Although the most obvious theme to the work in "Chroma" is the artists’ shared use of mindful process and almost monochromatic palettes, the more telling comparison might be the way in which all three overstep those boundaries. As attentive to their surfaces and materials as they clearly are, none of them shies away from farther-reaching connotations. Gilad Efrat’s diaphanous pastel fields, for instance, are in fact skin-color studies. Jim Verburg’s improvisatory transfer process, accumulating thin translucent layers of oil-based ink, takes on the depth and luminosity of photography. The rich blacks, smooth gradations and nebulae of white specks bring to mind the vacuum of the night sky or an empty scanner bed while staying firmly grounded in touch and technique. Carl Suddath’s folded, dyed and bleached sheets of paper are perhaps the closest to purely concrete objects, but subtle asymmetries and variations of tone breathe space and vitality between the creases.
The affinities between the works are the more striking because these artists don’t, under other circumstances, pursue similar ends. They each arrived at this mutually intelligible language from fairly disparate precincts, and part of the fun is in comparing dialects. Suddath’s work oftentimes implies a function or system, some point of reference that draws it away from uncomplicated abstraction. But his drawings and sculptures never settle into legible representation. Efrat’s paintings, on the other hand, have moved from methodical renderings of photographic source material towards progressively more exuberant mark-making. Jim Verburg expressly imparts emotional character to his treatment of light and transparency. In fact, what unites these artists, and what marks their meeting as noteworthy, isn’t so much that they all find themselves in the same place, but that they’re all just passing through.