Anne Sherwood Pundyk reviews Peter Fox: Blind Trust at Front Room Gallery, Brooklyn, New York, on view through June 21, 2015.
Pundyk writes: "The melting ribbons of clear, bright color-groups represent hypothetical nations or advertise various emotional states. Owing to the addition of more water to thin the texture of the paint in the new works, the striped bands alternately shrink to thin vacillating lines or abruptly spread out like broad waving flags. Overall, the dripping striations look like spooky, alien forms of calligraphy and gestures from a private dance. The resulting erratic negative spaces sing the strange, knotted song of Fox’s new freedom."
Kalm observes that "Swain's sophisticated system of color tones, and spatial relations is a unique direction of investigation, with an obsessive side that boarders on the eccentric. This suite of large paintings, produced specifically for the new Minus Space, provide viewers with an essential view of the artist's achievements."
Schjeldahl notes: "There is as much philosophical heft to what [Oehlen] won’t allow himself, in the ways of order and balance, as in the stuttering virtuosities of what he does. His pictures possess no unity of composition, only unremitting energy. Everywhere your eye goes, it finds things to engage it; they just don’t add up. There are stabs of beauty in passages that reveal Oehlen to be, almost grudgingly, a fantastic colorist ... If Oehlen has a method, it is to recoil, stroke by stroke, from conventional elegance—strangling one aborning stylistic grace after another."
Rebecca Allan reviews the recent exhibition Deborah Rosenthal: Geography at Bowery Gallery, New York.
Allan writes that the paintings on view continue Rosenthal's "ongoing exploration of the nature of time, landscape, family bonds, and metaphors of sight and sensation ... Rosenthal is perpetually concerned with the “what-ifs” of the painting process. She considers the velocity with which our vision moves across a painted surface as well as the relationship of the center of vision to the periphery. Her attention to facture is evident in paint surfaces that are texturally rich and varied. I have always appreciated how Rosenthal arrives at the colors that we perceive. Look closely and you will see, as in Pierre Bonnard, that what appear to be shapes of solid color are actually shifting strokes, daubs, and veils of various hues that coalesce in the upper layers."
Altoon Sultan blogs about Cecily Brown: The English Garden at Maccarone, New York, on view through June 20, 2015.
Sultan writes that Brown's show "was a lesson to me in slowing down, looking carefully, and being open to new work... As I looked, I became entranced by the welter of brushstrokes; their layering is full of life and delicate energy. Each painting contains a particular quality of light and air, and most refer to a landscape space, one that asks us to make our way through dense paint to the spaces behind."
Tomkins writes: "Although he hasn’t really used artist’s paints or brushes since he was in art school, what Bradford makes are abstract paintings. He starts with a stretched canvas and builds up its surface with ten or fifteen layers of paper—white paper, colored paper, newsprint, reproductions, photographs, printed texts—fixing each layer with a coat of clear shellac. Sometimes he embeds lengths of string or caulking to form linear elements in the palimpsest. When the buildup reaches a certain density, he attacks it with power sanders and other tools, exposing earlier layers, flashes of color, and unexpected juxtapositions. Not until the first sanding does he begin to see where the painting is going. He works like an archeologist, rediscovering the past."
Alex Bacon interviews Mary Corse whose paintings are on view at Lehmann Maupin, New York, through June 13, 2015.
Corse comments: "What interests me now a lot too, especially with the black and white paintings, is when I put the black and the white together: that edge. It’s so optical. It starts flashing. We’ve never seen energy. And you actually start to see energy. And in the thin ones, if I make the line thin enough, I can actually see an energy field. So, on the side, I think I’m interested in seeing energy. That’s a new concern."
Yau begins: "Robert Motherwell didn’t believe that Pablo Picasso or Henri Matisse were figures to be overthrown. Instead of trying to triumph over them, he was convinced that he could expand upon their innovations. Moreover, he felt that if he tackled the same issues that they wrestled with, he could achieve something that was all his own. This was his big gamble, but, to my mind, it paid off. Instead of reacting against these European masters, a rebellion that surely propelled a number of postwar American artists to jettison the paintbrush along with drawing, spatiality, and composition, Motherwell regarded Picasso and Matisse as cornerstones to build upon."
Sharon Butler blogs about Jacqueline Humphries at Greene Naftali, New York, on view through June 20, 2015.
Butler notes that "Digital screens, halftone dot patterns, emoticons, and other typographic symbols comprise the imagery in Jacqueline Humphries's new series of large-scale paintings... Once considered a Provisional painter, Humphries's new work is anything but contingent. Slick and resolved, the enormous canvases are layered with stencils and screen prints so as to create the densely comprehensive patterns that we have come to associate with digitized information."
Paul Corio reviews paintings by Don Voisine at McKenzie Fine Art, New York, on view through June 14, 2015.
Corio writes that a "new device in these pictures is a particular grey which is not mixed but would appear to be produced by applying black paint over a white ground then scraping or sanding back to partially reveal the underlying color. The resulting atmosphere moves these paintings further away from formal readings, and far more into the realm of the poetic, possibly even romantic (although I shouldn’t get too carried away). In 'Landscape Into Art,' the venerable Kenneth Clark suggests that the most difficult thing to accomplish in landscape painting is a convincing evocation of night. In 'Narrows,' the largest picture in the show, two gloss-black spectral rectangles, like giant robotic eyes, emerge from the grey described above, each bordered by a pair of attenuated matte black triangles. The latter shapes act as a bridging color, completing the illusion that the dominant shapes are rising from a spooky, nighttime mist."
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.