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Catherine Howe insists that her paintings, which appear to reference 17th-century still life paintings, are not about representation or narrative; rather, she says they are exercises in the evocative power of painting as a material. What appear to be flora, figures, and foods dissolve into abstract flurries of brush marks and fields of commingled colors when observed closely. The painted surfaces vary widely in paint application, with some areas thinly glazed or quickly sketched, and others so thick they appear to be in relief. Howe’s palette is known to be strong and vibrant, though not without eerie contrasts; her technique includes splatters, spills, and the scraping away of paint. American, based in New York, New York.