Thursday, 15 November 2012

Old school abstraction, 'Absorbed by Color' Heckscher Museum of Art, USA

Theodoros Stamos'Infinity Field-Lefkada Series'. c.1973.
This is some of an article published in the New York Times regarding the exhibition 'Absorbed by 'at Heckscher Museum of Art, USA :
“Absorbed by Color: Art in the 20th Century” at the Heckscher Museum of Art in Huntington, N.Y., is thus a wildly ambitious show: a tour of color in 20th-century painting mounted in two galleries of modest size. Sometimes, however, the abridged version of a subject can be reassuringly manageable — particularly compared to the much larger 2008 exhibition “Color Chart: Reinventing Color, 1950 to Today” at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, which examined how postwar industrial color and art have become intertwined.
What also makes “Absorbed by Color” interesting is its limitations: it is not a showcase for the greatest hits of color, lacking an example from Picasso’s Blue Period, for instance, or a Mark Rothko Color Field painting; the show is drawn exclusively from the museum’s collection, which leans toward American 20th-century art, and many of the works here are by lesser-known or overlooked artists. 
That is not to say that major practitioners are completely absent. Josef Albers, one of the most important color theorists of the 20th century, is represented by “Coastal” (1948-54), a rectangular oil-on-hardboard composition, and “Red-Orange Wall” (1959), an ochre-hued silk-screen. Albers was born in Germany and taught at the Bauhaus in Weimar and later at the experimental Black Mountain College in North Carolina. Retooling the progressive Bauhaus curriculum for American students, he taught a famed course in color theory at Yale, and wrote a landmark book, “Interaction of Color” (1963), which treated color in terms of relationships, or “interactions.” '
see more of the article here.
Richard Richenurg, 'Flicker'. 1949.Oil on canvas.
Gift of the Artist


Abstract America...

Christoph Niemann - State of the Art
Christoph Niemann - State of the Art

Christoph Niemann - State of the Art
Christoph Niemann - State of the Art
Christoph Niemann - State of the Art

Christoph Niemann - State of the Art
Christoph Niemann - State of the Art
Christoph Niemann - State of the Art
Christoph Niemann - State of the Art
Christoph Niemann - State of the Art
Christoph Niemann - State of the Art


Christoph Niemann - State of the Art

Daniel Buren, new show in 2013, Petzel Gallery, New York

Daniel Buren, ELECTRICITY PAPER VINYL...10th January-22nd February, 2013

'Petzel Gallery is pleased to announce an exhibition with Daniel Buren from January 10th through February 16th, with a reception for the artist on January 10th from 6-8pm. The exhibition will span two gallery spaces, Bortolami Gallery at 520 West 20th Street and Petzel Gallery at 456 West 18th Street. Bortolami Gallery will feature Plexiglas and fabric situated works and a room of new fiber optics. Daniel Buren realized these situated works with the textile company Brochier Soieries, using their innovative fiber optic technology for luminescent textiles. Petzel Gallery will showcase historical in situ works made with paper which the artist began in 1968.'

see more info here Petzel Gallery

Monday, 15 October 2012

Frank Stella Retrospective, Kunstmuseum, Germany

Frank Stella (born 1936) is one of the last living heroes of American painting from the 1950s and 1960s. Stella’s recent works demonstrate yet again his compelling path in the direction of abstraction. Hardly twenty-years old, the young artist conquered the New York art scene in the late 1950s with a sensation: His large Black Paintings not only intensified the debate on Minimalism in painting but also prepared the way for the “exit from the picture into space.” But unlike his contemporaries, Stella took a completely independent path that led him to ever more opulent, ever more baroque reliefs. With his turn “from Minimalism to Maximalism,” Frank Stella developed into one of the most distinctive artists of the 20th century. The exhibition includes circa 63 mostly large-format works as well as 82 drawings and sketches.
Installation view

With its great hall and flexible wall system, the Kunstmuseum enables the colorful, in part extremely large aluminum reliefs to fully unfold in a way that hardly any other museum can, namely thanks to a customized exhibition architecture. It supports the representation of his work’s logical development over a half century, tracing in the process the artist’s successive efforts to conquer space from the two-dimensionality of the painting up to and including his visionary and most recent works. The retrospective simultaneously wishes to place Stella’s oeuvre in a broader art historical context that extends far beyond modernism for the first time. ArchiSculptures and architectural models make up the conclusion of the exhibition.

