Ariel Dill: The roots (and limbs) of abstraction

In Williamsburg yesterday, I stopped by Southfirst to see Ariel Dill’s exhibition “Oscillations,” a thought-provoking show of eight small paintings that take early 20th-century experimental abstraction as their point of departure. Southfirst co-founder and director Maika Pollack is the NY Observer’s museum critic, on the Bard faculty, and an expert on painting in fin-de-si�cle France, so naturally her statement for the show is terrific.

“Oscillations” can be taken to refer to either the striated facture and vibratory color combinations present in each of the eight paintings in the show, or the eclectic style in which the works are painted. From the black curved lines and flat, subtle brushwork of Traipsed, which evokes the early abstractions of Mondrian, to the radiant, Kupka-like facture of Astrology, the works take as their starting point diverse early-twentieth century experiments in abstraction. Dill�s heterogenous �Oscillations� can be taken as a reaction to the commodified �signature style� often associated with painting, and as a feminist critique of the masculine trope of the unique and expressive, involuntary gesture. Yet the work exceeds this reading to yield pleasure in its wide-ranging references to the past and in its vibrant, nearly textile materiality…

Rather than hanging the paintings in a traditional white cube, Dill has painted the bottom half of the wall grey, referencing images of Gertrude Stein’s salon and signalling a more intimate, less didactic approach. Rejecting manifestos, Dill proposes that painting can still generate complex and meaningful conversation. Yes, I agree.

 Ariel Dill
  Ariel Dill
  Ariel Dill
  Ariel Dill
  Ariel Dill
  Ariel Dill
 Ariel Dill
Ariel Dill

 Image of Gertrude Stein’s salon at 27 Rue du Fleurus from the Met Museum’s exhibition”The Steins Collect.”

Ariel Dill: Oscillations,” Southfirst, Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY. Through May 27, 2010.

Related posts:
Painting for umpteen years: Lutes and Dill in LA

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One Comment

  1. Dear �,

    they are right looking for the historic truth about Gertrude Stein in this however wonderfull exhibition,"The Steins Collect;Matisse,Picasso,Cezanne and the Parisian Avant Garde" in NewYork at the Metropolitan Museum of Art .

    What a pleasure to see the portrait of Gertrude Stein by Riba-Rovira .

    Who was as Picasso an antifascist and antinazi artist .Persecuted by Franco and the Nazis .And is in this exhibition ,thanks to Rebecca Rabinow and Edward Burns, perhaps the only one artist would fought them weapons in his hands .
    Whose father was in jail after the spanish civil war .

    So Riba-Rovira is beside Tchelitchew and Balthus and Francis Rose near Picabia and Picasso in the last room of this exhibition with C�zanne, Matisse .

    You have an interesting article in Appollo London Revew about him .And also in Artes Magazine from San Francisco where the exhibition was before .

    The main document as a revelation is in the mention beside the picture with the Preface Gertrude Stein wrote for first Riba-Rovira's exhibition in the Galerie Roquepine in Paris on 1945 .

    Where we can read Gertrude Stein writing Riba-Rovira "will go farther than�Cezanne…will succeed in where Picasso failed…I am fascinated " by Riba-Rovira Gertrude Stein tells us .

    And you are you also fascinated indeed as Gertrude Stein by Riba-Rovira ?
    Me I am when I see ��L�Arlequin�� on the free access website of ��Galeria Muro��.

    Gertrude Stein spoke in this same document not only Picasso and Cezanne but also Matisse and �Juan Gris .
    Riba-Rovira went each week in Gertrude Stein's saloon rue Christine with Masson, Hemingway and others. By Edward Burns and Carl Van Vechten we can know Riba-Rovira did others portraits of Gertrude Stein .

    But we do not know where they are ;and you do you know perhaps ?

    With this portrait we do not forget it is the last time Gertrude Stein sat for an artist who is Riba-Rovira .
    This exhibition presents us a world success with this last painting portrait before she died .And her last Gertrude Stein's Art Retrospective before dead .

    It illuminates the tone as an esthetic light over that exhibition now at the Metropolitan Museum of Art of New York thanks to Curator Rebecca Rabinow .
    Coming from San Francisco "Seeing five stories" in the Jewish museum to Washington in National Portrait Gallery .And now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art of New York for our pleasure .

    And the must is to see for the first time in the same place portraits by Picasso, Picabia, Riba-Rovira, Rose ,Tall-Coat, Valloton .Never before it was .

    You have the translate of Gertrude Stein's Riba-Rovira Preface on english Gertrude Stein's page on Wikipedia and in the catalog of this Roquepine exhibition you can see in first place the mention of this portrait .And also other pictures Gertrude Stein bought to Riba-Rovira .
    There is another place where you can see now Riba-Rovira's works in an exhibition in Valencia in Spain "Homenage a Gertrude Stein" by Riba-Rovira in Galeria Muro ,if you like art …

    We do not missed today that all over Europe a very bad wind is blowing again bringing the worth in front of us .And we must know that at least were two antinazis and antifascists in this exhibition but the only one fighting weapons in hands would be Riba-Rovira who did one of the first three ��affiches�� supporting Republicans in the beguining Spanish civil war .

    Seeing Potrait of Gertrude Stein by Riba-Rovira in the Metropolitain Museum of New York with Picasso ,C�zanne ,Matisse we feel a recreation of spirit .

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