The clean white space of Glasgow Print Studio, with its polished wood floor reflecting sunlight from a tentatively spring-like blue sky, is an odd place to find yourself transported to distant outposts far from the madding crowds of nearby Sauchiehall Street - especially when you are looking at an as-yet unhung exhibition of art called In Abstraction by three very different artists.
And as I wander around looking at the work lying flat out on the floor, I'm pulled in three different directions.
Angus-based Hetty Haxworth's blocks of vividly coloured, four-sided shapes conjure up the way I feel when I drive up the A90 from Dundee, heading to visit my best friend in Edzell. There's something about the flat plains of the Mearns with its big skies and distant hills which evokes in me a feeling of being rooted in the landscape. There's another sensation which I'm finding hard to pin down, but it's tied to a feeling of being at peace in this place. It also calls to mind Lewis Grassic Gibbon's highly textured novel Sunset Song, with its pitch-perfect description of a young woman caught up in the intensity of existing within this place.
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Looking at Rosalind Lawless's paired-down works combining screenprinting and painting, there's something about the apparently simple mark-making which tells me a complex set of visual prompts have been nailed down. Stand back, and there's a wholeness to her seemingly abstract paintings/prints, but move in and there is so much to see.
Finally, there's the work of the youngest of the three women: Aimée Henderson, a recent graduate of Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design in Dundee, currently studying for an MFA at the Slade School of Fine Art in London. What she lacks in experience, she makes up for in the leap from totey-wee paintings lined up in a row, playing with shape and colour, to the slightly larger monoprints (printed paintings) which have a highly controlled sense of colour and line. The basic shapes, flat colour and confident mark-making evoke a Highland landscape which is instantly recognisable, but at the same time, a dreamscape.
Good abstract art is able to flick a switch inside us all that takes us off into another place. The great American Abstract Expressionist Mark Rothko famously said "I'm interested only in expressing basic human emotions," and therein lies the rub when it comes to abstract art - a genre which has been condemned to suffer the fate of being endlessly plagiarised and slung up on hotel/bar/restaurant walls the world over as an outré interior design touch.
Good abstract art is all about conveying a feeling. It may not be the same feeling that the artist was experiencing when he or she created it, but we all respond in different ways to art.
Lawless's artwork combines complex layers of silkscreen painted colour, paint and pastels. "At art college, you were always taught that oil pastel goes on first and sits flat on a piece of paper," she explains. "You're never taught to put a surface underneath. I've always been a printmaker/painter. I use printmaking like a paintbrush, but I always go back to screen-printing because you get the texture you don't get solely from painting."
Lawless talks about "big noisy areas" and "smaller delicate areas" in her work, which is always rooted in a sense of place. The same thing could be said of Haxworth and Henderson.
Oxford-born Haxworth spent many years living in Glasgow before moving to Angus. In this exhibition, she presents two distinct bodies of work; the Aqueous series of screen prints which call to mind Pop Art liberation of the late 1960s, and a new series of monoprints - landscapes inspired by her new home which pare down composition, colour, texture and light.
Henderson was brought to this abstract party by mentor Toby Paterson, who currently has a solo show at the nearby Modern Institute. Paterson is a member of the GPS committee which organises its rolling programme of exhibitions. The unfettered freshness of Henderson's work sits well alongside the other two artists' more mature creations.
It's no surprise to learn Lawless has been a big inspiration since Henderson's final year at Duncan of Jordanstone. "I remember chancing upon the GPS one rainy day in Glasgow," Henderson recalls, "but it was closed, so I pressed my face up against the glass to look at her work on the wall. I even made a little book of images of her work I cut out and it was always lying around my desk."
Little touches like this lend this beguiling exhibition a sense of Zen-like harmony.
In Abstraction: Hetty Haxworth, Aimée Henderson & Rosalind Lawless, Glasgow Print Studio, Trongate 103, Glasgow (0141 552 0704, www.glasgow printstudio.co.uk) until March 23