I promised a post on the geometry behind the wall against which these containers were stacked. Here it is: Larry Zox at the Stephen Haller Gallery. See the painting in the lower left corner of the picture below? We're entering the doorway there.
Below, as you enter: Esso Lexington, 1968, acrylic, epoxy on canvas, 79 x 64 inches. This is a composition that Zox mined over and over in different combinations of hues
To be honest, I hadn’t known about Larry Zox until a conversation with Stephen, about a year before he mounted his first show of Zox’s work in 2005 . This was at the end of a relatively long career for Zox, one that had seen his work in numerous museums, even a retrospective at the Whitney. By the time that first show at Haller went up, Zox’s heyday was over. The show was stellar—a combination of his hard-edge geometry from the Sixties and Seventies, along with newer, softer compositions that introduced a looping, nicely lyrical line.
A second show followed in 2006, and then—I’m not sure of the exact chronology—Zox died. Wherever the lyrical color fields might have gone, we won’t know. Both bodies of work are in the current show. I’m partial to the Seventies geometries with tinted color, a nice hard/soft combination in which the edge is mollified by the gentler palette.
Looking into the main gallery: No information on the gallery website for this large horizontal painting, but it ranks among my favorites. The paint is rendered with an almost suede-looking surface that's at odds with the hard-edge shapes. I love that!
In the main gallery: No info on the gallery site for this painting, either, but I can tell you that it's part of the Diagonal series from the Sixties
Looking into the center gallery, far wall: Change of shape--and century. Hayward, 2003, acrylic on canvas, 42 x 57 inches
In the center gallery: No info on this large horizontal, but it resembles other work on the gallery's website from the Seventies
Chris Martin at Mitchell-Innes and Nash
A few doors down at Mitchell-Innes and Nash, Chris Martin delivers his geometry with eye-searing color and collaged surfaces—glitter, newsprint, sponges (?)— that inform his shapes with a slight depth and dimensionality. While Zox’s painting seems to have come from his brain, Martin’s comes from straight from the gut. It’s raucus. It rocks.
Chris Martin installation view at Mitchell-Innes and Nash: Seven Pointed Star, left, and Untitled, both shown below
In conversation with Craig Olson in a recent issue of The Brooklyn Rail, Martin said this about his process:
"These forms come from a long process of unconscious drawing. Then there is this desire to see it in paint—a kind of compulsive curiosity that drives me to choose colors, mix up buckets of paint, and prepare a surface. The actual performing of a painting involves giving oneself over to a series of actions and trusting in the body and what the body knows. And when I step back to look at this thing, I’m still trying to figure it out just like everybody else."
Chris Martin: Seven Pointed Star, 2007, oil and collage on canvas with gel medium, 54 x 45 inches
Below: Untitled, 2007, oil and collage on canvas, 54 x 49 inches