Louis Block is a painter based in Brooklyn.
Leidy Churchman with Louis Block
In the lead up to Churchman’s first show of monotypes at Matthew Marks, I visited their studio in Tribeca. Surrounded by paintings in progress, notably a giant diagram of a black hole, we sat down for an interview.
MARCUS JAHMAL with Louis Block
"They seem to be going somewhere, leaving you in a state of questioning, very similar to a film still."
MERLIN JAMES with Louis Block
Louis Block speaks with painter and writer Merlin James in his Glasgow studio in the lead up to his forthcoming show, River at Sikkema Jenkins Gallery.
ERIK LINDMAN with Louis Block
On the occasion of his solo show at Peter Blum Gallery, painter Erik Lindman speaks with Louis Block about landscape, refining gesture, and the Perceval myth.
Hilary Harnischfeger with Louis Block
Louis Block speaks with artist Hilary Harnischfeger about materials and process, geology, science fiction, and the influence of the landscape.
JO SMAIL with Louis Block
Baltimore-based painter Jo Smail speaks with Louis Block on the occasion of her retrospective at the Baltimore Museum of Art, reflecting on her career in South Africa and the US, recovering from a stroke, painting emptiness, and the influence of Clarice Lispector.
Rachel Eulena Williams with Louis Block
Louis Block speaks with artist Rachel Eulena Williams about memory and transformation in her two solo shows, and finding order within disorder.
Wong Ping: Your Silent NeighborBy Louis Block
Wong Pings world is full of hyper-contrasting gradients within forms, and the neon sheen of his characters various body parts appears less like an effect of light than some sickly glaze on a dessert. In the New Museums darkened galleries, frames rush past almost too quickly, and scenes of longing and sexmostly not actual sex, but frustration, budding fetishes, fantasiesare gemlike and addicting.
Eric Holzman: Thinning the VeilBy Louis Block
The oldest painting in this collection of landscapes, still lifes, and portraits, was begun in 1998 and completed 20 years later. That span is indicative of Holzmans process, where surfaces are built up and removed over years, their pentimenti giving form to a final image.
Simon Hantaï: Les blancs de la couleur, la couleur du blancBy Louis Block
In the late sixties, Hantaï abandoned the rounded biomorphic contours for an all-over approach, seeking an increased flatness in the finished paintings, a project that occupied him for the rest of his career. It is this period of intense production, from the late-sixties through the seventies, that the current show surveys.
Ed ClarkBy Louis Block
For the past half-century or so, Ed Clark has been making plastic paintings that live up to the name.
Michael Krebber: New WorkBy Louis Block
The show is dominated by two monumental diptychs that reprise the same cartoonish motif on a shared wall. In a coy move, the left two canvases are spaced closer together than the right ones, and, taken as a whole, the four panels can read as a procession of decorative elements interpreted through self-conscious painterly devices.
Alastair MacKinven: Dlnrg [oeeey]By Louis Block
MacKinvens scenes approach history painting in both scale and mood, but fall just short. This is a good thing, as a step further would overload the pictures with meaning, and a step back would thrust their subjects into banality.
Shaun Leonardo: The Breath of Empty SpaceBy Louis Block
Shaun Leonardos current exhibition posits a simple act of resistance: to excavate these optical memories, sifting through their noise. In his repeated drawings of news photographs surrounding violence against Black men, Leonardo builds a system that questions a singular images capacity for truth-telling.
THOMAS DEMANDBy Louis Block
It is this immeasurable space between visual belief and betrayal that Thomas Demand mines in his intricate photographs. For his new show at Matthew Marks, Demand combines stills, animations, and sound to consider the textures themselves of experience.
Kemar Keanu Wynter: PortionsBy Louis Block
Wynter applies oil pastel in lines that swirl and smear across the paper, so that his compositions are bound by the density of their own centers rather than any external structure or gravity. An entire language of marks seems to unfurl and come back into focus.
Vivian SuterBy Louis Block
Suters work feels both settled in place and open to the possibility of change. Painted both indoors and outdoors, her canvases are subject to the unstoppable forces of naturehurricanes, flooding, crittersbut do not resist their effects.
Anne Truitt: PaintingsBy Louis Block
These paintings insist on the meditative quality of their content. Truitt intensifies the resonance of these fields of color not by doing away with form and line, but by pushing it to the periphery.
An-My Lê: On Contested TerrainBy Louis Block
Lês pictures are about intense desire, which draws us to make form in this world. They seem to say that the weight of history is omnipresent, but shiftingeach reiteration sutured together from more disparate sources, lit from a dustier sun.
ANDY CAHILL: HomeBy Louis Block
The largest painting in Andy Cahill’s new show spans over thirteen feet wide. In it, an androgynous creature points a finger-gun at a man crawling up an increasingly vertiginous path toward a house already out of reach, lost to the inevitability of one-point perspective.
Monumental Journey: The Daguerreotypes of Girault de PrangeyBy Louis Block
This exhibition at the Met gathers over 100 of his daguerreotypes, less than a tenth of his total production, focusing on his extensive travels east through the Mediterranean from 1842 to 1845. Though it only occupies a few small galleries of the museums photography wing, the collection is filled with small pictures of a vast geographic scope.
