24.6.15

ALISON HALL at Steven Harvey


Alison Hall, Brooklyn Nocturne XII, Ghazal, 2015, 9 1/2 x 7 1/2 in., oil, graphite, and venetian plaster on panel

In her first solo show in New York, Alison Hall is presenting a group of exquisite small paintings at Steven Harvey Fine Art Projects (through July 31, 2015). The exhibition, aptly titled East of Blue, reveals Hall's deep connection to the history of painting -- the materials, processes, systems, and iconography, as well as the ritualized labor of traditional practice. While it might not be obvious to the viewer that each small panel is painstakingly built of many layers of sanded Venetian plaster, what is obvious is the utter sensuality of the resulting surface, and the delicacy and depth of the oil color ground. On top of, or into that ground, Hall uses graphite hash marks and lines to create intricate rhythmic patterns that are at once translucent, physical, and constantly shifting with the viewer's position. Within the obsessive system of each piece always occurs some beautifully unexpected irregularity that nudges the work to take a breath. 

Visually, this work has obvious relations to 13th century Italian frescos, and of course equally, to contemporary geometric abstraction. But it is in the expansive realm of metaphor that the visuality is operating here. Hall is tapping into the ultimate potency of the poetic object. Much more ancient than Giotto, it is a primal impulse that creates visual embodiments of our most fundamental perceptions - inexplicably transforming the ordinariness of the world into magic.

Alison Hall, Sally, 2015, 13 3/4 x 11in., oil, graphite, and venetian plaster on panel

Alison Hall, Relics, 2015, 27 1/2 x 22 in., oil, graphite, and venetian plaster on panel

Alison Hall, Brooklyn Nocturne XIV, My Three Eyes, 2015, 9 1/2 x 7 1/2 in., oil, graphite, and venetian plaster 
on panel

All images courtesy of Steven Harvey Fine Art Projects

9.6.15

DON VOISINE at McKenzie

Don Voisine, Narrows, 2015, 40 x 60 inches, oil on wood panel 

One more week to see an exhibition of new paintings by Don Voisine at McKenzie Fine Art (through June 14, 2015). For many years Voisine has worked with variations on his trademark configuration, originally evolved from architectural structures and floor plans. It is comprised of a complex set of vectors, angles, shapes and surfaces, with a central black area that is contained and activated by thin brightly colored perimeter bands. The black of the central area consists of matte and glossy contrasts that create shifting planes when viewed from different vantage points (and make the paintings virtually impossible to photograph). 

For this exhibition, Voisine has expanded his vocabulary to feature a few new elements that perhaps lighten the "gravity" of his previous work, and really offer an alternative relationship to the viewer, giving the show as a whole a more lively cadence. Many of the new pieces substitute intense Cad Red or sometimes shifting whites for the central black area, which causes a dramatic change in the space and presence of the painting. Whereas the black area seems to absorb the surrounding space, pulling the viewer into a deep slow vortex bordered by flickering color; the paintings that feature a red center emanate outward into the space, pulsating and expanding. As do the white paintings, although in a softer, more subtle voice. So as we move through the exhibition, we have a constantly changing relationship to the paintings from one to the next.

Another subtle change in this new work is the introduction of small areas of rubbed out color, where we see through the frontal paint film to the surface of the substrate. This small element is an opening that allows a soft breath to enter the rigor of Voisine's geometry. It is emblematic of the whole show, as the artist explores a broader sensuality within the sharp focus of his vision.


Don Voisine, Staple, 2015, 24 x 24 inches, oil on wood panel


Don Voisine, Porter, 2015, 9 x 9 inches, oil on wood panel


Don Voisine, Grey Line, 2015, 22 x 22 inches, oil on wood panel


Don Voisine, Duane, 2015, 16 x 12 inches, oil on wood panel


Don Voisine, Fold, 2015, 32 x 32 inches, oil on wood panel

All images from the gallery website.

14.5.15

SUZANNE CAPORAEL at Ameringer/McEnery/Yohe

 Suzanne Caporael, 688 (Proximate cause), 2014, 54 x 72 inches, oil on linen

The Landscape is the title of an exhibition of new paintings by Suzanne Caporael at Ameringer/McEnery/Yohe through May 23, 2015. It is a theme that Caporael has employed for a long time, but perhaps never before so overtly as to make it the title of her show. Unlike the majority of her paintings in recent years, the new works "read" immediately as landscapes, rather than as abstract paintings distilled from fleeting observations. That is not to imply that they have lost any of their poetic potency. The artist's focus is exquisite, her images reduced to the simplicity of a diagram, or to quietly receding color fragments on the plane. Her surfaces, as always, have the smoothness of flesh with edges at once soft and true. Her color, cool, hazy and dreamlike, somehow evokes late Alain Resnais. These works transcend their vernacular theme, transforming their modest subjects into visual investigations of memory, sensation, and the vistas of imagination.  

