Rhomboid Rumba


Gabriele Evertz
R-Split-SCd-24, 2010, acrylic on canvas, 24 x 24 inches
It’s no secret that I’m interested in diamonds. My entire current solo show, up now through May 28 at the Marcia Wood Gallery in Atlanta, is full of them—squares turned on their axis, along with some elongated parallelograms of the shape you might describe as harlequin. But this post is not about my work. It’s about what other artists are doing with these shapes. As often happens, one’s personal interest becomes larger than oneself.

Gilbert Hsiao
Untitled, 2007, acrylic sprayed on wood panel, 24 x 24 inches

Ken Weathersby
 181, 2011, acrylic and graphite on canvas with removed and flipped area, 30 x 24 inches

On Facebook recently I asked my friends who work in geometric abstraction to send me an image of a recent work of theirs in which the diamond or rhomboid is a significant element. I thought that using Facebook in this way would be an interesting angle on an interesting angle. I wasn’t after dictionary precision (rhomboid: a parallelogram with adjacent sides of unequal lengths, or an equilateral parallelogram; diamond: another name for rhombus); I flunked geometry in tenth grade and never looked back. Rather I was, and am, interested in an artist’s visual interpretation of those shapes.

Over the course of a week, some five dozen images appeared in my inbox: compelling shapes united by their geometric aggressiveness, wooze-inducing angles and/or on-point position. Unlike rectilinear shapes with angles perpendicular to a horizontal plane, diamonds and rhomboids are wildly dynamic, punching through their perimeters to capture the space around them or holding it with equipoise, or sometimes both. Elongated shapes play with our perspective. Eccentric angles skew with our perception of plane. Actual dimension further confounds our expectation of planarity.

Louise P. Sloane
Navajo, 1984, encaustic, 48 x 48 inches
Joanne Mattera
Romb, 2011, encaustic on panel, 45 x 45 inches

I selected 34 images that appealed to my sensibilities while at the same time underscoring and expanding the concept of the post (the genesis of which is exemplified by my own image, above). The images that best fit my concept found a spot in the lineup; the best of those made me adjust my thinking about the lineup itself, for here the scrolling sequence is how you see the work, a very different visual experience from the white box installation or the catalog page-turn.

The works in this scroll-down reflect a variety of ideas: tectonic shift, Archimedian displacement, spiritual thinking, a textile sensibility, references to the body, constructivist principles, optical challenge, formal push/pull, and the pure pleasure of geometric abstraction.  Materiality, another of my interests, is very much in evidence here as well. What follows is a curated post, Rhomboid Rumba.

George Ortman
Blue Diamond, 1961; oil, collage and wood on masonite; 60 x 48 inches 

Grace DeGennaro
Indigo Series #38, 2010, gouache on paper, 30 x 22 inches

Karen Freedman
Ruche 0399, 2011, encaustic on panel, 12 x 12 inches

Mary Judge
Tumulus 1, 2011, powdered pigment on folded paper, 8 x 18 inches.
J.T. Kirkland
Fracture_009, 2011, acrylic and polyacrylic on maple plywood, 46 x 23 inches

Evan Read
 Untitled (Concentric Rectangles N. 1), 2011, inkjet on photo matte paper, 17 x 32 inches

Laura Moriarty
Sinkhole, 2009, encaustic on panel, 8 x 10 x 6 inches

Gudrun Mertes Frady
Cool Blue, 2009, oil and metallic pigments on wood, 18 x 18 inches

Dennis Meier
2011-04-09 111, 2011, digital image

Don Voisine
 Off Register, 2010, oil on wood, 16 x 17 inches; courtesy McKenzie Fine Art, New York City.

Steven Baris
 Nested Forms #7, 2011, acrylic on shaped plexiglass, 13 x 13 inches

Marc Cheetham
Untitled, 2011; acrylic, canvas on canvas, 19.5 x 19.5 inches

Richard Bottwin
Facade #6, 2011, ash veneer on birch poly and acrylic color, 17 x 27 x 8 inches

Ted Larsen
Cross Bar, reclaimed  steel and annealed wire, 23 x 31 x 3 inches; courtesy Clark Gallery, Lincoln, Mass.