This exhibition is sponsored by Volkswagen Financial Service AG
Watch Stella interview here

Raschid Johnson: Shelter and 'Drip, Drape and Draft', abstraction at South London Gallery, London

Sam Gilliam, 'One Situation', 1970.
Courtesy of David Kordansky Gallery, Los Angeles, CA.
This is a great show at South London Gallery, London entitltled 'Drip, Drape and Draft'. Raschid Johnson was invited to curate the exhibition in the SLG’s first floor galleries, bringing together works by three abstract painters whose work has informed his own and with whom he has ongoing dialogues about his and their practices. The show presents works by Robert Davis, a close friend of Johnson for more than a decade; Angel Otero, who he has known for some six years; and Sam Gilliam, an older artist from what Johnson refers to as ‘an almost lost generation of black abstract painters’, with whom he recently struck up a mutually significant friendship. The show is until 25th November 2012.
See a short film on Johnson here...
Robert Davis, 'Wine No. 1 (Cabernet)', 2012.
Wine (Cabernet) on canvas sprayed with PVA, 121.9 × 91.4 cm
Angel Otero, 'Untitled', 2012.
Courtesy the artist and Lehmann Maupin Gallery, New York

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Amy Sillman

A Shape that Listens: new drawings at Campoli Presti in Paris Amy Sillman’s first solo exhibition at the gallery. The show features twenty-two new drawings along with one painting. "Sillman’s public “breakup” with abstraction might be overstated, but the paintings are convincing enough that we don’t really care." Michael Tomeo 2010.

Wall Drawing

Wall Drawing at Abstraktion by Peter Dickinson

Dripping Color Amazement

Good to see this gathering at OQBO in Berlin for Brent Hallard's 'Dripping Color Amazement'. Next time Guido a wave for the camera please. Check out Guido Winkler's new blog and his delightful 'Some Thoughts'.

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Abstraction Versus Realism in Palma

Caixa Forum Palma de Mallorca
2 October 2012 - 13 January 2013
From October 2nd Caixa Forum Palma de Mallorca opens the Viewpoints exhibition: Abstraction versus Realism that is part of a collaboration agreement between the Museum of Contemporary Art of Barcelona (MACBA) and theFoundation La Caixa.

Tensions between the abstract art and figurative art have been consistent in the twentieth century. Miradas Cruzadas draws attention to and contrasts these concepts and looks at different ways in which artists from two different historical contexts have moved closer to reality: The abstract art of the fifties and sixties and realistic art of the eighties and nineties.

Works by Antoni Tapies, Jean Dubuffet, Manolo Millares, Antonio Saura Xavier, Miserachs Palazuelo, Eduardo Chillida and Jorge Oteiza are in the exhibition.

How Abstract is Abstract

From an article on EDN ( Electronic Design Network?) 'How Abstract is Abstract' by Brian Bailey.

"It is amazing how much complexity hides behind a single word, but in the EDA world, abstraction has been defined so many ways, usually by marketing departments, that nobody really knows what terms such as behavioral and functional actually mean any more."

"The problem stems, in my opinion, from the fact that everyone wants to make abstraction a linear concept. This description is a higher-level of abstraction than this one. Functional is a higher-level of abstraction than behavioral or the other way around. Having worked in the area of defining taxonomies for abstraction for many years, it is not hard to see why this confusion existed, but it is hard to see why the EDA companies don’t stop propagating the confusion now that all of the terms and aspects of abstraction have been defined. I didn’t do all of this work myself."

"They key is to be specific when talking about abstractions and state what the abstraction is being applied to and abstract in which aspects. Perhaps then some of the confusion will go away."

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Frank Bowling interview, Tate Britain, London

Frank Bowling is one of the enigmatic post war generation of artists along with John Hoyland, who have brough back to British art the openness of Abstract Expressionism and suggested other forms and paths abstraction can take, at atime when we needed to expand ideas and processes in the 1960's. This is an interview with Tate Britain, London in 2012. To explore more see Focus: Frank Bowling.

He is giving a Talk at Tate on 12th October, 2012 at Tate Britain Auditorium.

Here is a transcript:
'In my youth I tended to look at the tragic side of human behaviour and try and reflect that in my work, but gradually as I became more involved in the making of paintings, I realised that one of the main ingredients in making paintings was colour and geometry. And I found that this was the place that I felt the most comfortable. I have been going along that track ever since.
At about the time that I left to go and live in New York, the concerns with colour deepened, and in New York I found ways of proceeding to deepen my investigations in that area. And what I found in New York made me feel that this was a place where the energy and the drive was. And then, by sheer chance, the map shapes appeared whilst I was in Hotel Chelsea so I started painting maps of South America and Guyana, and then I decided that I would do the entire flat map as a motif to work with. I just found the shapes and graphics suggested in maps very engaging.
From there I moved towards making a kind of colour field geometrical colour painting, which was before the poured painting.
New York was very much the place where it was all happening, and Pouring was just one aspect. It was spilling, dripping, rushing… It’s a process of a ground all over, the canvas tacked to the wall, the pouring and throwing and spilling and dripping takes place, then the material is allowed to settle, and once it starts drying you sort of pull it back up the wall, so that it can be completely dried out.
It all happens very much in an extempore way. You know, I mean, I don’t have any pre-planned idea about how I’m going to make a painting.
The whole thing about naming of works of my friends has always been with me. It’s kind of like keeping a diary. I’m reminded by the naming of lives spent intensely, sometimes joyously, but you know, just lived, and the naming is really to do…it was a kind of diary that when I go back I can, not so much relive the experience, but have the tremor of knowing that that experience existed.'

