Jan Dalley visits the studio of painter Gillian Ayres whose show New Paintings and Prints will be on view at Alan Cristea Gallery, London, from April 13 - May 30, 2015.
In the interview Ayres comments: "To me painting is a visual thing. I find this terribly important... People like to understand and I wish they wouldn't. I wish they'd just look; it's visual. I'd go further - I don't want this sort of understanding. There is no understanding."
Tulsa Kinney visits the studio of painter James Hayward.
Kinney writes: "I ask [Hayward] if painting is a physical thing for him—I have this vision of him in his studio vigorously slathering globs of thick crimson onto a canvas with a paintbrush in one hand and a bottle of wine in the other. In my mind he’s wearing only his cowboy hat and cowboy boots, and a pair of red boxer shorts—the same color as the painting he’s working on—and Hank Williams is blaring in the background. He answers, 'The physicality is part of it, but the heart and soul of it is the marking. In my monochromes I try to avoid there ever being a special place. There’s no chosen place. It’s totally proletariat, the marking. I want the corners to be as important as the center and I want every mark to be equal in terms of importance. Ideally, the last marks just kind of blend into the earlier marks and disappear.'"
Morgan notes that "Japanese scholar Koichi Kawasaki ... argues that Shiraga was the first East Asian counterpart to Jackson Pollock, with the crucial difference that Shiraga painted not with a stick or a brush, as did Pollock, but with his naked feet while supporting himself with a single rope that hung from the wall in his studio. ... To see Shiraga’s paintings is not about seeing a well-designed virtual display; rather it is about an intense physical and emotional experience. The comparison between the works of Pollock from the 1950s with those by Shiraga, such as 'Chibisei Walkyakuko' (1959) at the Mnuchin Gallery or 'Untitled' (1959) at Dominique Lévy, if such a comparison is possible, offers a possible distinction between East/West expressionist abstraction..."
Robinson writes: "Many of the paintings in West of the Future are named after seasons or times of day. Zurier has a unique ability to be sensitive to his surroundings and the pace of change during the creation of the painting. Although painting communicates time on an immobile field, Zurier is able to create paintings that unfold like weather and remain singular and specific in their tone. There is a sense of each work being a vessel that Zurier allows to fill slowly. The fact that the paintings appear nearly empty at first glance only furthers the effect. In Zurier’s world chance and intimation are welcomed by an open heart. Although the work is intellectual, heart is the right word, as it takes great optimism and belief in the world to allow these paintings to happen."
Kalm notes: "Beginning with her studies at the Art Students League in the early 1940s, Schloss found herself in the center of what would become known as the 'New York School'. Just as that phenomena was attaining world wide recognition, she left New York to live in Italy. Initiating, maintaining and continuing relationships with many of the most significant internationally recognized artists of her era, Schloss nevertheless, developed her own broadly inclusive practice that manifested as painting, collage, watercolor and assemblage, over a career spanning nearly 70 years."
An excerpt: "... while [Kerstin] Brätsch’s work is an almost-analytic deconstruction of painterly codes, artists such as Ostrowski elevate process to the status of fetishized gesture. More precisely, whereas process was once an anti-Romantic impulse in the hands of Robert Morris, Richard Serra and others, it now occupies the very place once accorded to the unique brushstroke and narrative expression. To put it differently, narrative and even biography have migrated into process. This may account for the fact that, as the term ‘zombie formalism’ suggests, so many recent abstract paintings look the same; their distinction lies in the narratives of their making. But are such narratives, trafficked like financial instruments in our new economy, sufficient? Is it enough to know that a given painting was made by collecting rainwater, using studio detritus or by using the artist’s own anesthetized hand (Ryan Estep) or a fire extinguisher (Lucien Smith)?"
In part one of a two part post, Piri Halasz reviews Dee Solin at Andre Zarre Gallery (through April 4) and Jason Karolak: Polyrhythm at McKenzie Fine Art, New York (closed). Part one is linked above, part two of the review is here.
Halasz writes that "both [Solin and Karolak] are not only abstract painters, but more specifically devotees of geometric abstraction—a generic art form to which both artists manage to bring fresh twists. Karolak’s current show displays mostly large and tantalizingly secretive cage- or maze-like images, composed of more or less straight lines and arranged in more or less rectilinear patterns. Solin’s latest paintings are dominated by grids of small discs, marching firmly across the canvas, together with free-form arrangements of dancing smaller discs, and delicate bits of grill-work superimposed. Both are – or can be -- splendid colorists. Upon predominantly black fields, Karolak’s superimposed images are painted with carefully coordinated greens, blues, purples, yellows and occasional reds that are sometimes suspiciously bright, but also sometimes delightfully mellow. The fields upon which Solin ranges her brightly colored discs are themselves vivid panoramas of one color or another, ranging from a vivid blue, red or aqua to a less-successful yellow, then on down to a mild and modest grey or cream."
Yau writes: "One of the strengths of this exhibition, and of Frecon’s work since the beginning of this century, is the tension between harmony and division she is able to infuse into her paintings. The five largest paintings are all the same size, made up of two horizontal panels stacked one on top of the other. The two panels underscore the tension between harmony and division, particularly since each panel can be seen as self-contained even as it is part of the overall composition. At the same time, Frecon’s use of irregular semicircles and arch-like shapes evoke mastabas, Native American burial mounds, Islamic architecture, and even turbans. In their evocation of natural and made-made forms, as well as their resistance to any one-to-one literalist reading, Frecon is determinedly anti-descriptive. At the same time, and this is what distinguishes her from the formalism espoused by Frank Stella’s famous summation, 'What you see is what you see,' she is anti-literalist."
Christopher Joy and Zachary Keeting visit the studio of painter Fran O'Neill.
Thomas Micchelli, writing about O'neill's work for her recent show at Life on Mars, observes that “O’Neill’s art is something you take in with your whole body… [her] blunt, tough-minded, ecstatically convulsive oil paintings are endlessly revealing: pigment and binder, solvent and surface fuse and split, continuously reconfigured under the constant pressure of the artist’s agitated eye and restless hand. The colors cling to the picture plane even as the translucent fields they inhabit unfurl to reveal the depths of space churning below.”
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.