Altoon Sultan
#13, 2011, hand-dyed wool and egg tempera on linen, 11.75 x 13.5 inches

Lynda Ray
Red Trace, 2007, encaustic on panel, 40 x 48 inches

Julie Karabenick
Composition 93, 2010, acrylic on canvas 45 x 45 inches

Sharon Butler
Brightly Colored Separates 2, 2010, oil on canvas, 30 x 40 inches

Jeanne Heifetz
Geometry of Hope: Cobalt, Emerald, 2009, acid-etched glass hand stitched to stainless steel mesh, 20 x 20 inches

Debra Ramsay
In Half Twice, Black with Blue, 2011; various papers, cotton thread, pins; 16 x 10.5 inches

Bernard Klevickas
Untitled (emergence), 2010, cut-up plastic food contrainers and aluminum pop rivets, 19 x 15 x 3 inches

Chris Ashley
Black Drawing 22, 2009, acrylic on paper, 14 x 11 inches

Rachel Beach
Stack, 2010; oil and acrylic on plywood, reclaimed lumber; 51 x 17 x 10 inches

Connie Goldman
Arena 111, 2007, oil on panel, 23.5 x 20

Jeffrey Cortland Jones
Hoke's Run, 2011, enamel on acrylic panel, 12 x 12 inches

Matt Morris
Amuse-bouche, 2009; spray enamel and paint, yarn poppom, map pin on wall; 41 x 96 inches

Oriane Stender
Self/image (large collarbone), 2001, photographs and thread, 31 x 20 inches

Ward Jackson
Point and Line to Plane, 1963, acrylic on canvas, 37 x 37 inches; Courtesy David Richard Contemporary, Santa Fe

Doug Holst
Untitled, 2009, acrylic on wood, 12 x 12 inches

Related post: My New Best Friends


Nancy Natale said...

A wonderful collection of eye-boggling geometry!

annell said...

Very interesting!

swalzer said...

Very inspiring form and collection of work....let me know of the next series!

Eva said...

I saw the work of that first artist at Minus Space - absolutely incredible.

Oriane Stender said...

Scrolling down seeing one after the other is like watching a movie. What's going to come up next? There's a narrative flow with an occasional surprise. Thanks for including me!

Louise P. Sloane said...

What a great group! I'm not only honored to have my work included, but thrilled to see that you've put Ward Jackson's painting in the mix.
Thanks for putting this together.

Ian MacLeod said...

excellent post Joanne.

Cyndy Goldman Art Blog said...

Love this post JM! thanks!

Jeffrey Simmons said...

This is a good post. I've used transparent diamond shapes in a number of my watercolors--



Matthew said...

Great post, Joanne! Many of my most favorite artists. In fact, I have that painting by Gabriele Evertz hanging in my office at MINUS SPACE as we speak. It's an amazing work.

Lynda Ray said...

Thanks Joanne. How excellent! I am flattered to have my work included in such a delicious group of work shown in an intuitive progression. Lynda Ray

Bernard Klevickas said...

Thanks for including me Joanne!
My piece is currently on display in the "Art from Detritus: Upcycling with Imagination" group exhibition at the Willaimsburg Art and Historical Center through May 29th.

Also: Here's Richard Serra's "Diamond" on display at the MET.

Richard Bottwin said...

Fascinating post. I too am honored to be in this company. Such interesting work. Mary Judge's new drawing sure looks intriguing. This stuff would make one hell of a show!

Cheryl Toh said...

amazing! such diversity and inspiring work!

Tony said...

Excellent blog!

Clarissa Valadio said...

love it very much! Love from Brazil!

Anonymous said...

Joanne--Thanks for including my painting in your post. Excellent choices. Let's get together at some point over the summer----->Sharon

amrts said...

you should have seen the show "Optic Diamonds" at the Bridgette Mayer Gallery, in Philadelphia in may of '09. it would have been perfect for "Rhomboid Rumba".

Ravenna Taylor said...

Excellent assemblage of excellent works~