Friday, 7 September 2012

Interventions at Palais de Tokyo, Paris until 2013

Ulla von Brandenburg, 'Death of a King', 2012 (yes, it's an abstract skateboard ramp)
This was a great show and would be good to see such an intervention taking place in a central  London space and gallery..
Interventions at Palais de Tokyo   Date: 04.20.2012 - 03.31.2013

Windows, staircases, walls main agora, domes, long corridors, signage, are invested by artists and made ​​visible from the exterior of the building, activity, inspiring presence, intensity of interventions major artists . These commands are repeated every 12 to 18 months. they are the subject of consultations with various groups around the Palace: Association of Friends, members of the Tokyo Art Club, etc.., who can choose from presets offered by the curatorial team and participate in the financial effort required for these interventions.
Maria Loboda, 'Wall Drawing', arsenic, cyanide, mercury, lead, 2009-10

Julien Bastard, 'Steller Cave', 2012
Vincent Ganivet, 'Round Smoke' 2012 

Ron Ehrlich, 'White Light' at Stephen Haller Gallery, New York

The Stephen Haller Gallery presents an exhibition of dynamic new paintings by Ron Ehrlich: White Light. Described by art critic Dominique Nahas as “startling in their boldness and directness and surprising in their infinite subtleties,” Ehrlich’s paintings reveal a rare level of skill and a complex methodology.

Even though his work is a bit old school, macho Abstract Expressionism, Ehrlich tackles his paintings with a contrasting muscularity and intellectual vigor. His provocative and intense personality is evident in the vitality of this new body of work.

Best known as a pyrotechnical colourist wielding a blowtorch among other techniques, Ehrlich sees this new series of paintings as a natural evolution. He says he has always wanted to create a metaphor for freedom, and this series is an attempt to get rid of more constraints – to “blow off the edges of the work.”

This new series is a focused exploration of the use of white in his palette and a new sense of color relationships. Ehrlich says he is exploring the light that comes off a white painting in contrast to the light of a dark painting as in the dark backgrounds of a Rembrandt painting for example.
Ron Ehrlich, Lace 2011
Oil, mixed media on panel
70 x 80 inches
# RE11-066


Anne Commet at Galerie Du Crous de Paris, St.Germaine, Paris

Anne Commet, Ties VI and VII
195x130 and 73x60,Oil on painting, 2012
Came across the paintings of the French artist, Anne Commet, who has a new show of paintings at Galerie Du Crous de Paris, (the Gallery Crous Paris 11, rue des Beaux-Arts, 75006, Paris) from 27th September 2012. These new works that have a lightness of touch show a real sensitive handling of oil paint on canvas.

'Anne Commet works on perception and allusion. If what surrounds her - the world, nature, music - is the starting point, her work is an emotional interpretation of it. Her large formats lead us into a physical experience of sensation and landscape.'
Anne Commet, I think,
2011 - 195X13, oil on canvas, 2012

25 September to 6 October 2012, Gallery CROUS Paris - solo exhibition, 11 rue des Beaux Arts, Paris VI from Monday to Saturday from 11h to 19h - Odéon, Saint-Germain-des-Prés, Mabillon. 22 September to 13 October 2012. Selection of New Realities, Out of the walls - Moulins de Villandry
and at..
Pont de Claix, 10 November to 2 December 2012, South Lyon East Fair - Exhibition Centre, 18-20 quai de Bondy , Lyon. Opening Saturday, November 10th from 16h to 21h, 27 November to 2 December 2012. Comparisons - Second Reality Group, Anne Moser - Grand Palais, Paris.

Friday, 27 July 2012

Franz West dies.

Abstraction painting from Iran: Mehran Elminia at Rosenfeld Porcini, Fitzrovia, London

Mehran Elminia 'Smoking Incense'2011, Mixed media on canvas - 200 x 180 cm
I love this work, finally we have a contemporary painter working in abstraction that has the sensitivity and energy in their brushwork that reflects artists like Joan Mitchell, with elements of Per Kirkeby. At Rosenfeld Porcini in London, we can see the new exhibition enttitled 'Revealing Harmonies' by the emerging Iranian artist Mehran Elminia. This will be the first solo UK exhibition of Elminia’s work and will include oil and mixed media works on canvas.

