Saturday, October 08, 2016

Karen Barth Archive: The Late Work at 508 W 26th St., 9F - through 10/22 (T-S 10-6)

Exhibition Announcement for the late and great Karen Barth. Her website is here; Barth Website
I first met Barth in a reading group in the late 1990s. She was immediately engaging: smart, verbal, and passionate about painting. We visited each others' studios. Later, when I began teaching in Florida, she strongly supported my forays into pouring and landscape references. I still have those emails. She was a vivid presence, a true painter and painting advocate. In the last months of her life she retained enormous energy and joy, evidenced by the work produced in this exhibition.
Karen's recent works were made as small templates then printed and manipulated on  the scale she normally worked. These works represent a departure in her technique, using the striations from a pulled surface to organize the space much like the defining texture strokes in Chinese landscapes do.
The landscape reference can be overt, but Barth was  equally interested in photography and digital technology's ability to mediate nature. She saw nature through both lenses.

Karen wrote, "For me, a painting is complete when it suggests a kind of mystery that exists in a realm between sensation and thought." According to the press release, her practice is "inspired by the possibility of making a painting that is abstract and self-contained, while simultaneously suggesting a relationship to nature--a painting that is unfixed, evoking changing conditions of form, light, color and atmosphere."
These works are so painterly, ( I've known Barth's work since the 1990)s, that I could not tell they are digital prints. It made me laugh--she tricked us!

The exhibition was curated by Kelly Worman. 

The paintings are described as archival digital prints that are simultaneously painting.

Congratulations to Karen Barth and the successful culmination of her final work, resulting in these breakthrough paintings.

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