Jennifer Samet interviews painter Jason Karolak whose work is on view in the group exhibition Full Tilt at Novella Gallery, New York, through May 10, 2015.
Karolak comments: "I want to have one form in the painting at the end. It may have multiple elements or a network-like feel. But I still want it to read as a thing, albeit an abstract thing, as opposed to a completely allover field with no hierarchy... The forms in my paintings are distillations of the process, and an internal logic is created through color and drawing. It is specific to each painting. They start in fragmented fields of color and line. And then I put several of these elements back together, building something new."
In part one of a two part post, Piri Halasz reviews Dee Solin at Andre Zarre Gallery (through April 4) and Jason Karolak: Polyrhythm at McKenzie Fine Art, New York (closed). Part one is linked above, part two of the review is here.
Halasz writes that "both [Solin and Karolak] are not only abstract painters, but more specifically devotees of geometric abstraction—a generic art form to which both artists manage to bring fresh twists. Karolak’s current show displays mostly large and tantalizingly secretive cage- or maze-like images, composed of more or less straight lines and arranged in more or less rectilinear patterns. Solin’s latest paintings are dominated by grids of small discs, marching firmly across the canvas, together with free-form arrangements of dancing smaller discs, and delicate bits of grill-work superimposed. Both are – or can be -- splendid colorists. Upon predominantly black fields, Karolak’s superimposed images are painted with carefully coordinated greens, blues, purples, yellows and occasional reds that are sometimes suspiciously bright, but also sometimes delightfully mellow. The fields upon which Solin ranges her brightly colored discs are themselves vivid panoramas of one color or another, ranging from a vivid blue, red or aqua to a less-successful yellow, then on down to a mild and modest grey or cream."
Micchelli writes: "The visual riddles posed by Karolak’s paintings — their refusal to settle into a single perspective and their devilishly complex accumulation of elements — tether their freewheeling abstraction and neon color to an unknowable reality. The faceted, see-through strata of densely woven skeins of paint advance and recede in space as the clusters of line and shape swarm and disperse. Nothing is settled. The compositions seem to be the conclusion of perpetual improvisation, which comes to a rest only upon some indefinable cue from the painting itself. The flares of color intersecting the surface reflect the ubiquity and permeability of networks; they seem to chart the ebb and flow of commerce, trace traffic patterns or plot the random directionality of an electrical field."
Tamar Zinn blogs about several summer shows in New York featuring abstract painting including: Eccentric Abstraction, curated by Bill Weiss, at Frosch & Portmann featuring work by David Hayward, Leslie Wayne, Mamie Holst, Richard Allen Morris and Bill Weiss (through August 3); Starting Out: 9 Abstract Painters 1958-1971 at Tibor de Nagy, featuring works by by Edward Avedisian, Darby Bannard, Friedel Dzubas, Paul Feeley, Helen Frankenthaler, Jane Freilicher, Ralph Humphrey, Kenneth Noland, and Kendall Shaw (through August 1); the Summer Invitational at Elizabeth Harris featuring works by Rich Klauber, Joanne Mattera, Paul Mogensen, Gary Peter, and Sarah Walker (closed July 25), and Color as Structure at McKenzie Fine Art featuring works by works by Paul Corio, Richard Garrison, Rob de Oude, Mel Bernstine, Jason Karolak, Maureen McQuillan, Holly Miller, Alain Biltereyst, Martha Clippinger, Richard Roth, Cordy Ryman, Deborah Zlotsky, Kate Shepherd, Elise Ferguson, Don Voisine, and Richard Caldicott (through August 1).
Joanne Mattera photo blogs a visit to the exhibition Color as Structure at McKenzie Fine Art, New York, on view through August 2, 2014. The show includes works by Paul Corio, Richard Garrison, Rob de Oude, Mel Bernstine, Jason Karolak, Maureen McQuillan, Holly Miller, Alain Biltereyst, Martha Clippinger, Richard Roth, Cordy Ryman, Deborah Zlotsky, Kate Shepherd, Elise Ferguson, Don Voisine, and Richard Caldicott.
Mattera notes that the show features "16 artists for whom color and structure intertwine, either to create a suggestion of dimensional space or to invigorate a planar surface with pattern, repetition, or optical effects... While all of the works are strong individually and offer a cogent visual narrative as installed, I found myself drawn to the conversations between and among certain works. "
Anne Russinof posts an image blog of the exhibition Meta Vista, curated by Matthew Neil Gehring. The exhibition features works by Rachel Beach, Paul Behnke, Vincent Como, Matthew Neil Gehring, Beth Gilfilen, Jason Karolak, Joan Mellon, Rebecca Murtaugh, and Kirk Stoller. An online version of the show is concurrently posted at Curating Contemporary.
In the curatorial statement Gehring writes: "Each of the artists in this exhibition generate work from a distinct point of view, but each point of view is one that is illuminated and connected by this show’s title, Meta Vista. Meta: beyond, transcendent, self referential and critical, in the abstract. Vista: an extensive mental view, a distant expanse. These artists make the invisible visible, make the real unreal, and vice versa. Each is engaged in a practice of advanced visual art that overtly or subtly engages an existential discourse; form and formlessness, presence and absence while remembering that a vision is both an analytical tool and an intuitive experience, as well as both difficult to attain and a pleasure to apprehend."
Joanne Mattera blogs about two exhibitions on the Lower East Side: Jason Karolak at McKenzie Fine Art (on view through March 17) and the recent show Sarah Walker: Drift at Artifact.
Mattera writes that "Karolak pulls you into his visual webs, cubicular orgies of analogous color that suggest the containments of architecture or conversely, mathematical depictions of cosmic phenomena in the vastness of the universe." Considering Walker's paintings, Mattera expresses admiration for "the way space and pattern collide, for her layering of the geometric with the organic, and her splendid sense of color."
Caleb De Jong reviews an exhibition of paintings by Jason Karolak at McKenzie Fine Art Inc., New York, on view through March 17, 2013.
De Jong writes: "Space is a metaphor for our lived environment in Jason Karolak’s first solo exhibition at Lower East Side’s McKenzie Fine Art Inc. Pictorial distance is defined by Karolak with two consistent but divergent painting sizes, one large and spatially expansive and the other minute and pictorially flat. While Karolak’s language lives and moves from the dictates of form, color, and line, a language that would seem to imply flatness, the paintings offer a richly detailed representation of pictorial dimension and tactile experience. For Karolak, space, either deeply horizontal or directly planar, is a formal stand in for the recessive or progressive elements of the viewer’s perception of the natural world."
Kris Chatterson photo blogs installation photos from the exhibition Angular Seduction curated by Vincent Como at Tiger Strikes Asteroid, Brooklyn through February 17, 2013.
The show features work by Maya Hayuk, Jason Karolak, Anna Kunz, Karl LaRocca, Melissa Oresky, and Kirk Stoller, artists who "Painters who are each navigating space through color, shape and line, at times even breaking free of the planar reality of pictorial space to enter the Z-axis, or rather, the world of three dimensions with the rest of us. The differences in these collected works come out of the handling of materials, whether clean and exacting with pure color, a sharp demarcation of elements, or transparent and loose with areas of paint bleeding over/into others. While owing a debt to Color Theory as well as the Hard Edge painters and Minimal artists each of the works on display in Angular Seduction simultaneously bastardize and push the boundaries of those very traditions in an attempt to bring the work to another level of existence and thus lure the unsuspecting viewer closer through their wanton displays of geometric persuasion."
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.