By the 1970s, Roy Lichtenstein’s comic-strip style of painting had become his trademark. While he had adapted his early compositions from actual comic books, here Lichtenstein referred to an art historical rather than a pop culture source: Henri Matisse’s Red Studio (1911, in the collection of MoMA), which features Matisse’s canvases casually set around a room. Into the flattened studio space of Artists Studio Foot Medication (1974), Lichtenstein similarly inserted whole of partial versions of his own real and imagined artworks across a range of subject matter, including geometric abstraction. This painting’s title calls out the 1962 print Foot Medication, reimagined as a monumental painting at the upper left. This kind of self-quotation, at once playful and thoughtful, would become anther feature of Lichtenstein’s production.
A Room Full of Ideas (All Photos By Gail, Click on Any Image to Enlarge for Detail)
If you’re intrigued by the idea of visiting an artist’s studio, where you could not only see finished works but also get a peek inside his head to discover what concepts he’s experimenting with, then I suggest you visit The Hole to check out Holton Rower’s new exhibit, Too Many Ideas.
Fans of this blog may recall reading about Rower’s art when we previously reviewed his exhibit of Pour Paintings and Focus Paintings, examples of which are scattered throughout the gallery for the Too Many Ideas show. The process through which Rower creates the Pour Paintings – which are really quite gorgeous – is also adapted for use with various kinds of sculptures including functional furniture.
A Pour Painting hides behind a set of chairs, created by the same paint-layering methods.
Here, a folded Pour Painting collapses on the ground under a work bench.
It looks like he had fun creating these colorful and primitive looking Busts.
Rower also experiments with groups and collections of similar objects. Above, a collection of Instrument Mutes gather without comment on a work surface.
This miniature China Tea Set sits atop a found-object sculpture, which can be seen center gallery in the top photo.
He could be creating a series of hanging, grouped objects with this precarious Scissors Sculpture, which is joined in the show by a cluster of hanging whistles and also bike lock chains.
There are at least four works that involve folded paper money (can we call it origami?) including this lovely Shawl.
Detail from Origami Money Shawl
Not everything works, but I enjoyed the “group show” feel and the excitement of continuous discovery as I walked around the gallery taking in all of the different pieces. It will be fun to see which ideas he chooses to develop for future shows and which are abandoned.
Too Many Ideas By Holton Rower will be on Exhibit through May 4th, 2014 at The Hole, Located at 312 Bowery (at 2nd Street), NYC. Visit The Hole NYC for Gallery Hours and More Information.