Blood writes: "Lawrence conceived the Migration Series as a single work composed of 60 parts ... He began by writing the captions, which were then edited by his wife Gwendolyn Knight, and then proceed to prepare all the panels with gesso and laid in the composition. As a young artist working on a limited budget, he chose inexpensive materials: pencil, ink, tempera and hardboard. Thanks to an artist’s grant, he was able to rent a studio large enough to let him view and work on all 60 paintings simultaneously. To ensure the formal cohesion of the project, Lawrence began with the darkest colours and applied them to each canvas before progressing to the next pigment. Working in this way allowed him to maintain the visual and spiritual unity of the project, and the clear repetition of colour across the panels creates a sense of movement and rhythm."
Alexis Clements reviews works by Etel Adnan at Galerie Lelong, New York, on view through May 8, 2015.
Clements writes: "On Adnan’s uncluttered canvases the color vibrates and pulses with an ecstatic fluorescence that lends many of the abstract works on display an energy and life that I could not look away from... Beyond Adnan’s use of color, one of the things that struck me most about the show at Lelong is the intense economy of her work. Not only are the works of a small scale (few of the paintings exceed 13 x 16 inches), but the paint is generally applied in only one layer... There are no obvious edits and changes in her work, no excess — instead, there seems to be a patient clarity, a practiced hand and mind."
Goodrich writes that "what is especially rewarding about [Dubrow's] latest work... is the way it continues to explore and evolve. In his case, the evolution isn’t towards a more provocative technique or motif – if anything, these aspects of his work have taken on a more utilitarian cast. The articulateness lies elsewhere, and in a trait that may not be evident to every viewer: in his forceful and eloquent arabesques of color. If your definition of active color is simply high-chroma hues or academic, volumetric modeling, his particular gifts may not be apparent. But if you see in color a chance of compositional purposefulness – as evidenced by painters ranging from Chardin to Matisse – Dubrow’s work will consistently impress."
David Cohen moderates an email roundtable discussion on the work of Thomas Nozkowski, on view at Pace Gallery, New York, through April 25, 2015. Participants include: Joseph Masheck, David Brody, Alexander Ross, Marjorie Welish, Jennifer Riley and Raphael Rubinstein.
Rubinstein comments: "Putting aside for the moment the question of why Nozkowski and others have been subject to official neglect, let’s turn to the show at hand. The quantity, and the quality of this quantity and, perhaps most importantly, its diversity, come across as a major statement, which is rather surprising for this artist who, as our compère rightly notes, seems to fit nicely into the category of the 'painter’s painter.' One of the requirements for being a 'painter’s painter' is reticence, developing a style that seems, at least superficially, modest, declining all bombast, and any hint of wanting to make a big art-historical statement. It also helps to paint small. Nozkowski has met these superficial requirements, working at a consistently small scale (which has grown in nearly imperceptible increments over the decades), issuing no explicit challenges in technique or content to the legacy of modernist abstraction, exhibiting no hunger for iconoclasm or transgression. Of course, if one looks at the work more closely, there are all kinds of innovations and transgressions in Nozkowski’s work but they are always subtle and never announce themselves as such."
Benjamin Britton considers Julie Mehretu's Mogamma (A Painting in Four Parts): Part II in the collection of the High Museum of Art.
Britton writes: "From my first introduction to Mehretu’s work, I was struck by its speed and multiplicity of transparent perspectives. The paintings gave the sensation of lives lived in multiple locations, the architecture of power, and the actions of people against the background of civic structures of control. And she was doing it with abstraction, but something beyond the grid of modernism. It was a generative approach, and one from which I internalized much about how painting can function. Looking at her work certainly contributed to my desire to have a painting define its own conditions within its frame and produce its own climate, rather than arranging forms based on composition. It also helped me to see the way in which signifiers could be interpreted formally so that they became abstractions, yet held their signification. The form of the signifier was shifted using scale, orientation, position, direction, and color to become a parallel iteration of the conceptual motivation for using the signifier in the first place (for example, the temporary status of architectures of power she describes using layered line drawings of transparent architectural facades)."
Alexander writes: "Working with aspects of observed landscape as his starting point, Hatton builds abstract compositions comprised of many layers of shapes and spaces -- beautiful contrasts of linear and planar dynamics laid out in juicy scumbled color. The paintings evolve and intensify through constant shifts and revisions, ultimately coalescing to a state of ecstatic presence -- a place of deep painterly integration."
Alteronce Gumby conducts an extensive oral history interview with painter Stanley Whitney.
Whitney comments: "... my big goal.[was that] I wanted to open the work up—not relying on the color, but on structure. I thought that Color Field artists were weak with their structure. And the color in those days was weak too. They used flat color right out of the jar or the tube, like Stella. But I didn’t want to give up color and touch—colors like Veronese’s or Courbet’s, or de Kooning’s sensuousness with oil paint. I was interested in how color and touch go hand in hand. The color changes with the touch—it’s a different color if you change the weight, or the amount of paint, or its viscosity. It’s much more nuanced. I was looking for a way that I could have all these things in one painting."
Goodrich writes: " Lining the black-painted walls are 11 six-foot-tall paintings, each a brushy, schematic depiction of kitchenware-laden shelves. Caught in florid strokes of black enamel paint and charcoal dust, the depicted objects have a cartoon-like life of their own. A stack of eight pans teeters, their handles pointing the same way, like sheep on a breezy day. In a tall bottle, fish radiate about a single point, as if fixing their gaze on an adjacent container. In another painting, goblets arrayed on five shelves shift through various states, as if posing in an evolution chart. The artist explains how the charcoal dust refers to a charcoal-heated foot warmer pictured in the Vermeer painting, and how kitchen utensils and recipes speak to the relationship between server and served. But you really needn’t know this to drink in the appealingly loopy images."
Janet McKenzie reviews Cubism 2.0 at Hanina Fine Arts, London, on view through July 8, 2015. The show features works by André Beaudin, Étienne Béothy, Róbert Bérény, Jacques Busse, Youla (Jules) Chapoval, Serge Charchoune, Jean Chevolleau, Jean Isy De Botton, Maurice-Henri Gaudefroy, Léon Gischia, Gino Gregori, Raymond Guerrier, André Lhote, Bill Parker, Ferdinand Parpan, Jean Signovert, and Claude Venard.
McKenzie writes that the exhibition "brings together artists whose work explores the possibilities opened up by the cubists’ removal of the restriction to a single viewpoint perspective. Drawing on its own collection for Cubism 2.0, Hanina Fine Arts does not attempt to enter into the complex documentation of the movement; rather it presents 18 works by artists from France, Hungary, Russia and the US who shared the aims of cubism as applied to landscape, still-life and quotidian life."
Edited by artist Brett Baker, Painters' Table highlights writing from the painting blogosphere as it is published and serves as a platform for exploring blogs that focus primarily on the subject of painting.