When Less Replaces Interconnection and Our New York

by Steve Rockwell

Fall 2010 edition of dArt page 42
Fall 2010 edition of dArt page 42

Our August 2020 banner image is the second in the series of “found” dArt magazine layouts, this one featuring images from the Fall 2010 edition. Yibin Tian’s photo of the Statue of Liberty was part of the Thalia Vrachopoulos article titled Our New York, covering an exhibition at the Chelsea Art Museum in New York. Appeaing on page 42, it is being displayed on the website banner as ghosting through behind a page 41 image of the David Bolduc painting, Near Sintra Early Spring. Bolduc passed away from brain cancer April 8, 2010, but had “surprised us all with a final burst of joyful elegant spirit in a crowing artistic achievement,” Sheila Mudrick noted in her dArt magazine tribute, David Bolduc: A Remembrance.

Fall 2010 dArt magazine page 41 with David Bolduc Near Sintra Early Spring painting.
Fall 2010 dArt magazine page 41 with David Bolduc Near Sintra Early Spring painting.
Fall 2010 dArt magazine’s second Table of Contents page.

Admittedly, my article header When Less Replaces Interconnection and Our New York, is a tad enigmatic. The first part was copped from Edward Rubin’s article, When Less Replaces Mess, a review of the 2010 Whitney Biennial. An interview with Peter Halley by Karlyn De Jongh yielded “interconnection,” from her Interconnection and Isolation article, and Our New York, as already stated, was courtesy Yibin Tian. Kelly Nipper’s Weather Center, 2009 was part of the 2010 Whitney Biennial, a black and white video projection, that featured dancer Taisha Paggett with costumes by Leah Piehl.

Fall 2010 dArt magazine’s firstTable of Contents page.

When Night Falls – Making Embodied Cognition Sublime

by Siba Kumar Das

When Night Falls, installation view detail, Lichtundfire, 2020
When Night Falls, installation view detail, Lichtundfire, 2020

Exhibiting artists: Gretl Bauer, Vian Borchert, Jane Fire, Leslie Ford, Augustus Goertz, Bobbie Moline-Kramer, Robert Solomon, Lenora Rosenfield, Arlene Santana, and Martin Weinstein.

Referencing the Covid-19 pandemic, fiction writer, editor and educator Lisa Lynn Biggar recently said in Critical Read, “Science will find a cure, but art will give us a healing path to follow.” To see how, go to Manhattan’s Lower East Side and visit the Lichtundfire gallery’s sublime show When Night Falls

The show’s curators – Priska Juschka (Lichtundfire) and Robert Curcio (curcioprojects) – have brought together paintings and multi-media works by ten artists from across the U.S. and Brazil. The majority of the art works have been expressly made for the show (July 15-August 8, 2020), in response to a call by the curators to contribute art addressing the awe and wonder that nighttime has long evoked. 

Awe and wonder are primordial, universal emotions that have driven the human pursuit of knowledge, including the embodied cognition of which art is a manifestation. Progenitors of paradigm shifts in science and other human thinking, they are more necessary than ever at times of crisis, such as the present juncture when the world faces simultaneously two existential challenges – climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic – as well as other serious problems. When Night Falls is a most timely exhibit. Through allusiveness, symbolism and ambiguity, the art works on display open up feelings and thinking that unveil new vistas, sometimes unending, sometimes giving glimpses of the unknown or of new possibility, even as they eschew mere instrumentality. They induce in the viewer a profound engagement. 

Indeed, they make me think of the art of Gerhard Richter, which the Met Breuer recently celebrated. I think especially of his late squeegee abstractions. Reviewing the Met show, art historian Susan Tallman spoke of Richter’s art as “an assertion of endless possibility.” I wonder if this insight doesn’t apply to all good art. The paintings of Arlene Santana, Leslie Ford and Vian Borchert suggest worlds beyond themselves, creating as well a feeling of fathomless depth. The resulting psychological and spiritual resonance is akin to an imaginative experience that is at once expansive, boundless and oceanic. Look now at the same paintings in conjunction with Martin Weinstein’s composite paintings that suggest the interplay of perception and memory through painted layers of transparent acrylic sheet. Time now grows inside you, giving your engagement with the four painters’ works the presence of four dimensions. 

