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Capturing the dance
Capturing the dance

by Victoria Donohoe
The Philadelphia Inquirer
October 24, 2008

Allen Bentley's "Extravagant!" painting solo at Bridgette Mayer Gallery in Philadelphia portrays very intense dancing activity by couples, mostly professional dancers.

Here, the ritual of athletic strength is paired with the ritual of beauty, as suggested by the emphasis on the woman in each couple. Sometimes with tresses flying, women here become a foil to the demonstration of physical strength and endurance.

The intimacy and intensity of Bentley's own direct painting approach, with its loose and active brushwork, contribute to the energy of these often-stunning paintings and to their fresh openness. It's all spectacle achieved with very fluid, very expert "scribblings" of color.

Bridgette Mayer Gallery, 709 Walnut. To Nov. 1. Tue-Sat 10-6. Free. 215-413-8893.