Sunday, October 6, 2013

Sol Lewitt at Paula Cooper Gallery

I forgot to mention another show I saw this weekend.  Sol Lewitt's reincarnation of his 1988 Venice Biennale piece at the Paula Cooper Gallery, is an intensely vibrant work with color that glows like stained glass windows.  The geometric abstraction and black borders accentuate this effect. Crystalline forms float in colored rectangles, sometimes veering off the edges, sometimes hovering in between and across borders.  Having just seen Dorothea Rockburne's geometric constructions, Lewitt's muti-dimensional shapes also reference fundamental principles, revealing the constructive essence of all form.  This was a beautiful show--a feast for the eyes!

October's Marching Orders

September has come and gone -- slipped through the fingers somehow.  I applied for the CAA MFA Visual Arts Grant, which was due October 1.  It took more time than I thought, but in writing the grant proposal, I was able to more clearly think about my next project for the thesis show and how I want to develop my work post-thesis. 

Briefly, the grant project will entail a public installation honoring the Haudenosaunee. In coordination with the City of Ithaca and the Bus Transportation authority,  I am planning on creating large woodcuts which will then be digitally scanned and digitized as vector images, to then be cut in vinyl.  These vinyl images will then be adhered to 18 large glass panels at the largest bus stop in Ithaca.  The overall dimension of the installation will be about 10' high and 40' long.  The Public Art Commission has already given approval!  The Kendaia panels were the inspiration for the idea, after Aaron Lish suggested during one of our critiques that they could easily translate into a public art work.  I really hope it happens!  Here is the elevation for the site:
The twelve scrolls I am working on for the thesis show are coming along slowly.  I am planning on working on them more this week.  In talking with John Kramer about the image preparation for this installation, that I needed to rework the resolution and way in which my found images are manipulated for transfer.  Much of last week was devoted to this task, so my hope is that I can actually print them this week, and begin the slow process of building layers and complexity to the scrolls. Seeing Dorothea Rockburne's work this weekend was a real inspiration, and has gotten me excited about my new piece.  I will post images of these once they are far enough along. 

Lastly, here are a few more images of the installation, other variations.  More possibilities keep presenting themselves as I look at issues of interval, shape, surface and form, camouflage, reflection, repetition and variation, wall/floor relationship, bound/scattered, and reveal/conceal.  All these ideas are still perculating for now.  I intend another trip to Kendaia this week to collect some stones and other found specimens.  There is always more to see there.  I also hope to catch a sighting of deer this time too.  I was not lucky in my last two visits to see their graceful forms behind the wire fence. 

Trip to NYC

I really love the city and every time I visit there are amazing things to see.  I created a list of what shows looked interesting, including Dorothea Rockburne at MOMA, Damien Ortega at the Gladstone Gallery, and Allison Miller at Susan Inglett Gallery.

Having met Dorothea in person about a year ago at her studio, I was really delighted to see her work so beautifully presented at MOMA.  I have always loved her work on paper and linen, but to see them up close and in a large enough space to view them, was phenomenal. She has expanded the notion of drawing into a practice of conceptual thinking, and utilizes different surfaces on which to explore ground/figure relationships.  The pieces at MOMA reveal her highly refined ability to make aesthetic judgements as she goes, following mathematical principles,. She uses line both as evidence of process and an object in itself. When line is incorporated, it has an uncanny quality of coming away from the surface, three-dimensionally. This illusory characteristic adds to the mystery and beauty of these pieces.   The paper/linen/carbon also become surfaces that she transforms into sculptures, by folding, painting, or revealing the backside in intriguing ways.  Translucency and opacity also figure into the visual nuance of her work.  Finger prints on the wall also become integral to the carbon paper pieces, and the crude oil piece reminds me of ancient walls that bear heavy materiality.

Damien Ortega's installations are always fascinating, but the calligraphic installation of his sculptures in his show at Gladstone Gallery was breathtakingly rich.   The dance of light on the snake-like forms, which were hung from the ceiling, created alphabetic script shadows on the floor. Every letter was represented in two ways--as form and its cast shadow.

A rave review in the NYTimes of Allison Miller's show at Susan Inglett's Gallery convinced me to see this show.  Her abstractions are full of color and texture, and optically scintillating.  Surface and texture play across the image in a playful mix, moving forward and then backward in space, and a variety of forms with seemingly loose markmaking, are finished with great compositional precision.  These pieces sing, with a kind of visual poetry that shows great mastery and sensitivity.  Loved them all!