Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Upcoming and Ongoing!

Don Voisine,  Step Up, 2013, oil on wood, 12x12 in.

Simplest Means
Through February 15
625 W 27th Street
New York, NY  10001

Jason Karolak, Untitled (P-1326), 2013, oil on canvas, 78x88 In.

Jason Karolak
January 30 - March 15, 2014
1740 Wazee Street
Denver, CO 80202

Osamu Kobayashi

Björn Meyer-Ebrecht and Osamu Kobayashi
w/ Olivié Ponce in the Project Space
Opening: Friday January 31, 6-9 PM
January 31 - February 23, 2014
324 Ten Eyck Street
Brooklyn, NY 11206

Marianne Gagnier, Eos, 2013, acrylic on canvas, 26x22 in.

Marianne Gagnier
of this world- new paintings
Suzanne Laura Kammin
Greater and Lesser Vehicles
w/ Ro Lohin in the Project Room
Opening: Thursday January 30, 6-8 PM
January 28 - February 22, 2014
547 W 27th Street, Suite 500
New York, NY 10001

Deborah Brown, Tête (Mariana of Austria), 2013, oil on canvas, 48x48 in.

Deborah Brown
Outer Limits
Opening: February 5, 6-8 PM
February 5 - March 9, 2014
54 Orchard Street
New York, NY 10002

2014 Faculty Exhibition
featuring work by: 
Jim Byrne, Robyn Cooper, Dennis Delgado, Greg Furjanic, Matthew Neil Gehring, Beth Gilfilen, Dan Gilhooley, Margery Gosnell-Qua, Patricia Hubbard-Ragette, Ellie Kahana, Barbara Karyo, Nick Lamia, Rainy Lehrman, Martin Levine, Bob McDonald, Puneeta Mittal, Andrew Prayzner, Jeffrey Allen Price, Jon Rosenbaum, and Gina Vigliarolo
Opening: January 30, 1-3 PM
January 30 - February 25, 2014
Suffolk Co. Community College
533 College Rd.
Selden, NY 11784

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Edwin Ruda @ Berry Campbell

From the Press Release:
Unafraid to step beyond stylistic boundaries, Edwin Ruda consistently probed the incongruities and connections between minimalism and the geometric and lyrical modes of abstraction. Ruda’s “band” paintings embody his efforts to reconcile these two divergent forms. The result is an elegant, radiant body of work. Loosening the flow of his paint, Ruda introduced pure and translucent bands of colors that are rarely part of minimalist statements.  He then worked through the resulting contradictions without allowing structure or formlessness to dominate.

Peter Schjeldahl stated in 1973 that Ruda, “a painter of large, complex painterly abstractions,” was “an artist often overlooked in discussions of contemporary painting, but I believe one of the finest in America.”  James Gleeson wrote in a 1974 review of Ruda’s show at Gallery A, Sydney, Australia, that the artist had found the “missing link between minimal art and lyric abstraction.”

Edwin Ruda: The Band Paintings (1969-1972)
Through Saturday, February 8, 2014
530 W 24th Street
New York, NY 10011

Monday, January 27, 2014

The Ability of Paint on Painter's Table

Recently I did an interview with Brett Baker of Painters' Table.
We discussed my anti-curatorial premise behind the current group show, Eight Painters and my views on abstract painting's current state.

Please follow the link to read the interview here.

The show is up through February 1st at Kathryn Markel Fine Arts in Chelsea.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

A Studio Visit With Jason Rohlf

Recently I had the pleasure of visiting the Greenpoint studio of the painter, Jason Rohlf.
Upon encountering Rohlf's paintings, one first thinks of celestial charts, ancient navigational maps or imagined cosmologies - stories, plot, directions and plans.
After spending more time with the work the artist's materials and processes sneak to the fore and the viewer becomes conscious of the layering, second guessing, and work involved in realizing an image.
Experimentation, variety and chance are major factors in this work. And, indeed, Rohlf's experimentation and rooted painterliness are the backbone of these ambitious paintings.  
Many times a final overlay of geometric forms and unforgiving lines and edges attempt to impose an order onto the chaos, providing structure and a strong compositional force.
But even this has a sense of uneasiness and impermanence. As the mess and randomness seep through, mingle, and compete with the order imposed upon it.

From the artist's statement:

"Field Guides” is my ongoing effort as an artist to collect and preserve my visual sensibilities, with each piece being the field for continued exploration as countless layers of collage, mediums and acrylic paint coalesce to become a finished painting.