Elminia's work constrains the violence of Pollock, if we can really suggest it's violence, and works with a sensitivity and humility, the works are no more than 1 metre from the large canvas throughout. 'He eschews any idea of figuration; figures can appear, but the artist is oblivious until he steps back to look at the finished work. His purely emotional response to his art and the total oneness he achieves between body, brush and canvas has the capacity to create works of great emotional intensity.' I am not sure about that, but the works certainly resonates viscerally with me, which in my books means it's a successful painting..

Mehran Elminia, 'Birth', 2012, mixed media on canvas, 160 x 200 cm.
Elminia comments: 'When I am in front of the blank canvas, I make a conscious attempt to eliminate all thoughts of my past, present and future and to stand naked in the most complete sense, negating any idea of 'I', so that my brush can produce the most instinctive, natural and purest relationship between it, the paint and the canvas".

Mehran Elminia was born in Tabiz ( Iran ) in 1975. He obtained his masters in art from Rome University of Fine Arts and currently lives and works in Iran as both as an artist and a teacher. Elminia has exhibited with several galleries and art fairs in Italy including Rome International Art Fair and Milan International Art Fair along with solo exhibitions in Iran . He has further contributed to group exhibitions in Dubai and Rome and was featured in the 2010 Biennale of Contemporary Religious Art, Stauròs Museum, Italy. This will be his first solo UK exhibition.

Mehran Elminia, 'Summit' 2011, mixed media on canvas - 300 x 200 cm

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Showcase: New paintings, Alexis Harding, London

Alexis Harding, 'Crack Tip (Unraveller)' 2012 (detail)
Oil and gloss on MDF, 244 x 122 cm
Mummery + Schnelle has just held a great new exhibition of the new paintings of Alexis Harding, who is developing his ingenious explorations in painting. 'Order and control are nothing but illusions.' lieve Harding is one of Britains most interesting painters working in abstraction today. Underlying even the most structured of appearances, randomness and chance are at the helm, and it is these concepts that prevail in the workings of London-based artist. Throughout Harding’s work, structures are shown to fail, grids collapse, and hard-edged systems give way to entropy. Jumping off from Abstract Expressionism and the works remind me of Clyfford Still and Gerhard Richter.

Alexis harding 'Ray' 2012
Oil & gloss paint on aluminium
300 x 100 cm
'Since graduating from Goldsmiths in the 1990s, Harding has been exploring the fundamental properties of paint as the medium for his work. In layering a calculated grid of household gloss upon a base of oil paint, the surface is allowed to slide around the canvas, collapse and fall in upon itself, at times reaching a state of complete destruction as the work crumples to the floor.'

The studio working practice is  is the most important, in his latest exhibition at Mummery + Schnelle, Harding has traded in the dichromatic grid that dominates many of his earlier works for a spectrum of colours, but the process is still the same. While the medium he works in may be paint, the act is a very sculptural one. First laying the paint on its canvas while flat on the floor, the artist then picks the work up and moves it about his studio – intermittently tilting, turning and adjusting as the paint slides around and only after a period of time fixing into place. While there is a great deal of intervention from the artist, the results are largely dependent on chance – how the work will react and how it will fall can be highly unpredictable.

Below is earlier work from 2009:
Alexis Harding 'Bouncers' 2009, oil and gloss on MDF

Ian Davenport: Between the Lines, Art Plural Gallery, Singapore

Ian Davenport 'Puddle Painting: Black (After Le Corbusier)', 2010
Acrylic paint on stainless steel, mounted on aluminium panel, 123 x 98 cm
British artist Ian Davenport is still developing his drip techniques, allowing the works to bleed an flow together, these are the most interesting paintings I think he has done. has This inaugural solo exhibition in South-East Asia at Art Plural Gallery, which has just finished, featured his distinctive poured paintings.
 Reminiscent of Abstract Expressionism an, the former Turner Prize nominee is recognised for his intense and unconventional painting practice, working with a crescendo of colours orchestrated in rows of lines. His distinctive creative process involves the pouring of paint with an industrial syringe over the body of a working surface, allowing the line of colour to ebb and flow into saturated puddles.

As one of the most prominent contemporary of post-painterly abstraction, Ian Davenport has injected new life to the practice of painting. The artist consistently creates complex colour arrangements in vertical lines of varying widths. Borne out of rigorous experimentation, the artist attempts to creates works that explore physical and psychological relationships between the viewer and his visual culture with sensory immediacy.

In conjunction with the exhibition will be the publication of 'Ian Davenport: Between the Lines', a fully illustrated, comprehensive and definitive catalogue of the artist’s poured paintings.

Ian Davenport 'Puddle Painting: Magenta, Green, Violet, Green', 2011
Acrylic on stainless steel, 200 x 200cm (2 panels)