The recent paintings of Laureen Landau, currently on display at the Artists Contemporary Gallery, are not direct, clear or light. Many of the images are drawn from Land Park, but without the titles we would need to search for visual clues in the layers of dark, subdued colors to find this out. It doesn’t seem as though that matters, however. These paintings are expressive and thought provoking. Bordering on pure abstraction with just enough recognizable space, object and light to read as representational, Landau’s works blend geometric shapes and lines with fluid and organic brushstrokes to end up with sophisticated compositions that seem simple. The color relationships, also strong, function the same way, but the application of paint—layered with glazes, sometimes so thin it’s running and dripping down the surface—erects a barrier between the viewer and subject. And this wall is where the artist’s thoughts on the subject, or painting in general, seem to reside.