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."
Although focusing his review on many of the younger and mid-career painters in the exhibition, including Clare Grill, Sangram Majumdar, Ellen Berkenblit, and Samantha Bittman, Yau notes that "Joan Brown and Charles Garabedian are the presiding spirits of the show Painting Forward at Thomas Erben. They could also be described as the presiding spirits of today’s art scene. By that I mean they did something more than go their own way; each developed a pictorial language that was unmistakably her or his own, and, more importantly, was simultaneously accessible and mysterious — a complete world that never gave itself entirely away."
Kate Kellaway profiles painter Hilma Af Klint on the occasion of the exhibition Hilma af Klint Painting the Unseen at the Serpentine Gallery, London on view March 3 - May 15, 2016.
Kellaway writes: "Between 1906-1915, there followed 193 paintings – an astonishing outpouring – known as the Paintings for the Temple. Whatever one’s misgivings about the occult, [Af Klint] worked as if possessed – in the grip of what can only be described as inspiration. She explained that the pictures were painted 'through' her with 'force' – a divine dictation: 'I had no idea what they were supposed to depict… I worked swiftly and surely, without changing a single brush stroke.' It is as if Af Klint has appeared out of nowhere – inconveniently for art historians. And the question she raises will not recede: was she a quirky outsider, or was she Europe’s first abstract painter, central to the history of abstract art?"
An essay by Robert Storr on the paintings of Rick Brigg's whose exhibition Full Circle is on view at the Flecker Gallery, Suffolk County Community College through March 18, 2016.
Storr writes: "Briggs is not trying to blow painting to smithereens or starve it into submission – but rather make emphatically material visual objects that sustain the curious observer’s involuntary response, which is to squint, knit their brows and say to themselves “What’s that?” There are far worse questions to be asked of art. Especially in an era when critical discourse is forever “interrogating” it, as if art were a prisoner-of-conscience -- a prisoner of fully alert consciousness? ... So while Briggs upsets no apple carts he does offer a bit more of his whimsically jazzy type of image-making than the general and even the dedicated public are likely to be prepared for. So much the better, I say."
Jennifer Samet interviews painter Carrie Moyer whose exhibition Sirens is on view at DC Moore Gallery, New York through Mar 26, 2016.
Moyer comments: "What is political about my painting, if we can even say that, is that it is experiential. They are abstractions based on my own history, even though they address the history of 20th-century painting, or at least certain parts of it. I’m also positing ideas about pleasure — both pleasure for me, and pleasure for the viewer. This feels decadent right now, because it is not about the work being a commodity, it’s about the pleasurable experience of looking. Hopefully the paintings operate at degrees, meaning people who aren’t involved with the history of painting can get something out of it. I’m not interested in intellectual opacity or 'enlightening' the viewer. I’m going for beauty, seduction, and play — a physical experience, an optical experience. However, my first audience, the one I’m thinking about in the studio, is always other painters and people involved in the history of painting. What dialogue am I in with painters from the past? I think about painting in terms of the politics of who is making it, and when it gets made. For instance, isn’t it interesting that we are living in this moment when there are a lot of prominent women abstract painters? This is very unusual."
Zachary Keeting and Christopher Joy visit the studio of painter Annie Lapin.
Lapin shows her recent paintings which achieve a delicate balance between found and willed form. Having been inspired by cave paintings, she combines a rorschach-like technical approach with a sensibility for creating complex images that results in compositions that feel specific, surprising and alive.
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.