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Finishing up the most recent NYC gallery crawl

I’ve been completely remiss in getting this info to you in any kind of timely manner, for that I apologize. I have just had too much in my “little world” that needed attending to. Thanks for coming back to read the blog.

Douglas Witmer at the Painting Center.
I think by now you know I really like Douglas’s work so I’m not going to spend too much time about surface, process nor Douglas’s approach that essentially allows his paintings to sit in the world as what they are – paintings not representations of paintings or a desire for these objects to be something they are not. I find this approach really refreshing. It’s also a good thing that these are engaging and memorable artworks.

Douglas says “I want to believe that the relationship of painting values inquiry over conclusion.” I agree with this and believe that his works might just be doing this.

My two favorites from his show, Field + Stream, were Say So and Is and Isn’t. Especially Is and Isn’t with its field of deep blue that you can just sink into. The visual above is from the installation of both Say So and Is and Isn’t.

This show closed the day after I saw it, sorry about that.

Don Voisine at McKenzie Fine Art
It seems like everyone is writing about this show, so I’m not going to present any groundbreaking ideas here – I just want to say what a soild and well executed show this is. The few moments I spent with the gallery staff showing me additional works was also time well spent.

Voisine gets far too much mileage with what appears on first glance to be a jazz like riff on Russian Constructivism, which is a really unfair thing to say as the longer you spend with the work the voices of others quickly fade into the background and you are left with an artist making smart works that go beyond the traditional geometric sphere of approaches that so many artists have – and he becomes a crafty painter pulling surprises out of very seemingly mundane things.

For further reading on this great show, check out Joanne Mattera’s and Steven Alexanders blog’s.

LANDSCAPE AS GRID, Lloyd Martin and Johnnie Winona Ross at Stephen Heller.
I entered this show with a set of expectations pre-built in I know both of these artists work very well and the leit motif of the show suited them perfectly. Johnnie Ross’s work has parts of a landscape aesthetic this comes through in his titles and verbal dialog, however to call him a landscape painter doesn’t quite work for me. Although the impulse is there but, only through the dialog of his work not so much in reading the work alone. Admittedly I see more of the post minimal painters in his work and tend to shy away from the landscape readings – although they are there, quietly in the background.

Lloyd Martin’s work fits this perfectly, his gridded abstraction works with the rhythms of the urban environment and recalls some of the high points of early 1960’s abstraction while staying away from looking dated and stale, the painterliness of his work is engaging and allows the viewer to stay with the work to find unexpected surprises inside the gridded picture plane.

Gordon Moore at Betty Cuningham.
Gordon Moore’s work is new to me, however I was instantly taken with his paintings and paper works that mine an approach that is based not on reduction but of a restricted palette and approach. these paintings with the dissolving grid and neutral colors, have disparate parts that eventually relate to and reinforce the whole image. This connectedness seems to be the lynchpin that holds these artworks together. What becomes very apparent as you spend some time with the work is the expansive vocabulary that seems to come from the work. No matter how restricted that vocabulary may seem from a casual glance.

Highly recommended.

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