In a confluence of forms, I will develop lines and planes of color to delineate an intuitively created space. Almost in an effort to stamp some order in the chaos, geometric shapes will blanket the underpainting’s more organic textures. Relief pushes up from the underpainting, betraying the order, and light raking the surface reveals tension between the two. By drawing geometric maps into the work in ballpoint pen, I can assume the role of cartographer as well. The ink has the amazing ability to migrate up through multiple layers of acrylic, and, even if covered, will later reveal an earlier intention. It has the effect of allowing me to have a conversation with an earlier version of myself—a crude form of time travel perhaps.

The one thing I can count on—in defiance of my intent and regardless of how hopeful my expectations—each attempt will undergo many revisions as I participate in the creation of a piece, with the end result ideally being the cumulative effect of the whole and not just a working toward the outermost layer. Like a recalled memory, a once obscure thing, hidden elements from the piece’s past will form an essential role on the surface, often as relief, while the most hard-fought details will likely earn a swift opaque top coat as a result of each day’s fits and starts. By conveying an urban palimpsest, many of the most thoughtful moments occur as these conflicting efforts achieve harmony and then begin to recede, resulting in the melding of competing ideas.

The end results will ideally continue to serve up a variety of visual reminders or clues telling of how important certain influences have been and, over time, where they led. Hopefully over many years, this process will allow me to imagine the body of work as a stop-action time line slowly revealing the newly favored elements, only to see them diminish and evolve again as my changing guides and exposure leave their mark on my art making.

Jason Rohlf in his studio in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.

In the past year Rohlf's work has been featured in one person exhibitions in New York at Masters & Pelavin and in Milwaukee at Tory Folliard Gallery.
View the artist's Tumblr page for details of upcoming one person exhibitions in San Francisco (late Spring) and Chicago (October).

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Installation Views Of Eight Painters @ Kathryn Markel Fine Arts

Karl Bielik

Karl Bielik and Paul Behnke

James Erikson, Karen Baumeister, Dale McNeil, and Julie Torres 

My curator's statement from the exhibition catalog:

The Ability of Paint

By Paul Behnke

“Painting is feeling. There are situations, states of mind, mood which call for some form of artistic expression, because one knows that only some form of art is capable of going beyond them to give us intuitive contact with a superior set of truths.”

– Roger Hilton

When I was first approached about curating this show I had two immediate thoughts. The first was that I wanted to put together a strong exhibit including the painters I most admire. And the second was that I wanted my role to be more of an organizer rather than a curator.  The term organizer implies, at least in my mind, being one of the gang both literally and philosophically.

A curator usually has a concept or “hook” for an exhibition and the works are chosen to support the curator’s thesis. If Eight Painters is about anything it’s about the unique visions of the painters included. It draws inspiration from common group shows of the 1940’s and 1950’s when the ideas of the painters took center stage rather than acting as supporting players to prop up an idea that may, or may not, fully embody the scope of the work.  When placed in any other context but its own, the full power and subtleties of a painting can be diminished if the viewer is not savvy enough to see between the lines.

With this in mind, the only criteria for inclusion in Eight Painters were: an individual, rigorous vision; a certain ambition without regard for scale or a specific way of making a painting; and an abiding belief in the ability of paint - and specifically, the genre of abstraction - to best communicate the artist’s appetite and inventiveness.

The painters included here share not only a devotion to their medium, but a confidence in the value of what is not widely accessible, what cannot be image searched on a phone or a computer, nor crowd sourced. They hold the personal, the intuitive, the nuanced, and the hard-won in high regard.

Each takes care to not only reflect the culture we all experience, but to look deeper and through that commonality in pursuit of a more personal response. The viewer is left with a relic of the painter’s efforts - an arrowhead that connects, to those that are susceptible, with a quickness and directness that leaves no doubt to the painting’s intention.

Julie Torres

James Erikson

Karen Baumeister and Dale McNeil

Dale McNeil

Matthew Neil Gehring

Brooke Moyse and Paul Behnke

Matthew Neil Gehring and Brooke Moyse

Eight Painters
organized by Paul Behnke
featuring paintings by: Karen Baumeister, Paul Behnke, Karl Bielik, James Erikson, Matthew Neil Gehring, Dale McNeil, Brooke Moyse and Julie Torres
Up through February 1, 2014
529 W 20th Street
New York, NY 10011

*a full color catalog is available

Ongoing And Upcoming Shows

56 Bogart Street
Brooklyn, NY 11206

Reception for the artists:
Sunday, February 9, 5 - 7 p.m.
207 W 5th Street
Los Angeles, CA 90013

253 Wilson Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11237

511 W 22nd Street
New York, NY 10011

525 W 22nd Street
New York, NY 10011