Patrick Brennan reviews a recent exhibition of works by Tomma Abts at David Zwirner Gallery, New York.
Brennan writes that Abts "welcomes the ambiguities of spatial illusionism, even alluding to shadow in places, but the spaces and volumes implied orient toward a discontinuous, pluralistic, non-homogeneous dimensionality... She implies multiple interpretations of visual movement to calibrate fluctuating tensions that don’t ever resolve, but remain potential: a sort of spatio-tactile surrealism. Tensile conditions unfold here in narrative terms as well as visually. The internal variability and irregularity of these pieces trace the biographies of their having been composed and discovered within a relationship of mutual reciprocity with the artist. Archaeologically, one may encounter here something akin to distinctive 'thought forms' — the shapes of consideration, comparison and integration, a way of moving though that particular situation, a drama of sorts that may be transposed or tried on for size. Yet these paintings and drawings don’t depict, illustrate or “represent” such experiences. They present. They unfold themselves rather than standing for something else or re-presenting. The viewer can discover and work out whatever moves for oneself."
Raphael Rubinstein considers Howardena Pindell's works from the 1970s, which were recently on view at Garth Greenan Gallery, New York.
Rubinstein notes that Pindell "used a hole punch to make stencils—from tin plates or stiff paper—through which she would spray paint onto the canvas. By mid-decade, the metal and paper circles—which this economical artist preserved-began to make their way onto the surfaces of the paintings... Hundreds or even thousands of paper and metal circles, some of them punched out of the stencil she was just using, were then carefully distributed across the canvas, bonding with the wet paint... The paintings created in this unconventional manner bear surfaces that can suggest a lunar landscape, encrusted skins skimmed off some strange liquid or the variegated face of an ancient, much-eroded wall. Given how Pindell summons amazing effects of diffused, atmospheric color from these haptic surfaces, it's no surprise that Claude Monet comes up in discussions of her 1970s work. In an essay for the Garth Greenan exhibition catalogue, poet/critic Barry Schwabsky eloquently notes that Pindell's paintings 'encourage the eye to overcompensate by refining its perceptions to the point where the minute differences from one moment of color to the next suddenly loom vast.'"
Jill Nathanson reviews the recent exhibition Harriet Korman: Line or Edge, Line or Color at Lennon, Weinberg Inc., New York.
Nathanson writes: "The works avoid assuming any sort of posture — high-tech, ironic, romantic, or post-this or that — drawing upon honest studio experimentation. Colors, in their variety, combinations and sequences, reference lived experiences from garishness to mysticism, and it is this range that is key to their depth of feeling... Compositions are built on simple layouts — diamonds intersecting cruciform shapes — but it is the complicating of these geometries through color that make the paintings happen. Color skews the symmetry of the layouts and sparks a dynamic, optical experience that takes us to a more complex, active order."
Bunker writes: "‘Slacker Art’, ‘Crapstraction’ and other manifestations of what might be called the provisional trend in painting/sculpture have been well and truly played to death in the last 10 years. Tuttle’s influence here is easy to see. But his best work has less to do with frustrating audience expectations, some notion of failure or theatrical nihilism, and more to do with exploring the inner logic of a work’s necessary development through the expressive potential of the most unexpected materials and use of colour and space. At his best he finds, in the given histories and conventions of painting and sculpture, a springboard into unfamiliar, poetic and psychologically charged territory."
James Kalm visits several painting exhibitions currently on view in Bushwick including: Abstraction and Its Discontents at Storefront Ten Eyck and Oskar Nilsson: Rehearsal at Interstate (both through November 23), and Andy Cross: Mirror Venus at SARDINE (through November 2).
Abstraction and Its Discontents features works by Benjamin Adelmann, Meg Atkinson, Jeffrey Bishop, Sharon Butler, Miriam Cabessa, Paul Campbell, Marc Cheetham, Paul Corio, Jeff Fichera, Matthew Gehring, Brian Guidry, Collin Hatton, Sara Jones, Jody Joyner, Maureen Meyer, Russell Perkins, Christopher Rose, Suzan Shutan, Tatiana Simonova and Andrew Small.
Julia Friedman blogs about Ed Moses: Cross-Section at the University of California Irvine University Art Gallery, on view through December 13, 2014.
Friedman writes: "Unlike many of his historical predecessors in the field of abstract painting... Moses ... whose prolific and protean output spans over five decades, delegates the exegesis of his abstract paintings to scholars and critics. Meanwhile, [he] carries on 'responding to the environment,' through manipulation of painterly materials."
Kurchanova writes: "Gaitonde studied both traditional techniques of Indian mural and miniature painting and modern European masters, such as Kandinsky, Picasso and Matisse. A mixture of influences and styles is evident in his work: the paintings done in the 50s reveal the strong influence of Paul Klee, with their distinct figures against an abstract background; and the ones created in the 60s and thereafter eschew the elements of figuration, leaving colour combinations and the flatness of the canvas to communicate with the viewer."
Panero writes that "Martin’s latest paintings are particularly indebted to the bold figure-ground dynamics of the Soho school. Certain motifs seem to come right out of recent work by Thornton Willis and other masters of the hard edge and the dissolving form. But then Martin funks them up." Doppler Shift, Panero notes is "a smart group show of what might be considered contemporary optical art ... [that] brings together many of those underappreciated artists who interest me most these days: Steven Baris, Rob de Oude, Gabriele Evertz, Enrico Gomez, Gilbert Hsiao, Stephen Maine, Don Voisine, and (upstairs in a related installation) Gary Petersen. " Miller, Parneo observes, "[doubles] down on the intensity of his painterly self-analysis, which might see him lay down dozens of thin layers of oil over a single image, microscopically shifting it through every pass."
Altoon Sultan blogs about the recent exhibition of works by James Bishop at David Zwirner Gallery, New York.
Sultan notes that Bishop's paintings "require long and careful attention. Their architectonic structure emerges slowly from the subtly brushed and pooled layers of paint." In Untitled (1980), she writes "you will see the exquisitely balanced color relationships, bringing a gentle light forward; the horizontal band is slightly brighter than the vertical, indicating a delicate shift in the space. The structure seems to be part of the canvas itself."
John Goodrich reviews John Walker: Recent Paintings at Alexandre Gallery, New York, on view through November 15, 2014.
Goodrich writes: "Few painters have expanded the original impulses of Abstract Expressionism in more directions than John Walker... But his biggest departure from 'classic Ab-Ex' may be his reliance on the perceived world. Although moodily abstracted, his images from the last decades have been consistently inspired by observations of the real. His urgent strokes and brooding color, moreover, reveal a certain discipline of form; their forces build in ways that create discrete, tangible presences in his paintings ... A minority of the marks are recognizable as objects, but all read as presences in the almost mystically deep and bright spaces. Though painted on humblest of supports, the colors and forms capture the primal experience of land meeting sky, and the artist seems to experience it anew each time."
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.