Stuart Shils: Recent Paintings at Tibor de Nagy Gallery and John Dubrow: Small Landscapes at Lori Bookstein Fine Art
The exhibitions of Shils and Dubrow overlapped by only a couple days, just enough to allow fresh comparisons between the two. Their differences intrigue: could it be that Shils seeks evocative means of representing, while Dubrow peruses the workings of representation itself?
Some may remind you of Sam Francis’s Blue Balls, although Winters packs his pictures more densely. And his lavishly worked colors occasionally have some unruly relationship to 1970s pattern painting, the faux-Islamic decorations of Philip Taaffe and, even, the gridded portion of Henri Matisse’s The Moroccans. But whatever his visual sources, Winters makes entirely original, entirely resolved works of art.
Conventional readings of “above” and “below”, of north, south, east and west are confounded in these panels by the integration of patterned motifs – diamond shapes and curlicues – that resist any such perspectival pre-conditions. The improbable worlds that Harris presents are less pictures of places than visual destinations within elaborate structures, guiding the eye ever-centerwards.
Whatever stories Shaw might tell and whatever horrific creatures he might portray, they all are camouflaged by an overstimulation of the viewer’s visual senses. The excessiveness of information is severe and can be compared to 1960s psychedelic art or Persian miniatures.
The interplay of colors and contrasting directions endows the open spaces with their own specific movements. The entire composition is cropped cinematically to add implied drama to what can only be called a scene.
January 17-February 22, 2009 92 Plymouth Street, at Washington Street Brooklyn, NY, 718 834 8761 It is hard to imagine an installation looking better in the industrial Smack Mellon main exhibition hall than Kirsten Hassenfeld’s current installation, Dans La Lune. Smack Mellon is a venue of raw physicality, with towering concrete columns framed in industrial steel,…
When Mullican asserts in writing that the “preoccupation with materials and processes seems to clutter up the phenomenon of what interests me,” he is making it clear to us that no individual person or thing can contain the entirety of that which engages him. Thus the artist reworks appearances as a means of describing the gestalt that both energizes and evades his hand.
Quaytman works in a mode of painting/silkscreen hybrid, an at once middle-brow and mass-produced liminal form that is ideologically adrift between the elite and the unique in a way that recalls Warhol. The show quietly crackles with ideas about production; perception and legibility; the nature of the “image;” and the play between painterly and photographic values.
Magdalena Abakanowicz: The Reality of Dreams at Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art, Northwestern University
These monumental drawings consist of interwoven lines made with charcoal or gouache that tangle and bind together to form strange organic beings. Forms allude to a tree trunk, a human torso, a flower, or an insect; they explore the ambivalence between nature’s capacity to produce the mysterious pulsating of life which is simultaneously haunted by the treachery of death.
There are few abstract painters at work today who manage to push both metaphor and literalism so hard, simultaneously, as William Tillyer.