 Suzanne Caporael, 689 (Coharie sow farm, N.C.), 2014, 48 x 66 inches, oil on linen


 Suzanne Caporael, 689 (Coharie sow farm, N.C.), detail


 Suzanne Caporael, 700 (The pastoral exultation of Richard Prince), 2014, 48 x 66 inches, oil on linen


 Suzanne Caporael, 691 (Study for a de-populated Darger), 2014, 30 x 20 inches, oil on linen


 Suzanne Caporael, 696 (Glimpse, Valley Farm Rd.), 2014, 36 x 48 inches, oil on linen


 Suzanne Caporael, 696 (Glimpse, Valley Farm Rd.), detail


Suzanne Caporael, 702 (Ride along; Wing Rd.), 2014, 60 x 90 inches, oil on linen

11.5.15

LAURA DUERWALD at Marywood University

Laura Duerwald, Template #3, 2015, 60 x 42 inches, mixed media on linen

Laura Duerwald, Template #3, detail

Full disclosure, I have a close personal connection to the artist. But I want everyone who visits this blog to see the paintings of Laura Duerwald, on view through June 5, 2015, at the Mahady Gallery, Marywood University. This is a stunning show to which these images do not do justice.

Laura Duerwald, Telemark X, 2015, 30 x 24 inches, mixed media on canvas


Laura Duerwald, Telemark II, 2014, 30 x 24 inches, mixed media on canvas


Laura Duerwald, Aperture 1, 2015, 10 x 7 inches, mixed media on canvas


 Laura Duerwald, Installation, Mahady Gallery, Marywood University


 Laura Duerwald, Installation, Mahady Gallery, Marywood University


Laura Duerwald, Installation, Mahady Gallery, Marywood University

21.4.15

JULIAN HATTON at Elizabeth Harris

 Julian Hatton,Warbler, 2014-15, 60 x 60 inches, oil on canvas


Julian Hatton is presenting an exhibition of lively new paintings at Elizabeth Harris Gallery through May 9, 2015. Working with aspects of observed landscape as his starting point, Hatton builds abstract compositions comprised of many layers of shapes and spaces -- beautiful contrasts of linear and planar dynamics laid out in juicy scumbled color. The paintings evolve and intensify through constant shifts and revisions, ultimately coalescing to a state of ecstatic presence -- a place of deep painterly integration. These works participate in a great tradition of abstraction that began with Kandinsky, and have affinities with Bonnard, De Niro Sr, Per Kirkeby, and Hatton's generational colleague Amy Sillman. They breathe with a joyous love of the medium, and easily pull us into their world of utter sensuality.

Julian Hatton, Sandwich, 2014-15, 34 x 38 inches, oil on canvas


 Julian Hatton, Trouble, 2015, 60 x 60 inches, oil on canvas


 Julian Hatton, Scrim, 2015, 60 x 60 inches, oil on canvas


 Julian Hatton, Mystic, 2014-15, 60 x 60 inches, oil on canvas


 Julian Hatton, Bramble, 2012, 24 x 24 inches, oil on canvas on panel


Julian Hatton, Trio, 2012-13, 24 x 24 inches, oil on canvas on panel

19.4.15

New Work at Gremillion & Co Fine Art

Steven Alexander: Manifest at Gremillion & Co Fine Art, Houston, through May 9, 2015









31.3.15

CLARE GRILL at Zieher Smith & Horton

 Clare Grill, Grain, 2015, 54 x 46 inches, oil on linen

I think anyone who loves painting will be excited to see the exhibition of new paintings by Clare Grill at Zieher Smith & Horton through April 25, 2015. These paintings dive head first into the history of great painting -- the all-over space of Pollock, the shape-making of Gorky and Kandinsky, the playfulness of Klee -- and emerge looking utterly fresh, direct and personal. Grill's touch is completely tuned in to the nuances of the paint and the linen, creating fields of marks and shapes that accumulate to a state of utmost sensuality (that must be seen in person). Her color tends toward the dusty and muted, exploring close-valued contrasts that shimmer, with occasional shots of bright hues or black or white. With these works, Grill has found a zone, an intimate space and a beautifully poetic vocabulary. The paintings seem to have sprouted, fully formed from her hand.


Clare Grill, Grain (detail)


 Clare Grill, Crown, 2015, 63 x 50 inches, oil on linen


Clare Grill, Glass, 2015, 63 x 50 inches, oil on linen 


Clare Grill, Peacock, 2015, 63 x 50 inches, oil on linen 


 Clare Grill, Dent, 2015, 53 x 46 inches, oil on linen


Clare Grill, Dent, 2015, 53 x 46 inches, oil on linen


Clare Grill, Copper, 2015, 63 x 50 inches, oil on linen


Clare Grill, Copper (detail)