In the video Kalm talks to Sandro Chia about the series of "intimate gem like works on paper that the artist has laboured on for years." From the gallery press release: "Realized on small sheets with watercolor, pastel and other media, Chia’s vibrant colors, cubist spaces and expressive draftsmanship appropriate, echo and send up romantic figures of art history including Carlo Carra, Matisse, Chagall, Picasso and Courbet. His imagery often draws upon classic mythology and makes references to antiquity... Chia presents painting as a magic alchemical language, able to give voice to man’s inexplicable search for meaning."
James Kalm visits the exhibition Stephen Maine: Halftone Paintings at 490 Atlantic Gallery, Brooklyn, New York.
Kalm notes: "Having developed his vision of abstraction over more than thirty years, Maine has developed a very personal and unique method that removes his hand and habits from the paintings. With a very perceptive eye, and probing intellect, he questions every received concept and intuition of what 'abstract painting' truly is. Maine gives viewers a brief walking tour explanation through this, his latest show."
Zachary Keeting and Christopher Joy visit the studio of painter Didier William.
William comments: "Instead of the paintings becoming a kind of depictive space or natural space with up and down axes and rational gravity... I build them up through layers and allow the layers to come together to build the space of the painting. So in that one [indicates painting in progress] the space of the painting becomes the... illusionistic distance between the stencil in the back and the crackling surface... and every layer, ever pore in between sets up the space that the figure exists within... They're much more about separating the space into these seeable and readable layers that build distance rather than depict distance... I really want the surfaces to come together, to collapse into one space but to also force the viewer to look at, and look through, the painting at the same time."
The gallery press release notes that "Throughout her process, [Nelson] lets the medium itself dictate the form, using its basic components: canvas, paint, stretcher. Working from both sides of the canvas, and often stretching and re-stretching it several times before deciding what is front or back, she stains, soaks and pours paint, sometimes forcing it through incisions or hosing down the canvas with water. The stretcher, equally affected, becomes an integral part of the painting/object, either adding another surface, or lingering as an imprint if the stretcher is removed. She articulates her works further with strips of fabric soaked in acrylic medium, and painted string poked through the canvas."
James Kalm visits the exhibition Gary Stephan at Susan Inglett Gallery, New York, on view through April 26, 2014.
Kalm writes that Stephan's paintings are "constant jaunts into unexpected fields of painterly investigation. With this exhibition of new work, Stephan shows his almost droll sense of compositional design and a uniquely austere color sense." The gallery press release notes: "In Stephan’s canvases familiar paint and palette handling along with figure and ground relationships are inverted. He privileges shadows, outlines, parts that make up wholes. Displacements are commonplace in these works. He uses vacillation as a subject, creating punctures in the canvas that provide progressive openings from background to foreground. Some works originate in landscape, others in architecture and some are informed by the making and unmaking of the work itself as different types of space and perspectives come into view."
A new video produced by Ronan Pollock presents the life and work of painter Fred Pollock.
Pollock remarks: "Starting from scratch was a case of making marks on the canvas with no preconceived ideas to begin with - and just gradually by building up the paint - a series of colors and marks - you would eventually cover the canvas. Then you notice that things are beginning to happen in various areas of the canvas and it was a case of getting these events to pull together to create one entity... you're always finding out something new from your painting - you're searching for something that's new... something that's truthful to yourself... It's the doing that's the really interesting part of the painting... It's a continual daily search."
Christopher Joy and Zachary Keeting visit the studio of painter Emily Weiner.
Weiner comments: "I'm always creating a fiction... I start with something real. The spark comes from something in the world... You give it it's own life that exists in this field of being - the world you create in your studio."
Zachary Keeting and Christopher Joy visit the studio of painter Claire Sherman.
Speaking about two complementary series of recent paintings Sherman comments: "I want them to ride a line between inviting you in and pushing you out... I would think of [my paintings] as confrontational - [but] not all of them are that way - some of them have an airy-ness or lightness about them that veers in another direction... they're in dialogue with each other... The paintings work together as a group. They have a weight or a lightness between them that I see as a balancing act."
Observation and Invention: The Space of Desireis on view at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia, through April 6, 2014. The show features paintings by Michael Ananian, Lennart Anderson, Victoria Barnes, David Campbell, Tim Conte, Edwin Dickinson, Frank Galuszka, Elizabeth Geiger, Philip Geiger, Mark Green, David Jewell, Ben Kamihira, Tim Kennedy, Matt Klos, John Lee, Aaron Lubrick, Eve Mansdorf, George Nick, Scott Noel, Andrew Patterson-Tutschaka, Carolyn Pyfrom, Erin Raedeke, Brian Rego, Neil Riley, Thomas Walton, and Peter Van Dyck.
In a new video, produced by John Thornton, painter/curator Scott Noel discusses a lineage of observational painting that spans four generations from Edwin Dickinson to recent graduates of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts.
In the video Noel remarks: "The hope is that the show makes a convincing case, that a space is preserved in contemporary art for just this practice - this search for poetry in a direct and unmediated experience of looking. This particular activity is getting more and more marginal, at least in critical debate. There are very few critics or thinkers about contemporary painting that are much invested in defending the idea that direct observational response could be an interesting premise for a life lived in art."
James Kalm visits the recent exhibition Pop Abstraction at Fredericks & Freiser, New York.
Kalm notes that the show "[gathers] together a multigenerational contingent of painters, this exhibition presents a legacy of style that has become recently significant for its innovation as well as its critical stance towards formalistic abstraction. Since the beginnings of Modernism, the dialectic impulses between figurative abstract art have been fertile grounds for exploration. In these examples we see the 'mediation' and humor of Pop filter through the rationalism of classic New York School abstraction."
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.