The buzz about Fifty Shades of Grey, the cornball erotic romance with a surprisingly ardent audience, started me thinking about 50 shades of gray, the achromatic hue we are passionate about. I put out a call to my Facebook friends for images. Many responded. I added a few images from elsewhere on the Internet, and voilà, the post you see here. These tonalities of smoke and charcoal, fog and shadow, dust and ash invite intimate viewing. The difference, of course, is that the stimulation here is strictly retinal.
Linda Cordner, Cinquefoil Gray, 2011, encaustic, 24 x 24 inches
Connecting the Dots
While Gagosian's gone all steroidal for the spots of a certain British artist, I wanted to see who else was working within the visual idiom of discs and dots. What I found will come as no suprise to anyone who gets out to the galleries regularly. There's a huge range of interesting work that is spot on without being hyped.
Julian Jackson, Galaxy, 2003, painted stones on boulder, dimensions variable
As often happens, one’s personal interest becomes larger than oneself. My interest in the diamond shape impelled me to seek out what other artists were doing in a related vein. What I found: shapes united by their geometric aggressiveness, wooze-inducing angles and/or on-point position. Unlike rectilinear shapes with angles perpendicular to a horizontal plane, diamonds and rhomboids are wildly dynamic, punching through their perimeters to capture the space around them or holding it with equipoise, or sometimes both. Elongated shapes play with our perspective. Eccentric angles skew with our perception of plane. Actual dimension further confounds our expectation of planarity.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Gabriele Evertz, R-Split-SCd-24, acrylic on canvas, 24 x 24 inches
This post is a Diamond Deux, a Parallelogram P.S., following just a week after Rhomboid Rumba.
Ellsworth Kelly, Yellow Panel, 1980, oil on canvas, 118.5 x 94.75 inches
Wouldn’t you know that as soon as I turned my square 45 degrees, I started to other art out there with the same skew, as well as rhomboids with varying degrees of elongation. I love when that happens. Say hello to some of my gems and a few of my new best friends.
Working installation on my studio wall of Soie, 2010, gouache on Arches 140-lb. hot-press, each 22 x 30 inches
In homage to the Vernal Equinox, I curated a post with a primavera palette of shoots and new growth. What's not to love about a hue that starts out so fresh from its push into the light that it's almost translucent, deepens with chlorophyll, and then embraces a spectrum of verdancy that explodes into bloom?
Douglas Witmer, Green Gloves, 2009, black gesso and acrylic on canvas, 24 x 20 inches
If you look closely, you can see that the work at left is not a textile at all but tissue-thin wood veneer that’s been cut into a simulacrum of a doily and draped over a rod. It started me thinking about Linda Besemer’s no-substrate acrylic paintings, which are also draped over a rod; of David Ambrose's perforated gouaches that compress architecture and textiles into exquisite rectangles of art history; and of my my own small reductive color fields of encaustic on panel, which assume some semblance of silk. Things developed from there.
Susanna Starr, Not So Domestic, 2007, handcut maple and mahogany wood veneer, 45 x 48 x 6 inches
I saw this small painting of James Siena's at the Pace Wildenstein booth at Art Basel Miami Beach. I thought of it again when Laura Moriarty sent me some images of her new work, visceral sculptures made with textured sheets of pigmented wax that had been rolled and sliced, sort of like jelly rolls. I liked the visual connection. Then I related them to a painting of Sharon Horvath's.
James Siena, Kinked Non-Slice, second version, 2008, app. 20 x 16 inches
Armory Week: Salvage Operation
Normally I don't include my art fair reportage in the "curated" category--it's edited, not curated--but this time I paired what I saw with photographs from Joy Garnett's Unmonumental series
Angela De La Cruz, from the Armory Show, 2009
Joy Garnett, Unmonumental 111
Cold? Come Stand Next to These
On a cold day in January I gathered some paintings and sculptures for a visual "bonfire" to warm the spirit.
Morris Louis at Paul Kasmin Gallery