At D. Wigmore Fine Art: An installation view, above, with the work of Richard Anuszkiewicz and Mon Levinson, and after the pilaster, Tadasky and Anuszkiewicz again
Looking into D. Wigmore Fine Art, and the exhibition Four Optic Visionaries
If you’re in New York City between now and November 15, head over to Fifth Avenue near 57th Street to D. Wigmore Fine Art to see the show. What you will find is a long rectangle of a space, day-lit at one end, with paintings on either side of you. The intensely vibrational nature of these works is such that you almost feel caught up in their hum. Op is by nature visually scintillating—its even comes through in the images posted here. It’s heady and invigorating—Red Bull for the retina.
To my mind, or should I say, to my eye, Tadasky and Anuszkiewiz have the most forceful dynamic. Tadasky’s paintings are round, his imagery concentric. Anuszkiewiz’s are square, their geometry all angles. These strong works are closely hung, and sometimes, looking between two paintings, you get caught within an optical illusion. Allow yourself to fall into Tadasky’s concentricity and then look at a square Anuszkiewicz: Straight lines become disorientingly concave. I'm guessing Anuszkiewicz would revel in this optical shift, because his work is calculatedly about challenging and tantalizing the eye with simultaneous contrasts and their dizzying effects.
If Tadasky’s paintings reference mandalas, Anuszkiewicz’s have some visual connections to Amish quilts. Quilts are usually geometric—the warp and weft of fabric providing the formalist imperative—and Amish expression is surprisingly bold.
Anuszkiewicz, above: Celestial, 1966, acrylic on canvas, 61 x 61 inches
And below: Scintillant, 1965, 36 x 36 inches, Liquitex on masonite
In the viewing room: Anuszkiewics's Scintillant above the sofa (hey, even in art galleries work goes above the sofa); at left, Tadasky's C-145, 1965, acrylic on canvas, 47 x 47 inches
In terms of actual textiles, however, Sue Fuller’s constructivist work involves layers of thread. It’s woven sculpture, or sculptural drawing—call it what you will. Fuller’s is a vision from a particular time, and I'm not as enamored of it as I am of the aforementioned work, but here’s what impresses me: Back in the Sixties when this work was made, plastics were a relatively new material for artmaking. Fuller planned well, worked smartly with engineers and scientists, and came up with materials that have held their own over time. Today her color remains rich and her lines taut.
Installation view with Sue Fuller's String Composition #562, 1969, polypropylene thread embedded in lucite, 25 x 25 inches
Below: String Composition #148, 1967, polypropylene thread construction, app. 24 x 24 inches
Sue Fuller, String Composition #55, 1953, polypropylene thread construction, app. 22 x 22 inches
Chris Duncan, site-specific installation Untitled (White Stringburst), 2008:
The optical dimensionality of Duncan's installation also relates to the fourth artist in the Wigmore show: Mon Levinson, who works achromatically in black, white and gray. His constructions in the show are painted and printed on multiple layers of plexiglass, so that the optical effects are not just seemingly dimension but actually so.
Mon Levinson, Four Diamonds, 1965, plexiglass and mixed-media construction, 40.5 x 40.5 inches
I'll end the post here, with the metaphor of depth and dimension not only dazzling the eye but moving it in and out out of planar space--and stretching back and forth through time.