Tag Archives: abstract

Modern Art Monday Presents: Untitled (Snag) By Cy Gavin

untitled snag by cy gavin photo by gail worley
Photo By Gail

Cy Gavin’s recent paintings, such as Untitled (Snag) from 2022,  conjure landscapes and the natural world. His imagery frequently starts from his observations of his immediate surroundings, but his selections also carry metaphorical weight. Recent paintings have depicted cosmic phenomena, a failing human-made dam patched by beavers, native and invasive flora, and a forest’s regrowth in the wake of earth disturbances such as construction activities.

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Modern Art Monday Presents: Sonja Sekula, The Town of The Poor

the town of the poor photo by gail worley
Photo By Gail

The ghostly scaffolding, swooping calligraphic lines, and blue and yellow washes of The Town Of The Poor (1951) most likely depict the view from Sonya Sekula’s downtown New York studio, which she shared with composer John Cage and choreographer Merce Cunningham. “Looking outside my window,” wrote this Swiss painter in poet, an immigrant to the United States, “I think of all the contemporary American poets and artists who represent their outlook on this strange country and I find myself beginning to realize that I saw in one of them. I should begin to speak of … a future that we begin to feel underneath the current of war and strife and uncertainty.”

Photographed in the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.

Modern Art Monday Presents: Jack Goldstein, Untitled

jack goldstein untitled photo by gail worley
Photos By Gail

Jack Goldstein (19452003)’s career encompassed film, performance, sound, painting, and writing. Associated with the pictures generation, a group of artists whose works are rooted in appropriation and media theory of the late 1970s and ’80s, Goldstein painted from found images such as World War II photographs, and stills of astrological and natural phenomena.

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Modern Art Monday Presents: Alma W. Thomas, Wind Sunshine and Flowers

wind sunshine and flowers photo by gail worley
Photo By Gail

Alma W. Thomas derived her vibrant color palette and lyrical brush work from the shapes and movement of foliage, flowers, and other natural forms. The stripes of bright pigment in Wind, Sunshine and Flowers (1968) create an engrossing effect that recalls feelings of awe inspired by nature

For Thomas, the visual realm of natural phenomena offered a way to transcend the racial biases she experienced as a black painter and educator in the early to mid -20th century. In 1972 she wrote, “man’s highest aspirations come from nature. A world without color would seem dead. Color is life. Light is the mother of color. Light reveals to us the spirit and the living soul of the world through colors.”

Photographed in The Brooklyn Museum.

 

Modern Art Monday Presents: Cecily Brown, Fair of Face, Full of Woe

fair of face full of woe photo by gail worley
Photo By Gail

This small-scale triptych demonstrates Cecily Brown’s characteristic use of highly expressionistic and densely layered brushstrokes that tend to blur distinctions between the representational and the abstract. Initially the painting appears devoid of recognizable subject matter, yet closer inspection reveals hints of bodily fragments entangled among lushly-rendered landscapes. There is a shared materiality between flesh and paint, which Brown suggestively exploits for both optic and erotic charge. Like the title, Fair of Face, Full of Woe (2008), which references an English fortunetelling nursery rhyme, the painting exists in constant flux, it’s visual fate determined by each new viewer.

Photographed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in Manhattan.