Martin Weistein, Peonies and Moonlight, 2020, acrylic pigment on acrylic panels, 11.5 x 14.5 x 5 inches
Martin Weistein, Peonies and Moonlight, 2020, acrylic pigment on acrylic panels, 11.5 x 14.5 x 5 inches
Robert Solomon, Night/country road blue moon, 2019,acrylic, acrylic ink, flashe and felt on canvas, 48x30 inches
Robert Solomon, Night/country road blue moon, 2019,acrylic, acrylic ink, flashe and felt on canvas, 48×30 inches

Two paintings by Robert Solomon sourced from journeying at night on a country road synthesize a serene expansiveness with dread and foreboding even as they bring together broad sweeps of abstraction with glimpses of figuration. The resulting symbolic content creates the very sinews of the aesthetic sublime. The sublime is also in action in Gretl Bauer’s works. Her multi-media object employing paper, thread and gouache with great evocativeness is especially striking, for it suggests light struggling to emerge from darkness. A worthy coda to this discussion is Jane Fire’s digital print literally and metaphorically illuminating a dark rose that NASA grew in 1998 on a space shuttle mission. 

Gretl Bauer_Violet; paper, thread and gouache; 30x19 inches
Gretl Bauer, Violet; paper, thread and gouache; 30×19 inches
Jane Fire, First Rose Grown In Outer Space, 2020, digital archival print mounted on ChromaLuxe Matt
Jane Fire, First Rose Grown In Outer Space, 2020, digital archival print mounted on Chroma Luxe Matt
Augustus Goertz, Folded Universe #3, 2020, mixed media on canvas, 32 x24 inches
Augustus Goertz, Folded Universe #3, 2020, mixed media on canvas, 32 x24 inches

Augustus Goertz’s three mixed-media paintings make you think of the Cosmic Microwave Background, the landmark sign of the Big Bang with which the universe originated 13.8 billion years ago. So sublime was Mt. Blanc to Percy Bysshe Shelley he was moved to write a great Romantic poem in its praise. Goertz seems to be following in his footsteps, inspired by a much vaster cosmic creation, the source of it all in fact. Bobbie-Moline Kramer is also a cosmic artist, imagining, in two paintings, the alignment of the stars at her birth and death. Brazilian artist Lenora Rosenfield looks at the stars through a glass ceiling in her studio, and the two paintings she has contributed to the show are products of her deep gazing. Her deep blue sky is so striking it reverberates in your mind; setting it off from her white stars and the blue-black of her felt backing, she achieves sublimity through the color itself. 

Lenora Rosenfield, Night 1, 2020, fresco and egg tempera on fabric, 35 inch diameter.
Lenora Rosenfield, Night 1, 2020, fresco and egg tempera on fabric, 35 inch diameter.

The frontiers of paint’s possibilities are still being pushed from within painting’s domain. One might even say that a reinvention of the aesthetic sublime is under way. “When Night Falls” is on that cutting edge. 

About the Artists courtesy Lichtundfire:

Gretl Bauer’s sculpted paper works combined with wash, thread, and wood, explore the possibilities of evoking whatever light might be coaxed from within that darkness. 

VianBorchert_NightApproaching_AcrylicOnCanvas_24x24Inches
Vian Borchert, Night Approaching, 2020, acrylic on canvas, 24″ x 24″

The bold gestural strokes barely contained within Vian Borchert’s paintings dramatically seize upon that instant when the day’s blue skies fall to the coming night.

Jane Fire’s digital print represents a unique dark rose that was grown by NASA in the night of space and sponsored by a perfume company to capture its fragrance.  

Leslie Ford_On Pause #9
Leslie Ford, On Pause #9, 2020, Oil Pigment Stick on Panel, 12″ x 12″

Off at a distant, a red horizon bisects Leslie Ford’s series of paintings entitled “On Pause” metaphorically reflecting upon that fall from day to night and regular life to paused life where clarity comes from reflection or reverie.  

A starry studded sky or a view into the sparkling void of the universe, Augustus Goertz’s mixed media paintings combine process and imagination, improvisation and experimentation and the infinite with the eternal.  

Bobbie Moline-Kramer, 11-04-1946, Fort Madison, Iowa, Self-Portrait, 2020. blown graphite dust, oil and metallic acrylic on handmade Japanese paper on wood. 18 x24 inches
Bobbie Moline-Kramer, 11-04-1946, Fort Madison, Iowa, Self-Portrait, 2020, blown graphite dust, oil and metallic acrylic on handmade Japanese paper on wood. 18 x24 inches

One of Bobbie Moline-Kramer’s abstract paintings on paper is a detailed record of the constellations at the date, time and location of her birth, while her other piece with a rendering of a closed eye she imagines how the stars will align at the moment of her death. 

Oscillating between the organic and geometric, Robert Solomon’s abstract pastoral paintings takes us on a nighttime drive down an old country road filled with beauty, however, there’s apprehension in his paintings – you just don’t know what’s beyond the bend or is something jumping out in front of the car.  

Lenora Rosenfield’s circular paintings created specifically for this exhibit are of the stars she stares at through a large glass ceiling in her studio while thinking of Ptolemy who amongst other things was an astronomer that has greatly influenced her painting while at the same time contemplating her quarantine in Brazil. 

Arlene Santana, Untitled, 2020, oil and was on wood panel, 20x20 inches
Arlene Santana, Untitled, 2020, oil and was on wood panel, 20 x 20 inches

The in-studio process of Arlene Santana’s abstract minimal paintings interprets a sense of the impending night at that unknown hour.

Martin Weinstein paints directly onto multiple acrylic panels in plein air from dusk to daylight, observing the same scene over a period of time. By layering these panels in a Plexiglass box structure, he constructs a complete painting that depicts the passage of when night falls. 

For more information and images please contact: Priska Juschka at 917.675.7835, info@lichtundfire.com or Robert Curcio at 646.220.2557, curcioprojects@gmail.com

Lichtundfire is located at 175 Rivington Street, NY, NY 10002. Contact: Priska Juschka, info@lichtundfire.com, Tel 917.675.7835 Summer Hours: Tuesday – Saturday, 12 – 6pm and by appointment. www.lichtundfire.com

Exhibition Dates: July 15 – August 8, 2020. Outdoor Reception with Exhibit Viewing: Wednesday, July 15, 5 – 8pm.  Appointments and Walk-Ins must wear a mask and must adhere to NY State Social Distancing Guidelines.

A Cosmopolitan Reconnaissance

by Steve Rockwell

The title of this piece refers to articles published in the Winter 2001 edition of dArt. The “cosmopolitan” women depicted in the dArt site banner were part of the print layout as they appeared on page 44 of its print edition. Ghosting through from its page 43 verso is an image of Richard Klein’s 1998 sculpture, In Vitro, fabricated from used eyeglasses, steel, and solder. These make up the left hand side of a saddle stitched folio, as they say in publishing parlance. The right hand side is numbered 22, and consist of an image of Bridget Riley’s 1966 emulsion on canvas, Breathe. It was part of a show at DIA Centre for the Arts and was reviewed for dArt by Jeanne C. Wilkinson under the title Reconnaissance. The Breathe image ghosted through here onto from its page 21 verso over a photo of Damien Hirst as a pharmacist.

Four writers covering four shows contributed inadvertently to the banner image as a unity as it appears here. It’s an accident of layout design, as the articles were entirely unrelated, being essentially guests showing up at the same party by chance. The two women in question appeared in videos produced by Lifetime Partners, a marriage agency based in California. Tapes of these hopeful Russian brides were acquired by British artists David Cross and Matthew Cornford, who presented them as part of the Cosmopolitan exhibition at Nikolai Fine Art in New York, where I had a chance to speak with them.

Winter 2001 dArt International cover featuring Damian First as a pharmacist
Winter 2001 dArt International cover featuring Damian Hirst as a pharmacist

Los Angeles contributor Clayton Campbell concluded his review of Damian Hirst’s Gagosian exhibit with these lines, “For one night this October, the centre of the art universe was at 24th Street and 11th Avenue in New York. Bravo, Mr. Hirst.” In Jeanne Wilkinson’s review of the Bridget Riley exhibition at DIA, a relevant quote might be, “They refer to nothing but themselves, and take us nowhere except into the discomforting shimmer of the eternal present.” And here we are, of course, eleven years later, shimmering in the present, discomfortable as this might be.

Bridget Riley, Breathe, 1966, emulsion on canvas, 117 x 82"
Bridget Riley, Breathe, 1966, emulsion on canvas, 117 x 82″

The Dominique Nahas piece on Richard Klein was titled Visibility Framed, with its representative image tagged as In Vitro. The naming of both are curiously descriptive in precise ways. Seeing is something that occurs within and without, or as the Latin describes it, in vivo and in vitro, both inside the living organism and its outside, something Klein had succeeded in “framing.” Nahas describes the work as being about vision and visionary, where eyeglass frames are shaped to resemble a winged apparition, the reflection of the sun passing through the plastic lenses to create a diaphanous sieve-play of light and shadow against the wall.

