When we spoke to Molly Bounds for a print feature a few years ago, we remarked on “The Power of Quiet,” a powerful tension in her paintings. She said to us, “I paint people who are preoccupied, because there is no way of telling what they’re thinking.” That poetic phrase, the way that Bounds paints a meandering mind, a thought bubble that fails to appear, is even more apparent in her wonderful new solo show, Arrangements in Body and Boundary, on view now at pt.2 Gallery in Oakland. 

“I’m drawn to that thin coat of ambivalence or content in someone’s face, where it’s hard to tell if they’re present or absent in themselves,” she noted in the past, and Molly’s new work has a sense of anticipation and action to them, and yet still hushed. 

As the gallery notes, “Arrangements in Body and Boundary considers possible movement scores for the body, not without weighing the outcomes first. Vacillating between possibility and limitation, half of the figures in Molly Bounds’ paintings seem to have reached a stasis. These pendulous stills in cold tones lengthen the duration of time in which they are made to make a decision. As viewers are forced into the perspective of a secondary viewer, they are held in similar purgatory — caught between frames of action.”

Text arranged by Evan Pricco