Liberated from its stretcher, Carousel State (1968) explores the material and chromatic possibilities of canvas, a traditional painting support. Gilliam developed his unique approach in the 1960s while working with the Washington Color School, whose compositions emphasized the flatness of the picture plane. This is an early example of the artist’s signature ‘Drape Paintings,” made through a novel process of dripping, smearing, staining, and splashing paint onto raw canvas.
Colors often spread and merged as Gilliam pressed and folded the fabric. He has described this as a kind of equilibrium: “This liquidity of the colors is reinforced by the fluidity of the canvas.” The final step in the creation of Carousel State is its installation, suspended and extending into space.
Photographed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.
Felt works by Robert Morris, including this piece entitled Pink Felt (1970) embody his notion of Anti-Form. Instead of executing a predetermined design, Morris allowed the final outcome of a sculpture to be determined as much by his simple actions (cutting and draping the material) as by gravity and chance.
Pink Felt, Detail
A departure from earlier, unitary geometric forms of the Minimalist sculptures that the created in the 19603, Morris’s felt works, including Pink Felt, foreground the physical qualities of his materials and the artist’s physical process.
“Disengagement with preconceived enduring forms and orders for things is a positive assertion,” the artist writes in his 1968 essay, Anti Form. “It is part of the work’s refusal to continue estheticizing form by dealing with it as a prescribed end.”
Ilona Keserü belongs to a generation of Hungarian artists that emerged in the wake of the Revolution of 1956, which had resulted in restrictions on officially acceptable art and suspicion of avant-garde art produced in Western styles — particularly abstraction. Keserü and other Hungarian artists flourished in abstract modes, despite this marginalization. A vibrant unframed tapestry, Wall-Hanging with Tombstone Forms (1969) exemplifies her desire to merge modern abstraction with references to Hungarian folk culture, making something with local resonance out of an otherwise international vocabulary of hard-edge painting. The undulating, toothlike motif recurring throughout the composition relates to artists study of gravestones at the Balatonudvari Cemetery, southwest of Budapest.
Photographed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.
Photos By Gail, Taken at Porter Contemporary Gallery in Brooklyn
Mocomoco (もこもこ) is a Japanese word that refers to a soft or puffy surface and the comforting feelings that one might get from holding a toy stuffed animal, or being wrapped up in a down coat. Fabric is my medium of choice because people everywhere can relate more easily to this material, which conveys warmth, natural softness and the intimate human touch. The act of wrapping is central to my sculptures.
My sculptures are created from balls that are individually wrapped with fabric and bounded together to make up an entire whole. Each ball represents the inner state of mankind. The gesture of wrapping each round ball, is an act of transformation that converts pain, sadness and despair into positive energy, such as love or a prayer for comfort.<
My work conveys a sense of happiness and celebrates the human spirit.
Four Triangles and Pleather Form #1 By Susan Stainman (All Photos By Gail)
With her compelling use of bright, fluorescent colors and her mix of both hard (steel, plexiglass) and soft (fabric, felt, pleather, elastic) materials, artist Susan Stainman creates minimalist sculptures that maintain an original feel while hinting at other influences. In her new exhibit, Color All The Way Through at A.I.R. Gallery in Brooklyn, Stainman reveals her work’s roots in late 20th Century American Art, Craft and Architecture along with her fondness for childlike creative impulses. It’s a fun show.
Existing in the realm that merges contemporary art with design (any of Stainman’s works would look great placed among the furnishings in a modern decor-filled home), pieces like Three Triangles, with its bright, reflective, angular surfaces recall the neon and glass works of Keith Sonnier.
Four Triangles, Alternate View
Stainman’s incorporation of sewn fabric may or may not be an homage to Louise Bourgeois, but it’s pleasing to imagine that reference, intentional or otherwise. Her desire to explore the texture and tactility of fabrics is certainly exciting.
Blue & Pink Barrel, Side View
Circular Plexiglass Group #2
This cluster of ruched fabric “bowls” fitted with bright plexiglass windows is a centerpiece of the A.I.R. show and reminded me very much of the sculptures of Charles Clary from his show at Nancy Margolis in January of this year.
Circular Plexiglass Group #2, Close Up
Pleather Form #2
Susan Stainman has participated in nearly a dozen group shows but Color All The Way Through is her first solo exhibit. It is worth the trip to DUMBO to check it out. Visit Susan’s website at This Link.
Susan Stainman’s Color All The Way Through will be on Exhibit Through June 22nd, 2014 at A.I.R. Gallery, 111 Front Street #228, DUMBO, Brooklyn.