Ann Saul reviews works by Dana Gordon and Cathy Diamond at Andre Zarre Gallery, New York, on view through December 6, 2014.
Saul writes that "Gordon’s canvases coax line and color to share importance in a display of exuberant abstraction. Executed with great precision, vivid colors and playful shapes are carefully arranged in Gordon’s thoughtful compositions. In 'Endless Painting 1,' 2014, two column-like forms go off the top and bottom edges of a large vertical canvas. Inside these baroque forms are uniformly sized blocks, each square its own pure color, sometimes only subtly distinguished from neighboring colors... Gordon’s shapes are carefully molded in heavy impasto paint with a palette knife, a bas-relief in color that pops off the canvas... [Diamond] uses nature-based drawings to create forms that at first glance resemble figures but after closer study escape into the realm of the imagination. The forms in Diamonds paintings have energy, pushing or pulling against the picture plane as if engaged in an exotic dance."
Christopher Joy and Zachary Keeting visit the studio of painter Paul Behnke.
Asked about the pleasure inherent in the experience of pure color, Behnke comments: "I think of my color as more anxiety... color can serve as a segue into the work... the color makes them more accessible... an then ... when things settle down and you spend more time with the piece it starts to be a little grating." Expressing a preference for more traditional picture space versus an all-over approach to abstraction, Behnke notes: "I don't like a lot of chaos ... I want there to be important forms and then lesser forms, important colors and lesser colors. I want there to be that hierarchy in the imagery."
Witkowski writes: "Whenever politics enter painting, one of the questions that arises is how subject matter relates to form. Are there successful painting strategies in which something otherwise unseen can be made visible? Can paintings trigger political awareness? In case of Holzer’s work, classified and therefore unseen documents are rendered visible. By creating paintings of classified documents, the content of these documents is suddenly brought into our perceptual field. There is a difference between knowing of the existence of such records and experiencing a material version of them. In addition, the tactility and careful rendition of certain aspects of these documents (the torn paper pieces, the crossed out words and the highly textured backgrounds) speaks to their acute relevance and presence."
Yerebakan writes that: "Hallucinatory and subliminal arrangements of forms and colors create absorbing works of art, in which the artist delivers his viewers the freedom to build their own interpretations and narratives rather than imposing thematic restraints. The objective and uncharged nature of colors, building themselves up from a series of minimal intersections, bears unexpected and ever-changing correlations with the light of the space surrounding them."
Ashley Garrett interviews painter Lisa Sanditz about her work.
Sanditz comments: "Sometimes I make [the paintings] on location... And then I also sometimes work on the studies when I’m trying to figure out how to resolve something... Obviously memory and imagination are both a part of it –there are no faithful photographic renderings in the paintings, not that photographs are faithful either, but there's obviously a lot of interpretation and exaggeration in the work. So for example the drawings that I'm doing right now, the ones that are from here are done on location. I did them on location or I drew them in the studio right when I got back that day, so even if it was from memory it was very close to the experience. Then the drawings of the trees in St Louis are from photographs that my parents took with an iPhone, plus memory and kind of making it up even more than I do in other circumstances. So it's definitely kind of a big soup of all of those things. I’ll find images on the internet if it’s something that I can't really remember and I need to look up something again, but it's not just working from a picture online and then making a painting. Plenty of people do that, it's fine, but for me it's just a part of the process I guess. Lots of input, lots of output."
John Bunker, Anthony Smart, Anne Smart, Robin Greenwood, Sarah Greenwood, Alexandra Harley, Patrick Jones, Sam Cornish, Mark Skilton, Hilde Skilton, and Nick Moore visit the studio of painter Emyr Williams.
Alexandra Harley: The "passage of colour isn’t just pure. It may be a pure colour all the way through but the juxtapositions of the other colours around it are changing that colour immensely."
Anne Smart: "I know [Williams' paintings] are going to be about colour, but If I try to forget that, what comes out really strongly is how they make me feel… and I’m minded to think of a painting that relates to both of them: Monet’s 1860 “Women the Garden”, and what that does for me, and what I have always felt strongly about, is the light in it; and both these paintings articulate what light does, and I feel a strong presence of that light and what that sensation can give you spatially."
Robin Greenwood: "The elements in the painting are so much more demanding than one stripe next to another. I feel I’ve seen that sort of thing before – you know, beautifully coloured stripes… but here, I’ve never seen anything quite like this before."
Richard Benari interviews painter Daniel Levine about his monochrome paintings.
Levine comments: "I tend to work in groups, and also different applications. By groups I would mean the same paint - the titanium group by 'x' brand... the titanium group by 'y' brand... the titanium group by 'z' brand. Then there would be the zincs. There'd be many, many, many different types of whites. And then different mediums as well... In each session I ... generally work on one type of paint, one brand... but they're all individual pieces.. different scales, different surfaces, different applications, different tones, different depths of the the canvas, so [it's] a narrative, jumping from one to the next to the next."
In a new video by Carol Saft, painter Katherine Bradford discusses her recent "shelf" paintings on view at Arts+Leisure, New York from November 15 - December 14, 2014. Bradford remarks that the shelf element developed out of an interest in developing the "sense of weight and gravity" in her work.
The gallery materials note that "as is always the case with [Bradford's] work, the real subject is invariably paint itself, in all its multi-hued, crusty, clunky, gooey, crumbly, smeared and expressed glory. Her shelf paintings reference the horizons and brute forms of Philip Guston as much as the armature and palette of Howard Hodgkin, and the distortion and nautical humor of Malcolm Morley; her palette blows hot and cool but her signature playful line and irreverent charm shine through consistently in every piece."
Peter Simpson reviews Jack Bush at The National Gallery of Canada, on view through February 22, 2015.
Simpson writes that the show is "an expansive demonstration of what painting can be. Dozens of paintings, gleaned from over 50 years of Bush’s career, come together as a journey through the evolution of his style and vision. While walking through room after room of Bush’s work, visitors see how he worked through his key influences, from realism to expressionism to the specific impact of the Group of Seven and its contemporaries... As a sequence, Bush’s paintings are like a tour of the possibilities of painting, the directions it can go in and the ideas it can illuminate. Additionally, the exhibition is a primer in how to look at abstract art — it reveals how styles relate, and how one can lead to, and help make sense of, another."
David Rhodes reviews works by Bettina Blohm at Marc Strauss Gallery, New York, on view through December 12, 2014.
Rhodes writes: "Great Escape (2014), which... measures 68 x 84 inches, has black curved strokes that change direction from one square to the next appear to possess a restless energy — like a flickering diagram. In counterpoint, the squares each tilt at a shallow angle, maintaining the rhythmic shifting of both space and surface. Matisse certainly comes to mind in the red, black and white color range and the way in which the black curved lines recall the body, albeit indirectly. The degree to which decorative effect and broken pattern proliferate changes from painting to painting."
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.