Nuance, the latest show opening at Modern Arts Midtown on February 3, offers a strikingly different view of abstract art from its recently closed exhibition of vivid geometric paintings. Through the canvases of Rick Johns, Jean Gaudaire-Thor and Larry Roots, it traces the subtleties of surface, variety of forms and openness of space that inspire its featured artists.

Johns, based in Vermillion, SD, wears multiple hats as painter, woodworker and builder, and finds that his craftsman’s activities of sketching, designing and constructing have analogues in the more amorphous creative process of composing on canvas. In Johns’ paintings, marks and forms float underneath and atop a veil of neutral color.

Gaudaire-Thor builds up his surfaces often with collaged forms, adhered or sewn to his supports. Colorful elements, patterns and natural shapes activate the broad, open spaces of his compositions.

Roots, who is also the owner of Modern Arts Midtown, brings to view a selection of complementary canvases from his wide-ranging oeuvre. Roots is ever experimenting with the possibilities of mark-making, from spare calligraphic gestures to dense prismatic fields of color, from highly controlled compositions to those that engage a push-pull between randomness and order.

Nuance opens on Friday, February 3 with a reception from 6-8pm, and continues until February 24 at Modern Arts Midtown, 3615 Dodge Street. For further information, contact 402/502-8737 or visit

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