring to mind the murmur and wail of the blues.
Elsewhere, the flow of the forms in "Swingin' Baby" -- the tree, the dog, the two people and the swing -- form a fluid composition that aptly supports the subject. The feeling of elation imparted by "The Bride and Groom" is reinforced by the lilting lines of the dress and veil and the exaggerated size of the bouquet being thrown. "It Took Two" is a retelling of the Adam and Eve story in a modern urban setting, with a zigzagging traffic sign playing the part of the snake.