Suzan Frecon & Patricia TreibBy Louis Block
Good painting gives us pause because it is so absorbed in a proprietary language that we must approach it on foreign terms. We cannot begin to shape our own words without our bodies becoming enlisted in the objects way of making meaning in the world.
EJ Hauser at WINDOWBy Louis Block
What does it mean for topography to unfold like this, to be made rather than a simple fact? Peering through a storefront window at this canvas, the most saturated colors describe tracts of land and bodies of water, darker colors suggest shadows in the landscape, and the ghostly imprints of revisionpinks and violets against each otherread as memories, transcriptions of light hitting the landscape.
Rebecca Warren: VBy Louis Block
Primeval and metamorphic, this language is a departure for Warren, and represents a new way of engaging with the body. Where her former sculptures were concerned with the grotesque, and touch was an incessant reminder of the distorting gaze transforming every bulbous outcropping into breast or phallus, these forms are more intimate.
Proof: Francisco Goya, Sergei Eisenstein, Robert LongoBy Louis Block
Goya’s prints and Eisenstein’s 35mm films serve as an introduction to Longo’s massive charcoal drawings.
Purvis Young and Édouard Vuillard: Prophets and AngelsBy Louis Block
That these two pieces join subject and form through a harmony of image and support is not proof of any substantial connection between their authors oeuvres, and the pair may not warrant extended consideration. But, faced with the works current proximity, why not revel in its strange, absorbing links?
Félix Vallotton: Painter of DisquietBy Louis Block
The Metropolitans concise retrospectivean abbreviated version of what was shown at Londons Royal Academypresents the printmaker and painter as a merciless interpreter of his environment and its characters.
Monique Mouton: Inner ChaptersBy Louis Block
The title of Monique Moutons current show at Bridget Donahue, Inner Chapters, evokes something of a trance: the state that a novel creates when the plot accelerates but the end is not yet in sight, when the gamble of picking up the book has paid off.
John Dilg: Flight PathBy Louis Block
In John Dilgs paintings, dusk and dawn are suffused with green, and the color seems as inevitable as the setting and rising of the sun. His is an old green, like celadon or lichen, that makes the hues of spring shoots seem rather showy.
How to Get Free of the RectangleBy Louis Block
Absent any punctuation, How to Get Free of the Rectangle reads as a directive. Decades ago, it might have been a longing question, but now paintings rectangle has been bent, torn, re-sewn, and looped in on itself, so it might be easy to scoff at the premise and how far removed it is from the radical. But this modest survey accomplishes a small miracle: it justifies paintings bullish intrusions into other mediums.
Ralston Crawford: Torn SignsBy Louis Block
The exhibition foregrounds Crawfords projects in other media (photography, printmaking, and film) alongside the larger scale oil paintings for which he is known.
Tom Uttech: Headwinds on WindigoostigwanBy Louis Block
Uttechs paintings allow for these varied experiences and glimpses to exist at once, decades in the wilderness compressed into kaleidoscopic views.
Cerith Wyn Evans: Aspen DriftBy Louis Block
In this show titled Aspen Drift, there is a surprising absence of blur. Cerith Wyn Evanss neon sculptures describe form in such exacting terms as to evoke something diagrammatic, like glowing renderings of discrete movements suspended in the air.
Martha Tuttle: Wild irises grow in the mountainsBy Louis Block
Martha Tuttles paintings can be defined by belonging, in that they are seriously invested in a material process that takes the craft of the medium as part of its subject.
Deep in the Static:
By Louis Block
Raghubir Singh’s Photographs
This generous retrospective traces the development of an extraordinary career in color photography, from the late sixties until Singh’s sudden death from a heart attack in 1999.
Sinéad BreslinBy Louis Block
Seeing and remembering are at odds. Memoriesif they are to be shared with othersare packaged in a specific way: flat, rectilinear, still. This fact is not contingent on photography; we have a natural tendency to break narratives up into stills.
EJ Hauser: Barn SpiritsBy Louis Block
In this show of nine canvases, all painted in 2018, EJ Hauser mines an ever-shifting vocabulary of form. The language here lies somewhere between literal and mythological, spoken and remembered.
Kern Samuel: PainingBy Louis Block
It is uncommon for painting to be pulled apart at its threads with such care. Kern Samuels preoccupations with the medium are obsessive and unabashedly earnest; each of his deconstructions is mirrored in an equivalent statement of confidence.
Heidi Hahn: Flex, Rot, and Sp(l)itBy Louis Block
These canvases might be deciphered over hours of observation, tracking the drifting daylight across brushstrokes to determine exactly which pigment, applied in which order, formed these pictures. Im envious of that exercise. But Im also content with my situation, where there is room left for magic.
By Louis Block
Fixator (#2) (2017)
What is most disconcerting about Fixator is what it lacks. The voids between its structural elements seem to weigh more than the solid ceramic and metal structures making up the imaginary body now resident in PS1’s creaky galleries.
Writing on Art and Muscle MemoryBy Louis Block
What brings me back to a painting is often a feeling, like a nagging muscle memory, of wanting not only to see, but to sense the paintings facture.
Richard Tuttle’s The Role of the Story TellerBy Louis Block
This book documents five of the artists projects on color, separating the visual and the verbal, the interior and the exterior.