David Carrier considers two exhibitions: Shirley Kaneda: Space Without Space at Galerie Richard (through May 28) and Robert Mangold at Pace Gallery (closed).
Carrier writes: "A great deal of contemporary art mimics advertising images, which seek to deliver a potent visual punch all-at-once. The abstract paintings of Shirley Kaneda and Robert Mangold – a very different style of visual art– solicit close slow looking... There are abstract painters who work in series and those who do not. Mangold proceeds as if he was trying to paint many variations on one painting. (This procedure was more evident in his previous exhibitions of recent work than this one.) By contrast, Kaneda offers a more open vision of the processes of art making, for her activity isn’t bounded by any pre-determined structure. Mangold’s structures, like the ripples created by a stone cast in water, encourage you to look by moving your eyes from the outside of his pictures into the empty center. Kaneda, who has a very different visual susceptibility, keeps your eye on the entire surface of her all-over compositions."
Kalm notes: "Obsessively building up oil paint, Dickson creates these works with an unflagging intensity and a faith in paint itself. Sometimes weighing in at over one hundred pounds these works become fetishized objects that transcend the normal limitations of graphic images."
Parkinson writes that in Rae's work "the digital seems to be referenced more in the synthetic colours and the insertion of manufactured collaged elements from childish popular culture, girly stationery, stickers of cute cartoon pandas, her now familiar mixing of crass pop decor with the tropes of Abstract Expressionism, that continues to have the power to jar, entertain, and provoke. If Perfect’s paintings resemble landscapes Rae’s are more like full-figure portraits, at least in their orientation, there is something person-like in their physical scale, but optically it is space that seems to be portrayed. Both artists open up spaces that appear cosmic, Rae’s to an even greater degree, her choice often of blue hues, the inclusion of stick-on stationery stars and her tracing direction lines from their points all add to this impression of the stellar."
Nathlie Provosty interviews painter Michael Berryhill about his work on the occasion of his exhibition Beggars Blanket at KANSAS Gallery, New York, on view through June 14, 2014.
Berryhill comments: "What’s exciting to me is being a little bit lost and then finding meaning; finding my way out of being lost is so palpable. And it’s fleeting, but when you feel that moment of getting an answer—where there are no answers forthcoming in our lives or elsewhere—when you get a real clarity in not-knowingness it’s a pretty inexplicable sensation experience. And I think that drawing does that, and a lot of different art forms; I’m a huge movie fan. But painting is the most vivid version...I don’t frontload my work with subject, and I don’t think about trying to get something to translate from a subject. I think the subject comes out of the translation of confusion. At some point it could be more figurative than object or more heavy than light, but I recognize the subject when it’s almost done. And that’s when I finish."
Peter Scott writes about the work of Olivier Mosset.
Scott notes: "Resolutely inhabiting the space within which they’re exhibited, the paintings of Olivier Mosset often seem inseparable from the architecture of the gallery or museum within which they’re presented. Occasionally employing a scale and format reminiscent of the Hudson River School painters Church and Bierstadt, some of the work has the enormous presence of a large scale landscape painting, but rather than transport the viewer somewhere else, they assert in a very visceral way the space in front of and around them, activating the room and calling attention to its dimensions and architectural details... In Olivier Mosset’s paintings, the unique imprint of the artist is less important than encountering the concrete reality of the paintings themselves. Working over many decades within a series of precise frameworks which call into question the insistence on the uniqueness of artwork and author, Mosset’s paintings are meant to be taken at face value; paintings on a wall, in a space, in front of which viewers may find themselves."
Koch writes that Martin "makes art’s transcendental and animist ambitions profane. The presence of landscape, good music and good sex, a starry night and a person’s death, colors and shapes on a surface – all of these are aspects of this painting, and experiences of boundlessness, that we can’t put a finger on and that are yet as tangible as our breakfast every morning: the casual sublime. Chris Martin strips a classic category of Western aesthetics, the sublime, of all idealization, pathos, and exclusivity. Martin’s work emerges from an awareness of the evanescence of all definite form, the vanity of material existence, and man’s profound connectedness to others, to nature, and to that which binds and transcends both. The universe? Martin puts what we are and think, what we see and do into an overriding structural form. His holistic, integrating perspective does not hew to the physically real; it is also free from assumptions, and jettisons every belief system. Nothing is sacred. It conducts a dialogue with the material and sees its intellectual and emotional transformation from one moment to the next."
Cara Manes interviews painter Joan Snyder about her work. Snyder's painting Sweet Cathy’s Song (For Cathy Elzea) (1978) is included in a new installation of works on the fourth floor of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York.
Asked about her use of the grid, Snyder remarks: "The source of the grid began for many reasons, one being the desire for narrative in the work. How to structure that. And I had been very interested in music—the staff providing lines for notes—plus I had been working with children…and had become very used to seeing children’s drawings on lined yellow paper. Those drawings became one of my inspirations for the grid. The other, strangely enough, was the wall in my studio on Mulberry Street. The top half was white plaster and the bottom half tongue-in-groove wood painted white. I was sitting one day looking at my painting and noticed the drips that had fallen onto the vertically lined wood wall. I said to myself that that was how I wanted my paintings to look. The next painting I made had some lines and very delicate drips falling onto an undulating surface of white. The very next painting was what I refer to as my breakthrough painting called Lines And Strokes, done in 1969.…I do think my use of the grid came from my own search, not from any minimalist theory, but that doesn’t mean I wasn’t affected by what was going on. I, though, wanted more in my paintings, not less…and I wanted narrative. The grid worked for me for those reasons."
David M. Roth reviews the exhibition Clare Rojas: Caerulea at Gallery Paule Anglim, San Francisco, on view through May 31, 2014.
Roth writes: "... it’s worth remembering that the original impetus behind nonobjective art was to banish representation and illusionism... the rewards have grown substantially harder to reach, owing to the number of possibilities that have already been explored... Rojas navigates this well-trod territory with paintings of two types: those that feature curves and those employ hard-angled geometric forms. In both cases, yawning white spatial gaps and clashing colors play important roles; and in this show, as in previous exhibitions, it’s the curvaceous forms that prove to be her strongest suit. They give off a spooky sensuality, and most importantly, they refer to things outside themselves..."
Corio writes: "When a group of pictures affects one so viscerally that they challenge some of the deeper convictions one holds about art-making, they certainly bear further analysis. Isn’t this one of the higher goals to which the artist aspires?... the appropriation mentality is something I never really bought into. Its defenders and exponents would say that it’s critiquing some of the most sacred cows of western art: originality, authorship, genius, masterpieces, inspiration, and so on. But it can just as easily be used as a kind of fig leaf to cover over what is in fact exhaustion and decay... In spite of these reservations, I’ve always believed that the best art creates its own argument – if you set up a podium next to a strong work and deliver a theoretical disquisition as to why it’s not valid, the art, although mute, will win and you’ll just wind up looking silly. This was certainly my experience with the Longo drawings – my objections just seemed strident while I was in the gallery, and only gained strength after I was away from the pictures. I still maintain that the objections are real nonetheless."
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.