Contributed by Adam Simon / I almost decided not to write about Paul Pagk’s first solo exhibition at Miguel Abreu on the Lower East Side after reading Raphael Rubinstein’s eloquent press statement. Rubinstein articulated so much of what struck me about the exhibition that I wondered what I could add. One thing Rubinstein alludes to but doesn’t explore in depth is the chasm that separates an initial glance at a Pagk painting from longer consideration of his work in person. For viewers not attuned to the ways painters glean meaning from forms and materials, these paintings might appear overly reductive, mere diagrams on fields of monochrome. You tend to take in a Pagk canvas quickly, as a one-to-one relationship of image to ground without a lot of interacting parts. It’s easy to miss the many ways in which his false starts, reiterations, miscues, and reworkings belie his apparent minimalism and austerity.
Tag: Adam Simon
Don Dudley’s pure authenticity
Contributed by Adam Simon / Don Dudley’s minimalism has always had a West Coast flavor, more concerned with perception than objecthood. Like many artists of his generation, he has steered clear of expressionism, or anything that shifted attention from the object to the artist. His focus has been on the purely visual.
Joy Episalla’s radical photography
Contributed by Adam Simon / Lately I find myself wondering what impact the ubiquity of cellphone cameras is having on the practice of fine-art photography. As frustrating as it might be for the serious photographer to see everyone and their cousin constantly taking and posting pictures, one salient effect could be a rising inclination to explore the limits of what defines a photograph. There has been a resurgence of interest in photograms and camera obscura for some time now, and Joy Episalla’s current show of works labelled ‘foldtograms’ on view at Tibor de Nagy are even further removed from the idea of capturing an image.
Maureen McQuillan: Beauty in rigor
Contributed by Adam Simon / In the neighborhood of abstract painting, Maureen McQuillan’s backyard – reflected by works on view at McKenzie Fine Art until May 15 – features process-based or system-based painting. Loosely defined, this is painting for which the process of its making is its primary subject and the finished painting is understood as evidence of that process.
Non-intent, or, questioning the tyranny of curatorial premise, at Osmos Address
“Mind the Gaps” at the Osmos space on East 1st Street takes as its curatorial premise that it has no consistent curatorial premise and so offers a welcome respite to the incessant connecting of dots of contemporary life. The curatorial statement of non-intent leaves viewers to “puzzle out their own version of coherence.”
Russell Maltz: Radical thrift
Contributed by Adam Simon / One of Russell Maltz’s singular achievements is to demonstrate how easily utilitarian objects and materials can be transported, Cinderella-like, into the alchemical realm of fine art. This is partly a property of the materials themselves: the symmetry, weightiness, and economy of products meant for construction. “Russell Maltz: Painted/Stacked/Site” on view at Minus Space in Dumbo, through July 30, with an additional nearby storefront installation and a slide show depicting found sites of construction material.
Adam Simon and Anton Stankowski: Innovation, replication, mutation
“AS/AS: Anton Stankowski / Adam Simon” at Osmos Address explores the convergent interests of two artists, separated by 50 years, coming from two different fields, who had never met and whose work was unbeknownst to one another,.
Adam Henry: Full spectrum
Contributed by Adam Simon / It has been argued that there is no such thing as an abstract painting anymore, only pictures of abstract paintings. What sounds like a slur on abstract painters is simply an acknowledgement that digital technology, social media and the proliferation of images has affected how […]
Jude Tallichet�s sense of the ineffable
Contributed by Adam Simon / Jude Tallichet�s Fire Escape, one of several sculptures in her exhibition �Heat Map� at Smack Mellon in Dumbo, doesn�t look like something that would help if your building were burning down. It hangs there in all its ineffectuality, abject yet amiable, enormous and out of […]
David Diao�s challenge to formalism
Contributed by Adam Simon / The space between 0 and 1 is infinite. I thought of this in relation to David Diao�s exhibition, “Studios and Sales,” currently at Postmasters. The show is an inspired pairing of two works, Studios, Updated and Sales. Sales is an arrangement of twenty-five smallish paintings from 1992 that documents […]