Kevin Finklea: Active Equipoise

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My introduction to Giampietro Gallery in New Haven came at the Scope Fair during Armory week in New York City. Though I was unfamiliar with the gallery, I was impressed with the work: strong paintings and sculptures by established midcareer artists. So when I learned that my friend Kevin Finklea, who shows at Pentimenti in Philadelphia and Thatcher Projects on 23rd Street, would be having a solo show there, I made a point of going to see it. I drove, but you could easily take Amtrak (hint, hint). The show, titled All the things that cannot be said, is up through May 25.

Panorama of two walls

Finklea creates small geometric sculptures in painted wood. His concerns are “color and balance,” which he more than achieves Viewing them at eye level and at various points above and below, I felt a desire to touch them. I couldn’t, of course, so the act of beholding them with my eyes became an almost intimate act. Contributing to this sense of intimacy are the sensuousness of the wood—though Finklea told me that some of the pieces started out as scraps from other projects—and the lusciousness of the color, which I’d call saturated pastels of similar value.

The formal concerns of the work keep it from become too intimate, yet the sheer gorgeous of the materials leave the gate open in a way that rigorous reduction does not. It’s a balancing act that keeps the viewer in a state of active equipoise.

For the Will of Persephone #3 , 2012, acrylic on poplar and pine
Detail below

Left wall: Pelikan for Palermo #4 , 2012, acrylic on birch veneer baltic plywood; Free Falling Divisions #18, acrylic on poplar with plywood backboard

Above, vertical piece closest to floor: Geary Street, 1963, 2012, acrylic on sapele; the two other works on this wall are identified below
Right of door: Turk Street, 1967, 2011, acrylic on mahogany and birch veneer plywood

Free Falling Divisions #20 over Free Falling Divisions #15, both 2011, acrylic on poplar and plywood

For the Will of Persephone #1, 2011
Below: View of these works from the alcove

Foreground: Pelikan for Palermo #5 , 2012, acrylic on poplar; midde: A List of Things We Said We Do Tomorrow, 2011, acrylic on poplar; left: For the Will of Persephone #2, 2011, acrylic on baltic plywood
Below: detail of For the Will of Persephone #2

This work is on the fourth wall of the space, between two windows:  Free Falling Divisions #19, 2011, acrylic on maple and basswood, 10.5 x 4 x 3.5 inches


mel prest said...

Beautiful work, Kevin! It does make you want to touch it.

About Connie Goldman said...

Great coverage of great work. Best regards all around.

annell4 said...

Wonderful post, thank you!