It's a Plane! (Part 2 of 3)

Steven Alexander at Heidi Cho Gallery

We begin Part 2 of this series with Steven Alexander, showing in a two-artist exhibition at Heidi Cho Gallery. Alexander provides the perfect bridge from the previous post, Plane Speaking at McKenzie Fine Art, since his paintings are also included in that show. Alexander's formal compositions appear to be hard-edge geometry worked flat against the picture plane.  Up close, though, you see the richness of his surface: a field composed of layers of color whose hues appear to seep out from the edges or peek through intentional imperfections in their glorious chromatic skin.
Installation view of Alexander's paintings at Heidi Cho Gallery, with a detail of the
large foreground painting, below, in acrylic on canvas


Closer view of the installation of eight small painting, in acrylic on linen

Swinging around to the other side of the gallery, we come to the work of Taro Suzuki, shown above and below. Less obviously planar--color and repetitive pattern are the salient elements--there's nevertheless . . .

. . . a flatness that takes on unexpected depth with up-close viewing.  In the extreme detail below, you can see the weave of the canvas through layers of color in clear or translucent resin .

A big surprise for me in Miami was the work of Sven Lukin. His paintings from the Sixties--hard-edge abstractions with a dimensional element that emerges from the flat plane of the painting--were featured at Gary Snyder Project Space at ABMB.  A bigger surprise is that the gallery is right around the corner from me, on 26th Street near Eighth Avenue, and that Lukins has a show there through the end of the month.
Not sculpture: Sven Lukin's shaped paintings break the picture plane and jut out into the gallery at Gary Snyder Project Space. I'm taking you counterclockwise around the room, starting from above . . .
. . . swinging around to the far corner, where dimension can be optical (left) as well as physical (center) . . .

and then along the far wall

Closer views, all acrylic on canvas and wood construction
Above: San Diego, 1966
Below: Untitled, 1965

Tucson, 1966

With Tucson barely visible behind the wall of drawings, we see the fourth wall of the gallery's main exhibition space, below: 

Untitled, 1965, graphite and colored pencil on paper
The drawings offer a sense of how Lukins thought about bending and shaping the planes of the painting

Part 3 on Friday: Al Held,  Don Stezaker, Amy Park, Richard Bottwin, Virginia Overton, Don Dudley and Tatjana Busch


david weir art said...

very interesting post
joanne love the colour saturation

annell4 said...

I enjoyed this post! Thanks

Anonymous said...

Lukins work is just gorgeous. I have a real need to touch it! Thanks for this fantastic post!

Caleb Taylor said...

Sven Lukin's paintings are great...I saw his ad in Art in America and tried to find more of his work online. Thanks for covering this exhibition and giving an overview of a show I wish I could see. His paintings seem to speak really well with abstraction today even though they were made forty years ago. The drawings are a nice contrast to the large constructions, and I look forward to the next post with Al Held and how that work compliments Lukin's.

Nancy Natale said...

This work is great. I always love Steven Alexander's work and thanks for showing it up close - so beautiful. Those small pieces divided into two colors are fabulous in a group. I love the closeup of Taro Suzuki's work also.

The big surprise is Sven Lukin. These pieces look so contemporary. My favorite view is the pink squiggle tucked into a corner and the dark grey squiggle with red interior on the lighter grey block. What a great pair - like giant paint squirts.

Anonymous said...

Oh wow, I have to get over there and see the Sven Lukin show. I've never seen his work before.

Larry Schulte said...

I love Steven Alexander's work -- the photos do no justice to the depth of color. There's a beautiful large painting of his in the lobby of 600 Lexington Avenue (at 52nd Street), NYC.