Suitcase Paintings: Small Scale Abstract Expressionism, a traveling exhibition making its final stop at Chicagos Loyola University Museum of Art this fall, argues a case for small works: what dealer Larry Aldrich purportedly deemed suitcase paintings, or those he could fit in his suitcase.
Nicolas Carone, veteran artist of 1940s New York and still painting some sixty years on, presents new work at Washburn Gallery this month: eight fast, vigorous, and poised arrangements in gray and white and black acrylics.
A video in Óscar Muñozs Biografías series (2002) shows a floating, ethereal portrait rendered in powdery black charcoal. As we watch, the cheek elongates and skews into the eye; we hear the familiar slurp of water sucked down a drain, and abruptly the likeness is gone, slumped into a black heap against the curve of the sink.
The bodys evocative layers of skin, desire, and pain have long been a rich departure point for art-making. We take many of the bodys conditions as givens: its materiality, its mortality, its role as both substratum and surface to the human soul.
In his 1977 memoir, dealer Julien Levy enshrined what was to be an enduring myth of painter Arshile Gorkys career: Gorky the imitator, the apprentice who copied styles and whole works of the modern masters before breaking through, c.1943, to his own Gorky-ness.
Kirby Holland, the fictional protagonist of R. C. Bakers ongoing novel-cum-exhibition, explains his art-making process this way: I put these collages together as grounds, the surface you paint on, before laying the abstract designs on top: I need some grit, something to hang my compositions on.
Paperpatterncolorculture, the fall exhibition at Philadelphias Pentimenti Gallery, explores the layering of written and marked material. In the works collected here, calligraphy, heraldic symbols, and patterned icons wend their way through a variety of stacked and folded substrata: translucent papers, collaged vinyl records, tightly-wound paper scrolls.
In 1894, August Strindberg, the late-nineteenth-century playwright, produced a series of enigmatic images he deemed celestographs. He made them by leaving photographic plates out at night and then developing the results, which consisted of splotches and nebulous dot clusters on a black ground.
In the center of Uri Arans Geraniums, a wooden dresser tilts forward at an angle, drawers out and cabinet doors aslant. Emerging from the trunks center, like an impossibly long keyboard tray, is a fake, flat-screen aquarium, a motorized roll of plastic scrolling brightly printed fish along an ultramarine background.
Venices canals impose an odd sort of leveling on ones sense of history here: time moves only upwards (new spires, new façades, higher doorways to beat the acqua alta), never down.