On the occasion of the exhibition Paul Reed and the Shaped Canvas in the 1960s at D. Wigmore Fine Art, New York (through Novemebr 16), Deedee Wigmore writes about the shaped canvases of Paul Reed and the Washington Color School painters including: Gene Davis, Kenneth Noland, and Thomas Downing.
Wigmore notes that "unlike New York’s Color Field art, Washington’s version was geometry-based. The flow of color and intervals of blank raw canvas softened the geometric-based structures of their compositions and kept them from becoming hard-edged. To get beyond the all-over compositions associated with Pollock, the Washington artists developed centralized compositions full of flowing movement. In their development of geometric Color Field painting, some of the Washington Color Painters also participated in the shaped canvas movement of the 1960s... Paul Reed’s shaped canvases ... comprise the most complex shapes created by the Washington Color Painters."
James Kalm visits the exhibition James Biederman: Don't Have Red in Sight at Janet Kurnatowski Gallery, Brooklyn, New York, on view through May 26, 2013.
Kalm comments: "Using intimately scaled shaped canvases, and reduced painterly incident, [Biederman's] new work balances ideas of painting and object making that reference masters like Elizabeth Murray and Ellsworth Kelly." The video includes a conversation with James Biederman about the paintings in the show and his shift from gestural abstraction to shaped paintings.
John Yau reviews the exhibition Al Loving: Torn Canvas, at Gary Snyder Gallery, New York, on view through December 22, 2012.
Yau writes: "Made of strips of colored cloth that have been sewn together, and hang down from the wall, the torn canvas paintings are what Loving did to get outside of the box. He literally cut up his own work... the torn canvas paintings look incredibly fresh and uncategorizable, while his [earlier] illusionary cubes look increasingly like period pieces. Moreover, the change Loving made early in his career strikes me as radical a rupture as one can make in one’s history. Alfred Leslie, Guston, and Krasner are among the few others that I can think of who initiated a comparable break in their work. It is also worth noting that Philip Guston turned his back on his Abstract Expressionist paintings around the same time as Loving rejected his early efforts, and for many of the same reasons."
Haber writes that Hinman's "irregular polyhedra build on oblique triangles and trapezoids. Simpler rectangles lean against or stand one in front of another, as for Johns, but with a noticeable gap between them—or between them and the wall. A single facet or canvas may have its own color, or the shadow across it may serve as color, an effect even more obvious in reproduction. Sometimes a color belongs solely to the edge of a work, or so it seems, until one notices that Hinman has painted the back. In all these ways, he is working with light as much as with a brush and a miter. In these ways, too, he is not just shaping an object, but also taking it out from the wall."
Peter Acheson and Deirdre Swords blog about the work of Craig Olson on the occasion of his exhibition 18 Melodies For The Barbarian Flute at Janet Kurnatowski Gallery, Brooklyn, New York, on view through November 11, 2012.
"Olson's paintings are not resolved by the back and forth of contemplation and correction; they are resolved by actions that seek a way out of the box of meaning and language. Something mysterious happens. Olson's attention is that of the predator; his eyes forward, ears alert, and ready to pounce when the painting wanders into a crossroad. By 'crossroad', I mean the intersection of abstraction and image"
Paul Behnke photo blogs images from the exhibition Max Gimblett: The Holy Grail at Gary Snyder Gallery, New York, on view through April 7, 2012.
The exhibition includes Gimblett's sumi ink drawings which inform his large-scale gestural abstractions. The gallery describes Gimblett's paintings as "glossy, calligraphic abstractions in high-keyed hues, many of which feature large expanses of gold, silver, and aluminum leaf. Often, only a few brushstrokes or simplified shapes appear on the surfaces."
Ted Stamm, a painter who exhibited widely in New York and Europe before his untimely death at age 39 has been largely uknown in recent years. A small, but significant show of paintings and drawings at Minus Space in DUMBO offers a tantalizing re-introduction to Stamm’s paintings.
The exhibition features a signature work from each major phase of Stamm’s oeuvre including the "Dodger" and "Zephyr" series, a "Tag" drawing, and polaroids of Stamm’s abstract graffitti "Designators" - black forms from his paintings that he spray painted onto buildings in New York.
Ted Stamm, DGR-37, oil on canvas, 33.5 x 128 inches (courtesy Minus Space & Estate of Ted Stamm)
Two large paintings in the front room dominate the space. It's difficult not to be struck initially by the unique notching and dynamic curves of Stamm’s carefully constructed, shaped canvases. Spatially, Stamm was interested in aerodynamics and in conveying speed though painting. The graceful curves of the paintings’ edges (a curve dominates each large work) yield to the painted divisions within - creating a sense of extension into the surrounding architecture.
Although his palette in this show is limited to black and white, Stamm was a subtle colorist. In the smaller paintings his blacks are oily, yet bright and play off cooler, luminous, polished whites that are reminiscent of both Mondrian and new car paint. Stamm’s blacks in the larger works are matte and undeniably industrial with the grit and sparkle of asphalt playing atop the dazzling glue-sized canvas. The entire effect is celebratory and full of light.
A collection of shaped canvas paintings highlighting the variety of painterly possibilities beyond the rectangle - including work from modern masters such as Frank Stella, Ellsworth Kelly and Blinky Palermo alongside contemporary painters Jan Maarten Voskuil, Victor White, JCJ Vanderheyden, Till Orlando Frijns, and Rupprecht Geiger.
In a great post of curated work, Joanne Mattera presents a 'show' of "squares turned on their axis, along with some elongated parallelograms of the shape you might describe as harlequin...[that] reflect a variety of ideas: tectonic shift, Archimedian displacement, spiritual thinking, a textile sensibility, references to the body, constructivist principles, optical challenge, formal push/pull, and the pure pleasure of geometric abstraction."
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.