Freestanding by Justine Hill at Denny Gallery

Justine Hill works her way through a painting and sorts out its meaning later, if at all.¬†Which seems to make sense, since it’s hard to come to a consensus on art.

What would consensus mean anyway in the gallery of today? When people go to physical galleries, they schmooze and drink, with their backs to the wall. Almost seems like the art gets in the way.

The paintings are in 3-D segments loosely grouped together. Looser than a puzzle, but the shapes seem to be aware of each others’ proximity. So they are kind of Other and kind of Connected.

The surfaces are coated with sections of color and vertical dash type brushstrokes. Somewhat like digital pixelization.

She photographs the sections while she is working, to get a 2-D look before proceeding. Some kind of rationalization of dimensions that preceeds the next steps and impacts the final piece.

Quick quips on precedence and impact:

When computers became widespread I thought for sure it would impact literature. Hard to tell though, except in a roundabout way.

Artists now come to New York fully knowing what to expect, and Facebooking the hell out of it, before they arrive. That has got to have an impact on the art that gets made. Especially when you compare it to the way artists used to come. For cheap rent, for one thing.

After the precedence, there’s the impact, then there’s a stopping point. Like in Beckett – “I can’t go on, I’ll go on.”

That book didn’t go on though, not for me. It was totally over.

Not so with art – it really does go on.

dennygallery.com

Kelley Johnson: Slow Hum, at Freight+Volume

Kelley Johnson’s work build on concepts from Op Art expanded field theory.

At first glance, they look like dimensional objects, but on closer inspection they become more like paintings, so there is a tension and shifting between the gaze and the glance.

Which reminds me of a chapter by the same title written by my old ‘pal’ Norman Bryson back in the 1980s.

All of which reinvigorates the subject of painting, which seems to have been partially subsumed into the digital sphere of late.

http://www.freightandvolume.com

Thaddeus Radell At Sideshow

Thaddeus Radell’s work brings new life to ‘figurative’ work. The paintings show figures, but they seem both literal and figurative [symbolic]. And they don’t disguise the fact that they’re made out of ‘stuff’.

They remind me a bit of Lascaux cave paintings, some of the first ever done by humans. We have the material to look at, and lens of history, but that’s never enough.

What was the first painter thinking? Was it just a continuation of everyday life? Or maybe the work had symbolic power, or a social angle. I suspect they must have had a premonition of things to come, and were reaching for that thing just outside the cave of shadows and reason.

In Shakespeare too, the best part is that’s it’s always about real life, and more than the play, and so is always breaking through the fourth wall, even though that part of it is only obvious is fits and starts.

So this work provides the opportunity to be transfixed, oscillating between the material and the real, suggesting it may be possible to break through that wall once again.

http://www.sideshowgallery.com/

Man Seen From Outer Space

Man Seen From Outer Space by Scott Rummler
Man Seen From Outer Space by Scott Rummler

I made this one, thinking how perspective and gravity are gone, or at least changed, in art, partly due to technology.

Images are processed [technically and by eyeballs] as though they are from Google Maps – or Outer Space.

Not like the 2 or 3 dimensions of old.

Still there is something in art that abides.