Sunday, November 18, 2012

Field and Focus: Roland Flexner and Mark Bradford

Roland Flexner's  interest in Scholar's Rocks and Asian philosophy is well-represented in his expansive new work at D'Amelio, mercifully located above ground on 22nd St. The exhibition reminds me of Asian scholar Roger T. Ame's discussion of field and focus in the T'ao de Jing, wherein consciousness shifts between one to the other, in equipoise.
A surprise in the new work is color: purple and ochre, offsetting the black and white terrains on the longer walls.

The work revels in the landscape-like spaces that emerge from pouring, blowing and manipulating liquid graphite.

Flexner has been working with spontaneous pours, combining soap with sumi ink since 1996, and more recently has turned to liquid graphite. His work in the 2010 Whitney Biennial prefigures this current work.

The experience of traveling a landscape in Chines scrolls, or Hiroshige's 100 View of Edo,
is exemplified on an intimate scale in Flexner's images.

Flexner worked on Yupo, a water-resistant mylar surface that captures every movement he makes with liquid graphite: scrapin itg, blowing it with a straw, pouring.

This is the Flexner I would love to own.
The linework within the spreading liquid graphite exemplifies the beauty of the scroll, "Autumn Colors" by Yuan Dynasty painter Zao Mengfu, which rejects the softened brushwork in Song Dynasty painting for the earlier and cruder brushwork in the Jin and Tang.

A beautiful surprise: an early Flexner "pour" painting, in metallic silvers and gold!
The painting resonates personally because of the work I have been making with glitter and liquid metallics.

The field: landscape writ large as urban poster: Mark Bradford at Sikkema Jenkins

Florescent orange, printed material, paint

Bradford: an almost hieroglyphic gesture emerging. From close to, there is a lot of metallic silver paint in this work.

Paper becomes soft with sanding. Gesture eroded, like a trace.

Found billboard material, paint, collage elements sanded down to equivalence.

Paper as paint - patternmaking.
Also meaningful personally as the adhesive mylar I've been using performs a similar function.

A tantalizing view of the back rooms at Sikkema Jenkins. There are many such views in this superb and handsome show.
If we experience Flexner and Bradford in terms of focus and field,
we begin to understand how each concept embraces the other.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Bridge Red Studios, Miami + TSA, New York

Karen Rifas at N. Miami's Bridge Red Studios, an artist-run studios and exhibition space

More Rifas, who does so much with so little.
Check out Bridge Red Studios (close to MoCA) here:

Mysterious monoliths by Bob Thiele, who shows with Howard Scott, NY + Dorsch, Miami.

Thiele's studio - passing through the high-ceilinged rooms with these dense and impenetrable works s is like treasure hunting in an art cave, in the best way. Evidence of practice over time.

NY studio with a Miami source of light in Thiele's studio

Close view of a tondo by Thiele - the surface shimmers like silk, even glitter

Brooklyn's new TSA Gallery: 9 x 12 graphite drawings by Blaze Lamper

Lamper's Release Into Summer, 2012, graphite on paper, 9 x 12 inches

Gorgeous landscape composed of corsets by Todd Knopke

Another piece by Todd Knopke

Andy Ness' Juggler at TSA's Finders Keepers, curated by An Hoang for Frederieke Taylor Gallery

If this show is any indication, TigerStrikesAsteroid is a wonderful addition to Bushwick!
See link here: