Paul Feeley (1910 – 1966) has often been associated with Color Field painters, but his most recognized works, largely made between 1962 and 1965, stand apart from those of his peers for their economy of color and spare compositions. Formal Haut (1965), produced the year before Feeley’s death, features his signature forms, namely a single jack (inspired by the game of jacks) and repeated baluster shapes. Their convex and concave contours interlock in a symmetrical arrangement, centered within the square frame. The simple geometric design is highlighted by an equally uncomplicated palette, limited to just two contrasting colors on unprimed canvas.
Photographed as Part of the Exhibit, The Fullness of Color: 1960s Painting, On Through August 2nd, 2020 at the Guggenheim Museum in Manhattan.
303 Gallery is currently hosting an exhibition of new works by Mary Heilmann, whose work you might remember from This Post.
On view are an arrangement of paintings on canvas and handmade paper, glazed ceramics, and a group of her distinctive furniture sculptures.
Cups on a Table
Wryly poking around the history of abstract painting, Heilmann’s imaginative approach to the geometries of spaces, things and thoughts has made her one of the foremost painters of her generation. Adopting waves and roads as inspiration for many of the works in this show, her deft perceptive logics suggest simultaneously intimate and expansive experiences.
Highway My Way
In Heilmann’s paintings, waves and roads each generate their own sources of life. They move and travel and interlock. Positive and negative space inhabit alternating roles, as colors riff on memory in vibrant undulations as well as protracted expanses. Heilmann’s geometrics abut forms and steer the eye backward between them and seemingly through them.
In San Andreas (2012), a glowing red core pokes through chunks of earthy green glazed ceramic, its tactile surface bubbling with tension. In The Geometry of a Wave, a tiny painting on paper suggests an entire universe in two colors. Pigment pools in the paper’s irregular crevices, as a wave’s fragile surface is rendered with a penetrating directness.
In his memoir Barbarian Days, William Finnegan writes of the hallucinatory power of surfing, “It was as if we were suspended above the reef, floating on a cushion of nothing . . . Approaching waves were like optical illusions.” Heilmann’s own waves begin to depict a similar imagery with their synchronic positives and negatives. What seems like a simple gestural game drifts into the essential, into an intuitive understanding of a form’s resonance and a furtive ability to shape it.
Heilmann’s Sunny Chaise #10 and #4 shown at the Exhibit Opening Reception
To that end, Heilmann’s installation of her signature chairs encourages viewers to sit, linger and engage in dialogue with the paintings, with each other, and with themselves. To sit and watch the waves, to hit the road.
Left and Right
The edges of the paintings point at each other; one can imagine the air between them as tactile. If a painting has its own language, why not try to speak with it?
Mary Heilmann’s Geometrics: Waves, Roads, etc. will be on Exhibit Through December 19th, 2015 at 303 Gallery, Located at 507 W 24th Street, in the Chelsea Gallery District.
If you dig Abstract and Colorfield paintings, then you are going to love Flag Art Foundation’s current group show, Surface Tension. This dynamic group show focuses on a selection of contemporary artists whose approach to abstraction incorporates a range of materials, processes, and techniques — such as sanding, stitching, dying, and layering — to draw attention to the dynamic potential of a painting’s surface. Artists include:
El Anatsui, Mark Bradford, Kadar Brock, Cecily Brown, Sarah Crowner, Sam Gilliam, Sterling Ruby, Sean Scully, Ryan Sullivan, Lesley Vance, Rebecca Ward, and Garth Weiser.
Inspired by Los Angeles gang culture and the use graffiti as a means of ‘tagging’ territories, Sterling Ruby’s mark-making presents a timely alternative to classic painterly techniques. Ruby’s atmospheric spray painting SP301, 2014 (top photo), organizes the canvas in bands of pink, acid green, and black, varying in shading and intensity as a product of using readily available aerosol paints.
The materiality of canvas plays a central role in Sarah Crowner’s Untitled (Leaves), 2015, a diptych of sewn, painted panels that plays with repetition of color and form.
Kadar Brock’s deredemirtdxii, 2015, was constructed, or more accurately worn down, through a labor-intensive (and often repeated) process of underpainting, priming, and power-sanding, producing a work whose tattered and marbled composition serves as evidence to its making.
In addition to the lovely artworks, Flag also has a spectacular scenic patio from which you can see the sunset over New Jersey, and watch ships come in to port. Nice.
Surface Tension will be on Exhibit Through December 12th, 2015, at FLAG Art Foundation, Located at West 545 25th Street, 9th Floor, in the Chelsea Gallery District.
Mary Weatherford, Coney Island II (All Photos By Gail)
Well, the Matisse exhibit may now be only a memory, and Sturtevant’s Double Trouble only runs for 10 more days, but there’s still a fantastic contemporary painting exhibit at MOMA that you can see into April! Joy!
Dianna Molzen, Untitled
The Forever Now presents the work of 17 artists whose paintings reflect a singular approach that characterizes our cultural moment at the beginning of this new millennium: they refuse to allow us to define or even meter our time by them.
Matt Connors, Telescope
This phenomenon in culture was first identified by the science fiction writer William Gibson, who used the term “a-temporality” to describe a cultural product of our moment that paradoxically doesn’t represent, through style, through content, or through medium, the time from which it comes. A-temporality, or timelessness, manifests itself in painting as an historical free-for-all, where contemporaneity as an indicator of new form is nowhere to be found, and all eras coexist.
Charline von Heyl, Carlotta
A profligate mixing of past styles and genres can be identified as a kind of hallmark for our moment in painting, with artists achieving it by reanimating historical styles or recreating a contemporary version of them, sampling motifs from across the timeline of 20th-century art in a single painting or across an oeuvre, or radically paring their language down to the most archetypal forms.
Michael Williams, Does it Hurt to be Crazy
The artists in this exhibition represent a wide variety of styles and impulses, but all use the painted surface as a platform, map, or metaphoric screen on which genres intermingle, morph, and collide. Their work represents traditional painting, in the sense that each artist engages with painting’s traditions, testing and ultimately reshaping historical strategies like appropriation and bricolage and reframing more metaphysical, high-stakes questions surrounding notions of originality, subjectivity, and spiritual transcendence.
Mary Weatherford, North Chester Avenue
The Forever Now exhibition includes works by Richard Aldrich, Joe Bradley, Kerstin Brätsch, Matt Connors, Michaela Eichwald, Nicole Eisenman, Mark Grotjahn, Charline von Heyl, Rashid Johnson, Julie Mehretu, Dianna Molzan, Oscar Murillo, Laura Owens, Amy Sillman, Josh Smith, Mary Weatherford, and Michael Williams.
Matt Connors, Variable Foot
The Forever Now: Contemporary Painting in an Atemporal World will be on Exhibit Through April 5th, 2015 at The Museum of Modern Art, Located at 11 West 53rd Street (Between Fifth and Sixth Avenues) in NYC.
Slow Swirl at the Edge of the Sea pictures two creatures dancing between sea and sky, surrounded by arabesques, spirals, and stripes. The forms “have no direct association with any particular visible experience, but in them one recognizes the principle and passion of organisms,” Rothko said. For him art was “an adventure into an unknown world”; like the Surrealists before him, Rothko looked inward, to his own unconscious mind, for inspiration and material for his work.
Mark Rothko applied the paint in transparent layers — a practice he retained when he abandoned representational images and began to develop his large–scale color field paintings a few years later.