Stephen Maine reviews David Row: Four Decades of Painting at Loretta Howard Gallery, New York, on view through April 2, 2016.
Maine writes that "The work of New York painter David Row has been labeled 'conceptual abstraction' but the unabashed physicality of his work—of which 15 choice examples are on view at Loretta Howard Gallery—suggests “calisthenic abstraction” as an equally apt designation... A pictorial field that seems too small to accommodate the figure—that is, in which the boundaries of the canvas or panel appear to crop the image—has long been crucial to Row’s compositional strategy. Variously reiterated, it yields all manner of spatial displacement and disjunctions. But this instability is carefully controlled, meticulously planned—another paradox that only deepens the pleasure this stunning show affords."
Real States featuring paintings by Tom Burckhardt, Clare Grill, and Sangram Majumdar is on view at Steven Harvey Fine Art Projects, New York, from February 10- March 13, 2016.
This is the final weekend to see Real States at Steven Harvey Fine Art Projects on the Lower East Side. The show features paintings by Tom Burckhardt, Clare Grill, and Sangram Majumdar. The works of each of these artists engage with the notion of image, but also confound it. The press release notes that the artists "all make paintings that engage abstract or abstracted forms on the armature of an implied grid. However, these forms and shapes are simultaneously allowed to fall away from any such structure."
A panel discussion titled The Abstract Image, moderated by art historian and critic Jennifer Samet, was held at the gallery on February 28, 2016. With their paintings around them, all three artists started off by talking about their process and it's relation to image-making.
Sangram Majumdar commented that moving away from recognizable imagery is "a way to arrive at a place that's a bit more unknown. I think there's an anxiety about looking at things. The longer I look at them I start disbelieving... so the painting process for me becomes a way to get closer to what ... drew me into that imagery."
Clare Grill responded: "I want my work to feel specific... [the source material] provides a mood, or a feeling, or a reason to make a painting. And that's it. And then it becomes something else - it becomes a painting."
Noting that Majumdar and Grill work from something that exists in the world, Tom Burckhardt commented: "I work in the opposite way... In terms of the image-making, I really start from absolutely nothing - it's akin to ... surrealist automatic writing ... and out of that generality what I eventually move towards is specificity." Referring to working on cast supports, he continued: "But my relationship to the support is incredibly specific from the beginning... if you [Grill and Majumdar] are working from something in the world, something that has a representational life somewhere, for me the only thing that's like that is the sculpture of the painting."
Malone writes: "Each image is built of a dominant color, yet within each color there are subtle variations that maintain a shallow atmospheric depth — not enough to sink the color into a distracting illusion, but more than enough to activate its magically ambiguous relationship to the picture plane. Moreover, within each color division there are similarities in touch and density that are reprised in other parts of the painting. The canvas is less a container of discrete items and more a field of discernible yet harmonizing parts. This attention to compositional structure is what separated him from his AbEx colleagues... Opper somehow transcended the mythology of the AbEx period and almost clandestinely slipped into the more formalist designs of color field painting, while holding to a visual language that was both his own and an echo of Bonnard."
Steven Alexander blogs about Paul Corio:Ghostzapper at McKenzie Fine Art, New York, on view through March 13, 2016.
Alexander writes: "This vibrant and beautifully installed show explores the capricious nature of color, employing both chance and intuition to create configurations that trigger full tilt chromatic dynamism. There is an element of obsessiveness in the complexity of Corio's compositions, and the depth to which he explores the nuances of color relations. But more prominent is a sense of playfulness, of reveling in the realization of endless possibilities."
Tom McGlynn reviews the recent exhibition Carolanna Parlato: A Delicate Balance at Elizabeth Harris Gallery, New York. McGlynn writes: "One can see the strong influence of contemporaries ranging from Melissa Meyer to Charles Clough to perhaps even Jonathan Lasker in Parlato’s structural approach to gestural lyricism, a type where marks can retain their separate identities in ensemble with a party of similarly free agents. While Parlato’s spatial presentation is perhaps more spiritually aligned with older precedents like Helen Frankenthaler (whom she has cited as an important influence) and Sam Francis, she actuates a decidedly post-modern, dematerialized relation of gestural form in her work."
Zachary Keeting and Christopher Joy visit the studio of painter Joan Waltemath.
Discussing her Torso/Roots paintings, Waltemath comments: "They're roughly based on the torso proportions of the body, so that you can have a physical interaction with them as opposed to an intellectual or an image-based response... the physical being in the world is a primary way of knowing the world... I'm really interested in how the body understands the world and how we perceive through movement. It's not a static thing. Photography privileges the single viewpoint but for my work I need multiple viewpoints for you to see it... for me it's a way to keep... your audience awake..." She continues noting the significance of percieving the paintings from multiple viewpoints and in different light: "... you're going to notice that something's different and you'll see it, because when things stay the same in your environment they just become a function of memory and not of perception."
Mac Adam observes "[Sillman's] working conceit for this dazzling, wide-ranging show of paintings, drawings, and videos is metabolism. By this, we take her to mean the process that breaks down received material and builds it back up into new material. The action may be internal or external—that is, Sillman might be thinking of how she assimilates her artistic tradition in order to remake it in her own image, or she may be thinking of ways to reconstitute or recycle her own ideas. Either way, this body of work is characterized by a series of appropriated, recycled shapes that Sillman redeploys."
Martin Mugar blogs about David Row: Four Decades of Painting at Loretta Howard Gallery, New York, on view through April 2, 2016.
Mugar writes: "The introduction of the curvilinear into [Row's] work appears to be lifted from the late paintings of de Kooning. To achieve an understanding of the Abstract Expressionist De Kooning, a notion of real physical gesture, which creates time and space, is crucial. Interestingly, Row reduces this to a semiotic sign. Granted they are hand painted but he domesticates the heroism of de Kooning into a sign that is often contrasted with another sign such as the stable grid pattern in 'Point of View.' However, when you realize that those swirling patterns are represented as a kind of irreducible sign of movement, like the convoluted twists and turns of Chinese dragon painting, then, Row’s life work becomes clearer and very interesting. He is really involved in the language of painting or better yet painting as language."
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.