Friday, February 21, 2020

Ab Ex Legacy: David Reed at Gagosian, Saccoccio at Van Doren Waxter and Chart, plus Crimson Queen

David Reed,  Gagosian. Great ink by John Yau on this new work, Reeds' best after his solo at PAMM several years ago. Yau Review

Gallery Link

Starting top floor, saturated with color spread in layers, almost shocking at the first. Gestures forming inserts like response boxes, creating literal and metaphorical layers that continue the film references in earlier work while internalizing the syntax.

Swiped layers of glaze offset with opaque, decal-like gestures. This work ruminates on visual culture, bringing graphic language to painting with sophistication and attitude.

The install

Inserting the gesture, played through subsequent works, is a big idea. I used to think each painting is its own identity, existing separate from any other, but this is open to question when viewing these works. Each color scheme does convey a different feeling and approach.

The work is analytical, distanced, as Yau points out--it is perfect, flat, uninflected, and I love that. I love that he has distance. There is a kind of cold perfection that makes me think about what Walter Benjamin wrote on film (it is a seamless sum of parts) and the prowess with which these paintings are made. The expressionist core of this work is becalmed, but no less curious in charting new possibilities. He doesn't build each painting from scratch, but instigates procedures that produce a magnificent exhibition.
Raw by comparison, Joy Curtis's dyed figures looks fabulous in Michelle Segre's curated exhibition Cult of the Crimson Queen at  Ceysson et Benetiere uptown. The gallery site says of Curtis' work that "The pieces are made with indigo and madder root dyes, which played a role in the African slave trade. Indigo is used in North and West African, South American and Indian cultures, while salmon and beige-toned madder root is native to many parts of Europe and the Middle East. Both were grown under colonial powers and are deeply tied to the commodification of agriculture and human bodies within mercantile economies."
Gallery Link
Sara Peters and Kari Cholnokey
Amy Brener foreground, Joy Curtis background
The Crimson Queen is inspired by vintage music, friends hanging out, figuration from the inside.

Jackie Saccoccio showing new paintings at Van Doren Waxter. Gallery Link

Read of her process and thinking in Vogue. Vogue
Unlike Reed's analytical approach to abstraction, Saccocio paints in an embodied way.
In small paper works, she returns to marks plotting space, an insight from a 1990s residency at Giverny.

This brings the discrete mark forward from ballast for lush pours.

It's great to see the marks return as protagonists, way finding space as in Aboriginal painting.

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