In Vidal Blankenstein's new paintings, fragments of figures, trees and houses, parcels of land and sea all seem to float in dreamlike sequences. Hovering in suspended animation, things levitate and pirouette in uncanny abandon, as wildfires and tsunamis enact their elemental psychodramas, and we can only wonder, what's with this woman, anyway, to be painting such things in a style that renders the ominous almost quaint if not decorous? Is this what she dreams at night, or what she would have us dream? Or is her gothic lyricism like a birthright, an enigmatic gift she chooses to share with us? A native of Natchez and resident of Jackson, Miss., in the surreal Magnolia State, Blankenstein says her paintings "are psychological narratives that explore the relationships between our emotional and physical environments." Which actually makes her a realist -- Mississippi style.
LeMieux Galleries, 332 Julia St., 522-5988; www.lemieuxgalleries.com
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