Tag Archives: Oil Paintings

Modern Art Monday Presents: Jackson Pollock’s Shimmering Substance

Jackson Pollock Shimmering Substance
Photo By Gail

Of all the modern artists about whom people who “don’t get” art might look at their work and say, “Oh, my kid could paint that,” American Abstract Expressionist painter Jackson Pollock is likely close to the top of that list. Above, you will see the oil on canvas work, Shimmering Substance (1946) which is located on the 4th floor of the Museum of Modern Art as part of its Permanent Collection. To me, the colors, textures and movement of this painting are just breathtaking.

While Pollock’s distinctive “Splatter” and “Drip paintings may appear to be impulsive and random, they in fact full of intention and purpose. During his lifetime, Pollock enjoyed considerable fame and notoriety and was a major artist of his generation. However, he had a volatile personality, was not the greatest husband (Pollock was married the artist Lee Krasner) and struggled with alcoholism for most of his life. Jackson Pollock died in 1956 at the age of 44 in an alcohol-related, single-car accident in which he was driving. For anyone who seeks to understated the life and art of Jackson Pollock, I highly recommend the Academy Award-winning film Pollock (2000) directed by and starring Ed Harris.

Zhang Xiaogang at Pace Gallery

Zhang Xiaogang Boy Sculpture
Painted Bronze Sculpture by Zhang Xiaogang (All Photos By Gail)

There are two things you can usually count on when attending an art opening at Pace Gallery: The art will be physically imposing in some way and the room will be absolutely packed. Such was the case last Thursday when we attended the reception for an exhibit by Chinese artist Zhang Xiaogang, who has been represented by Pace since 2007.

Zhang Xiaogang Boy in Sailor Hat

For this exhibit, Zhang fills both of Pace’s adjoining galleries with monochromatic painted bronze sculptures depicting youth of both sexes dressed in what look like school uniforms. There is also a selection of sculpted, unclothed infants seated on pedestals around the gallery, which weren’t as compelling to me as the stoic-expressioned, uniformed busts of the youth.

Zhang Xiaogang Two Busts

A press release nailed these sculpture’s unique presence, offering that the bronze busts, which range in size from six inches to over five feet tall, are “Sculpted with great clarity in a political-realist style that echoes the state-sanctioned sculptures of the Cultural Revolution.” A few of the subjects are repeated over the course of the two room exhibit, but in different sizes or colors.

Zhang Xiaogang, My Father
Zhang Xiaogang, My Father, 2012

In the smaller of the two gallery rooms, you can see four of Zhang’s large scale oil paintings, which often depict fully realized representations of the youths seen in the assorted busts. According to the exhibit press release, the paintings “continue Zhang’s inquiries into the domestic interiors to which people returned after the Cultural Revolution, and in which the artist came of age.”

Zhang Xiaogang Being Interviewed

The Artist was in attendace at the opening and can be seen in this photo being interviewed by the news media.

Geoffrey with Bust of Boy
Geoffrey and One of Zhang’s Sculptures

I enjoyed these sculptures – and the deep cultural back-story they hinted at – very much and would encourage anyone intrigued by this post to check out the show while it is still up.

Zhang Xiaogang Girl Bronze Bust

Zhang Xiaogang’s Bronze Sculptures and Paintings will be on Exhibit through April 27, 2013 at Pace Gallery, Located at 508 and 510 West 25th Street in the Chelsea Gallery District.

Nancy Margolis Gallery Presents Razzmatazz By Jackie Meier

Jackie Meier Razzmatazz
All Photos By Gail

Nancy Margolis Gallery is pleased to announce the opening of Jackie Meier’s inaugural exhibition Razzmatazz. Opulent color and dynamic line define Meier’s oil paintings. The artist transforms several of her canvases into kaleidoscopic twists of energy radiating from a center core.

Jackie Meier Razzmatazz 2

Others become puzzles of overlapping planes of color, some fractured and geometric, and some more fluid and organic. Meier paints exclusively on square canvases, which function either as single paintings or as parts of larger compositions consisting of multiple panels, as in the nine-panel painting Belgium Fence (2012, see top photo), the largest in the exhibition.

Jackie Meier Razzmatazz 3

Razzmatazz is a transformative body of work in its in scale, complexity, and exuberance, and signals the maturation of Jackie Meier’s journey, which has gathered an impressive momentum.

Jackie Meier Razzmatazz 4

Razzmatazz By Jackie Meier will be on Exhibit through May 4th, 2013, at Nancy Margolis Gallery, Located at 523 W 25th St. New York NY 10001. Gallery Hours are Tuesday – Saturday 10: 00 AM – 6:00 PM.