Richard Klein, In Vitro, 1998, used eyeglasses, steel, solder, 9 x 64, 14-1/2"
Richard Klein, In Vitro, 1998, used eyeglasses, steel, solder, 9 x 64, 14-1/2″

The Remains of the Day: Sarah Sze and her Images in Debris

by Emese Krunák-Hajagos

Sarah Sze, Images in Debris, 2018, MOCA Toronto.
Sarah Sze, Images in Debris, 2018, MOCA Toronto. Courtesy the artist, Victoria Miro Gallery, London and Tanya Bonakdar Gallery (New York and Los Angeles). Photo Toni Hafkenscheid

Entering the back room of the 2nd floor at MOCA from the brightly lit exhibition of Carlos Bunga’s A Sudden Beginning with its network of boxes, the darkness envelops us, a darkness that blinds. Is what we see real or just a mirage that gives the illusion of an installation? The eye and the mind both have to adjust to the magic world of Sarah Sze’s work, a universe in itself.

Continue reading “The Remains of the Day: Sarah Sze and her Images in Debris”

Melanie Vote’s The Washhouse: Nothing Ever Happened Here

by John Mendelsohn

Melanie Vote, Washhouse Interior, on site, 2019, oil on paper on wood, 9” x 12”

In this time of the pandemic, we resort to the virtual in order to connect. This applies to art, so I will be writing about an exhibition that I have seen only through digital images. The analogue experience of painting seems all the dearer as we experience it once removed.

Continue reading “Melanie Vote’s The Washhouse: Nothing Ever Happened Here”

Frank Holliday’s SEE/SAW at Mucciaccia Gallery in NYC

by Christopher Hart Chambers

Frank Holliday, SEE/SAW installation view
Frank Holliday, SEE/SAW installation view

In his essay for the catalog of this exhibition, the curator, legendary critic Carter Ratcliff states, “If the painting is non-figurative it does not, by definition, show us any figures and yet it faces us with a human presence.” That is perhaps the most succinct and accurate insight regarding the intrinsic nature of abstract art I have yet come across.

Continue reading “Frank Holliday’s SEE/SAW at Mucciaccia Gallery in NYC”

Gelah Penn: Uneasy Terms at 
Undercurrent

by John Mendelsohn

Uneasy Terms by Gelah Penn at Undercurrent
Gelah Penn, Notes on Clarissa, installation view detail

Art is a form of telepathy, a download from mind to mind. It moves through an imperfect medium, whose noise may be the signal, and whose significance is encoded deep within the image. Beyond the drama of emotion or thrill of sensuality, finally it is a consciousness that shines through to us.

Continue reading “Gelah Penn: Uneasy Terms at 
Undercurrent”

Apollonia Vanova’s Sleepover Gallery in Toronto

by Emese Krunák-Hajagos

Artist Lumír Hladík on left and Darren Gallery’s owner Apollonia Vanova. Photo, Yianni Tongh

EKH: Darren Gallery is reopening after, as you’ve said, a long and painful renovation with a new concept: Sleepover Art Gallery. Where did this idea come from?

AV: The sleepover gallery concept came about from a variety of factors.  It’s difficult to sell art, as it’s not a life necessity and not a surprise when galleries close down after a few years. Continue reading “Apollonia Vanova’s Sleepover Gallery in Toronto”

Points of Engagement

by D. Dominick Lombardi

Irene Rousseau (American, born 1941), Visual Symphony: Stretching the, Space, 2019, Oil on canvas, pen and ink, 36 x 36 x 1 1/2 in., Courtesy of the artist, ©2020 Irene Rousseau

The success of an exhibition, or any work of art for that matter, is its ability to engage the viewer. Engagement can be a bit more difficult to achieve when you eliminate any sort of representation, as with the current exhibition at the Hofstra Museum of Art, Uncharted: American Abstraction in the Information Age. Continue reading “Points of Engagement”

Janghan Choi at the Korean Cultural Center in Tenafly, New Jersey

by Thalia Vrachopoulos, Ph.D.

Human evolution II

Choi’s multifaceted installations employ the abstracted human form in movement as sign language thus demonstrating a relationship to collective memory and Jungian archetypes, and in their essentialized forms, to cave painting also. Human Evolution I, 2019 which a triptych of neutral background with navy and puce colored signs and a central tondo with rune-like shapes, reveals the artist’s interest in pre-historic cultures. Continue reading “Janghan Choi at the Korean Cultural Center in Tenafly, New Jersey”