Tag Archive | Pour Paintings

Modern Art Monday Presents: Helen Frankenthaler, Orange Mood

Helen Frankenthaler Orange Mood
Photos By Gail

In Orange Mood (1966), Helen Frankenthaler (19282011) thinned acrylic paint to the consistency of watercolor in order to create larger, curving expanses of color through which the weave of the canvas remains visible. Like Jackson Pollack, she placed her canvas directly on the floor and poured paint from above, largely without the aid of a brush. Frankenthaler used color as her painterly language, but she never entirely abandoned representation. Although the references can be subtle, her paintings consistently evoke nature. The undulating forms in Orange Mood relate to a simplified landscape, with zones of color recalling different emotional states. Hue and shape convey place and feeling. “I think of my pictures as explosive landscapes, worlds and distances, held on a flat surface,” Frankenthaler once stated.

Helen Frankenthaler Orange Mood
Installation View

Photographed as Part of The Exhibit Spilling Over: Painting Color in the 1960s, On View Through August 2019 at the Whitney Museum in NYC.

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Holton Rower’s Psquirmour at The Hole

Pour Painting
All Photos By Gail

One of our favorite artists that we’ve discovered at The Hole Gallery is Holton Rower, whose vibrant and visually captivating pour paintings can currently be seen at the gallery in a fun show entitled Psquirmour. For this exhibit, The Hole constructed a mini gallery within the gallery’s back room, where the exterior walls showcase a group of six new Pour Paintings, and the interior space highlights a new body of work called Squirms, which are controlled pours on a wood panel, presented more like traditional paintings in a rectilinear format.

Installation View

Pour Painting

The new Pour Paintings presented here have a undersea feeling to them; whether through their frequent blue and aqua hues, their rings of thick opalescent paint reminiscent of seashells, or their mollusk-like asymmetrical forms. The Aegean-blue carpeting of the gallery and lowered ceiling augment these underwater similarities.

Pour Painting with Shelf

The Pour Painting above is slightly different to the others in the show, in that is has a shelf-like piece attached  at the bottom (see detail photo below).

Pour Shelf Detail

Pour Painting

We had a chance to meet and chat with Holton at the opening reception and he offered that these new Pours are not as large as ones exhibited in his Previous 2013 Show at The Hole. But they looked pretty big to me! All of the artwork is created Holton’s downtown NYC studio.

Squirm

Rower’s Squirm paintings feature thin, controlled pours that have a moving point of origin. Unlike the Pour Paintings, where all pigment is poured in the center of a plywood ground and the shape is dictated by the shape of the wood and the viscosity of the paint, these works are poured in a moving line, making a worm-like shape as the radiant color puddles bend around the plywood and overlap.

Squirm

The morphing pour, contained on all sides by the plywood square, is less about chance and gravity and more of a determined composition, a line drawing if the line were a shifting pool of color. Through careful selection of color, paint type and position, these paintings are both very technical and very playful; like all of Holton’s output you get the sense of the artist as a mad inventor, making materials do new things and having a great time in the process.

Squirm

Psquirmour takes place in the back gallery room in tandem with the Not a Painting Group Show, so be sure to check that out as well while you are there.

Psquirmour by Holton Rower will be on exhibit through  July 26th, 2015 at The Hole, Located at 312 Bowery at Bleecker Street in NYC.

Pour Painting

Holton Rower, Too Many Ideas at The Hole

The Hole Gallery View
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.

Pour Painting Chairs

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.

Pour Painting on the Floor

A Pour Painting hides behind a set of chairs, created by the same paint-layering methods.

Crumpled Pour Painting on the Floor

Here, a folded Pour Painting collapses on the ground under a work bench.

Pour Painting Bust

It looks like he had fun creating these colorful and primitive looking Busts.

Pour Painting Bust 2

Instrument Mutes

Rower also experiments with groups and collections of similar objects. Above, a collection of Instrument Mutes gather without comment on a work surface.

Miniature Tea Set

This miniature China Tea Set sits atop a found-object sculpture, which can be seen center gallery in the top photo.

Scissors Cluster

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.

Whistles Cluster

Origami Money Shawl

There are at least four works that involve folded paper money (can we call it origami?) including this lovely Shawl.

