Tyson writes: "although not a household name, [Dawson] increasingly recognized as the first American artist to work in a completely abstract mode. What’s especially significant about him, though, is that he made his breakthrough to non-objective imagery prior to any exposure to modernist art. Instead, his innovation stemmed from his training and employment as a structural engineer."
Whitman writes: "Roth’s paintings are beautifully exuberant, filled with color and movement and a sense of space that pulls you in with force... Mindful of tradition, she is also an innovator. Her work incorporates new acrylic paints and mediums, irregularly shaped canvases, the collaging of folded canvas onto the canvas, and the more occasional addition of unusual materials such as Plexiglas sheets and shards of glass and ceramic. Also distinctive is her extensive use of often-transparent acrylic 'skins,' made by lifting dried paint off of polyethylene sheets and collaging them. Large skins—mottled, translucent—sometimes cover large areas of the surface while clear, rectangular “box top” skins are placed like bandages, bearing further clottings of paint. The style is as much baroque as expressionist—all twisting and bulging, barely self-contained."
Kelly Grovier reviews Agnes Martin at Tate Modern, on view through October 11, 2015.
Grovier writes: "Ghosting among these diaphanous canvases, room by room, one’s eyes are slowly heightened to the uplifting paradox that undergirds Martin’s artistic conviction: apprehension of life’s beauty and its intensities does not require a retinal mimicry of physical forms in the here-and-now, but a luminous distillation of invisible harmonies and mysterious proportions. Though they may have required for their exacting execution the fragility of a mind as brittle and punctilious as Martin’s, the power of her paintings is that of a sublime symphony: their mute melodies as meticulously wrought as they are effortlessly imbibed by the ear of the eye."
Crehan writes: "Taking the artist’s 1947 visit to the United States as its starting point, the show reflects both Miró’s irrepressible energy and the return of his own stylistic innovations in the work of his American counterparts, inspiring his own work anew. Miró was ecstatic over the loose freedom of the abstract expressionists and their rugged approach to the painterly gesture, and would take that energy into his own canvases, opening new creative pathways in his already well established techniques."
Rob Sharp reviews a new, permanent installation of works by Sean Scully at the monastery of Santa Cecília, Montserrat, Spain
Sharp observes that "22 of [Scully's] artworks, including six abstract canvases with his signature bands and blocks of color, energize a space that is more than 1,000 years old... As well as advising the restoration team on the monastery’s interior, Mr. Scully has donated paintings on canvas, aluminum and copper; replaced windows with stained glass; designed candlesticks; and painted frescoes on the walls."
Mattera notes that: "Taking advantage of the newly available acrylic paints at that time, [the Washington Color artists] created geometric compositions, often applying the pigmented polymer directly into unprimed canvas. Their coolly measured work was light years away from abstract expressionist angst."
John Yau reviews works by Stanley Whitney at Karma Gallery, New York, on view through July 26, 2015.
Yau writes: "Drawing and mark making are what all of the artist’s works, whatever their size, share... Working within the self-imposed restraint of a loosely defined structure, Whitney draws different colored lines within a rounded abstract shape. In the two earliest paintings in the exhibition — 'Radical Openness' (1992) and 'My Whatever Means Necessary' (1992) — Whitney insets a series of rounded shapes on shelf-like bands against a uniformly colored ground. Within each shape he drew an energetic line in paint, a flurry, that wants to burst beyond the shape’s boundaries, but doesn’t. Sometimes he draws another line over the first. He places one color on top of, as well as beside another. There is a dissonance within the structure, but there is also air and space. The paintings are gritty, urban and brisk."
Thorpe writes: "The works in the final room are a combination of styles accumulated throughout the exhibition; drawing, collage and painting on paper. We see the emergence of Twombly’s celebrated style seen in larger-scale works that explode with colour and natural shapes... Colour is one of the major accelerations of this room... From drawings with crayon and house-paint, to experimentation with symbols and numbers, to collage, to paint dripping and, finally, to the accumulation of techniques, the exhibition is a journey through Twombly’s experimental processes, which reaches a climax in style and composition parallel to his larger-scale practice."
Alan Pocaro reviews Abstraction: A Visual Language at Rhona Hoffman Gallery, Chicago, on view through July 31, 2015. The show features works by Samantha Bittman, Kika Karadi, Linnéa Spransy, Raychael Stine, Jackie Saccoccio, Nancy Haynes, Magalie Guérin
Pocaro notes: "Aside from the obvious aesthetic concerns of making objects of lasting beauty, the central problem of abstraction has always been one of style and technique. More specifically, it has been the search for a technique that yields and animates an autographic or signature style as unique as the painter’s vision. It’s a lot harder than it sounds: as evidence, witness the cliché-ridden failures of abstract painting’s supposed 'comeback' visible at any given art fair. All the more reason then to celebrate the seven artists whose works comprise the concentrated, diverse and yet seamlessly integrated 'Abstraction: A Visual Language' at Rhona Hoffman Gallery. That these artists are also women is a fact worth highlighting in its own right, but let’s be clear: these are damn good painters first and foremost who make singular works that defy easy categorization."
Bogin comments: "I have a long-standing interest in logos and signage and their ability to communicate a wide range of information in a compact image. By coopting parts of that language I am able to communicate non-specific references and influences in a way that make them accessible but still mysterious... I like the tension created by referencing a language that we expect to deliver some sort of information or message but keeping that message elusive to create a more contemplative moment."
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.