Critical Mass., Part 4: Not About Paint at Zevitas

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Before this series: The Chain Letter Show
Part 1: Jennifer Riley, Damian Hoar de Galvan, Nancy Natale
Part 2: Cape Cod Museum of Art
Part 3: New England Collective

Installation view of Not About Paint at the Steven Zevitas Gallery

BOSTON--Boston is a great town to view painting, but a show like Not About Paint at the Steven Zevitas Gallery really pushes the envelope. Good!

Curator Evan Garza has assembled six artists who use means other than conventional paint to create “paintings” in their most free-ranging sense—mostly flat-ish compositions with color, form, proportion, and space—while at the same time remaining aligned to sculpture, assemblage or video. You have until this Saturday, August 20, to see the show.

Wide view from the doorway. From left: Cordy Ryman, corner and center wall; Sarah Braman on right wall; Alex Da Corte on floor

Panning to the right: Braman and Da Corte, James Hyde, Alex Hubbard video

Panning to the left: Jessica Stockholder, Ryman, Da Corte

It takes a particular skill to transform junk into something more than just junk in a new form. For art viewers in New York City or those who attend the big art fairs, Jessica Stockholder is something of an eminence grise. Her piece is this show is modestly scaled; elsewhere Stockholder has created room-size installations of stuff (read caption below), trippy Home Depot fantasies through the eyes of one particularly gifted in handling materiality and space. I’d call her esthetic material maximalism, the very opposite of Cordy Ryman, who is doing material minimalism. Ryman—yes, son of—is doing formalist takes reminiscent of hard-edge abstraction, or even Amish quilts, with building castoffs like moulding, dowels and two-by-fours, all put together with staples, Velcro or Gorilla Glue and a sublime sense of less-is-just-right.

Jessica Stockholder,  Untitled, 2010; carpet, framed leather, yarn, plastic parts, placemat, shelving unit part, hardware, plaster, fabric, push pins, acrylic, coffee grinder, fan, lighting fixture; 80 x 56 x 24 inches. Image from the gallery website

Sarah Braman made a mark at the Armory Fair in 2009, and I see she has continued her alchemical work, which is to take a few simple elements, probably found on the street, and transform them into dimensional paintings of formal beauty of the sort the French call jolie laide—beautiful but not conventionally so. I particularly like the juxtaposition of her geometric structure with the chromatic floor piece by Alex Da Corte which uses soda—grape, orange, cherry—in a kind of puddled homage to Jackson Pollock. I’m not even going to think about the archival issues inherent in Da Corte's work, just enjoy it in the here and now.

Sarah Braman, Window, 2011, wood and paint, 60 x 60 x 2 inches

James Hyde, 2010, Swimmer, nylon webbing, 76 x 60 x 10 inches

With his wall work of nylon webbing, James Hyde deconstucts the backyard chaise longue into a dimensional drawing, a material evocation of Brice Marden’s loops—or perhaps the Lower East Side version of a Bourgeoisian web.

Alex Hubbard is the artist with whom I was not familiar. His video, shown on a small monitor, creates a kinetic painting of an actual automobile. But you have to see it to get it.

Alex Hubbard, Annotated Plans for Evacuation, 2010, video still from gallery website

You've got four days. Go!

1 comment:

Donna Dodson said...

Great show! I saw it on August 5th at 1st fridays in SoWa. Thanks, J.