Origami Money 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.

Kelsey Brooks: Better Living Through Chemistry at Judith Charles Gallery

Kelsey Brooks Group of Four
All Photos By Gail

On Saturday night, Geoffrey and I made an unplanned pit stop into the Judith Charles Gallery, having been attracted in from the sidewalk, to view an eye catching exhibit from San Diego based artist Kelsey Brookes. Entitled Better Living Through Chemistry, this show features a large body of work and is Brookes‘ first solo exhibition in New York.

Kelsey Brooks Wall

Brookes’ appealing visual style derives from his background in molecular biology, which, of course, explains why these round canvases look like acid trip influenced interpretations of human brain scans. According to the press release, “Brookes has taken his knowledge of scientific images and expanded them into extremely intricate paintings that explore the mutability of human consciousness. His painstaking process involves the painting of hundreds of concentric shapes that are both psychedelic and grounded in empiricism.” This exhibit reminded me a bit of Holton Rower’s equally colorful Pour Paintings show at The Hole from last year.

Kelsey Brooks Pink

Kelsey Brooks Multi Colored

The many round canvases vary in size from 12-inches in diameter up to a size that nearly fills an entire wall. While they are very similar, each one is uniquely different from the next.

Kelsey Brooks Large Yellow
This One Covers nearly an Entire Wall

There are also a selection of large rectangular canvases with designs that are very similar to a sky full of exploding fireworks. I am not sure how much longer this show will be up, but you should definitely check it out if you are in the neighborhood.

Kelsey Brooks B&W Fireworks

Kelsey Brooks Pink Fireworks

Needless to say, but you can see I am about to, Brookes’ paintings create a very psychedelic personal viewing experience, especially to those who are, or have ever been, as Jimi Hendrix so precisely put it, “Experienced.”

Kelsey Brooks Multi-Colored Fireworks

Kelsey Brookes Better Living Through Chemistry is on Exhibit through January 2014 (I’m guessing this means through the end of the month though no specifc date is listed on the Gallery website), at the Judith Charles Gallery (formerly Charles Bank Gallery), Located at 196 Bowery (at Spring street), New York, NY 10012. Hours are Wednesday to Friday 11:00 AM – 6:00 PM and Weekends 12 Noon – 6:00 PM.

Kelsey Brooks Exhibit Signage

Holton Rower’s Pour Paintings & Focus Paintings at The Hole

Holton Rower Pour Painting 1
All Photos By Gail

The Hole Gallery on Bowery is the place to go right now to see two great exhibits under one roof. In tandem with the abstract group exhibit, Xtraction, the gallery is hosting two diverse bodies of work by painter Holton Rower that are equally impressive. Rower’s Pour Paintings, which resemble huge, abstract psychedelic targets as well as the concentric rings that appear in a bisected tree trunk, take their name from the artist’s process of pouring hand-made acrylic paints over a wood “canvas.”

Holton Rower Pour Painting Close Up

In this photo above you can see the edge detail of where the paint drips over and extends beyond the boundaries of the canvas.

Holton Rower Pour Paintings 2

The process of creating pour paintings is probably most identified with Lynda Benglis, but while the process is similar, Rower’s paintings are truly unique and have a wildly organic feel.

Holton Rower Pour Paintings 3
Holton Rower Pour Paintings 3 Close Up

Detail from Painting in Photo Above

Holton Rower’s Pour Paintings are unbelievably gorgeous and these photos can’t accurately capture their color and vibrant energy.

Holton Rower Focus Paintings Wall

In the same gallery, Rower introduces a new body of work he calls Focus Paintings that, hilariously, are created to deliberately appear out of focus. What makes these muted yet colorful paintings even more fun to ponder is the fact that the artist refuses to divulge the process through which he creates them.

Holton Rower Focus Painting

This one reminds me of an abstract representation of a photo of a galaxy. Really beautiful.

Pour Paintings: Focus Paintings By Holton Rower will be on Exhibit through June 20th, 2013 at The Hole, Located at 312 Bowery (at 2nd Street), NYC. Visit The Hole NYC for Gallery Hours and More Information.