Following Up, Part 2: "A Whiter Shade of Pale"

Installation view of the exhibition with the entrance at your right shoulder, up through July 20
at Kenise Barnes Fine Art, Larchmont, New York
Here: Mattera, Field, Nan
This is one cool show. I say this not because I'm in it, but because the largely achromatic palette of this exhibition settles on your skin like a mist that's just a little bit lower in temperature than the air around you.
Kenise Barnes has selected six of her gallery artists for a summer show that conjures the poetics of pale: floaty, dreamy, luminous, that state just before you're fully awake, or the white light of transcendence.
We start with the opening installation shot, above: my two paintings, the newest of which deconstructs the grid so that its diamonds unmoor and begin to drift; Lori Fields' two silverpoint drawings, which depict untethered figures that pull you into their through-the-looking-glass world; and a painting by Lalani Nan whose formal composition is so coolly inviting you can imagine the smooth satin-ness of it next to your body.

JM: Diamond Life 20, 2012 (above) and Diamond Life 24, 2013; both encaustic with micaceous and interference pigments on panel

Lori Field: Botany of Desire, 2011 (above) and  Bete Noir, 2011, both silverpoint on paper

Lalani Nan: White No. 4, 2013, oil on canvas
Below: Another shot of the wall with a better view of Nan's work

As we swing around the front gallery to the opposite wall we alight on this view of Barnes's white desk and chair, and it's not difficult to imagine how this show might have been conceived. On back wall: Mary Ellen Bartley photograph
One of the things I love about the curation of this show is the range of ways Barnes has interpreted the theme. Mary Ellen Bartley's photographs depend on light to depict it, and shadows to heighten it by contrast. Lorraine Glessner's rococo fantasies--much richer and visually complex than a photograph of her work can convey--depend on fine linear elements and translucent layers of pattern on pattern. Charles Clary's physically spaced layers of translucent material start dark and end light, a topography that brings paleness into high relief.

Installation view from the rear of the front gallery looking toward the entrance: Bartley, Glessner, Clary

Mary Ellen Bartley: Print on Wall from Sea Change series, 2013, archival pigment print on Hahnemuhle rag paper

Lorraine Glessner: Lilting Lace,  2013, mixed media on panel (diptych)

Charles Clary: Patiflasmic Flamungle Gestation Movement #1, 2012, hand-cut paper and acrylic on panel


RosieK said...

It looks a wonderful show

Cherie Mittenthal said...

Looks like a beautiful show! Nice post!

Mark Kielkucki said...

Shades of white! Nice.