Suburban Scenes, Poetic Paintings and Apocalyptic Art
Jessica Rohrer, Darrell Nettles and Jorge Tacla in this week’s Fine Art
‘When You Look at Me’ (2014) by Darrell Nettles. PHOTO: DARRELL NETTLES
Darrell Nettles’s paintings, gallery press materials say, “are ergodic in the deepest and most satisfying sense of the word.” Ergodic is a math/physics term indicating a system that operates over both time and space. Applied to the handsome, elegantly ordered letter-and-word pictures of Mr. Nettles (b. 1948), it seems to mean that the viewer is intended to appreciate them both spatially as paintings and sequentially, as texts to be read.
In terms of the former, the artist does a fine—actually, a refined—job. “When You Look at Me” (2014), at 82 by 60 inches one of the two big paintings in the show, is as dignified as a diplomat’s three-piece suit. Two smaller near-abstractions with partial letter shapes incised in thick white or black paint are more vigorously arresting.
The exhibition slumps a little in the midsize panels (about 3 feet high by 2 feet across) with sprayed-and-masked-off whole words. In them, the painting quotient is less, the poetry part greater. The poetry is conventionally abstruse, but not much more than that.
In Conversation: Elio Rodríguez
As he wraps up a fellowship at Harvard, the artist reflects on the experience and what comes next
Steven Heller in conversation with John A. Parks on his new paintings and show In New York.
Diana Copperwhite, an Irish painter living and working in Dublin, deserves more attention than she currently receives. Her “Shadowland,” a colossal, color-filled expressionist work humming with energy, brings to mind Richter and others from the new European school.
by Hrag Vartanian on June 27, 2014
Clockwise from top left, a detail Armando Marino’s “The Young Artist” (2014), installation view, detail of “Crying Girl” (2014), and installation view. (all photos by the author for Hyperallergic)
If Armando Mariño’s earlier art looked at the outside world with a critical postcolonial eye, his recent paintings probe visceral states of being tinted by melancholy and framed by a directness that feels intimate. Seen through a frosty lens, the artist’s big paintings in his current show at 532 Gallery Thomas Jaeckel are largely centralized compositions that focus on a solitary figure or object turned away or obstructed from the viewer. The impact of his visual elision opens up the strongest work emotionally, leaving crumbs along the away to invite the viewer inside the work, where he shows off his technical prowess.
“The Young Artist” (2014) uses 19th-century German artist Casper David Friedrich‘s signature rückenfigur device (a person seen from behind, contemplating the view), to mark a sense of presence that is equally striking for its feeling of absence. The shadowy figure pops out of an impossible inner frame that directs our attention to a pinkish-hued winter scene blanketed with a deep sense of longing. Like many of the works here, the scene is specific without revealing an actual sense of place — it is a fairy tale world that at every turn begins “once upon a time.”
His “Crying Girl (2014) is equally enigmatic — veering into the realm of magic realism — as a young female figure cries in the branches of a tree that splays the composition every which way. The background of the painting is sprinkled with glowing orbs of color but the reason for her sobbing is unclear even if it feels easy to read into her life story. The barren tree seems to comfort her, but as the viewer we feel awkward about looking at her in pain.
Space is frequently conflated or telescoped in these paintings, which gives them a timeless quality. In “White Tree” (2014), Mariño places an icing-like white tree again warm reds, deep blacks, and accents of bright digital colors. The forms are rooted beyond the painting’s edge, which flattens the picture and lures us to the surface where fireflies of color and texture reveal a different, more abstractly formulated, composition.
But in a few works, namely “The Bride” (2014), the sense of space is too contorted and the subject feels too distant to create a connection with the viewer. His art is most successful when the tension between figure and ground is strangely unsettled, and his work calcifies when the boundaries are more distinct.
All the paintings in this show depict rural night scenes, which heighten their sense of solitude. In frames of darkness his painterly magic glows. I imagine Mariño himself is the figure in “The Young Artist,” looking away towards the two coniferous trees burdened by the weight of the snow. There is a sobering sense of relaxation in this work as we see the youthful artist, perhaps awestruck or curious, contemplating his place in the world. Unlike Casper David Friedrich, Mariño doesn’t offer glimpses of the sublime, preferring instead to focus on the manmade in these allegories, uncovered in the dark recesses of his studio, where time stands still and spring finally arrives.
Armando Mariño’s New Paintings After a Long Winter continues at 532 Gallery Thomas Jaeckel (532 West 25th Street, Chelsea, Manhattan) until June 27.
Middle Gate Geel ‘13, Belgium, September 29- December 22, 2013.
Middle Gate Geel ’13 is an international art event, curated by a renowned curator Jan Hoet and exhibited at numerous historical locations throughout the city of Geel. The exhibition, displaying the work of more than fifty artists from around the world, tries to come to grips with the complex and multi-layered interaction between myths, psychiatry and the arts. Rather than pinpointing the differences, the exhibition undertakes to reveal the connections and links, commonplaces and parallels of these phenomena. The historic and present-day context of the city of Geel, world-famous for its unique psychiatric care system based on home nursing, adds an extra dimension to this exhibition, so much so that the interaction between Geel and this exhibition will be palpable and visible in every aspect.
Middle Gate Geel ‘13 concentrates on three main categories: myth, psychiatry, and art. More specifically, it sets out to analyse the mutual interaction between mythical or magic-religious art, outsider art and art-as-art, ignoring differences and focussing instead on connections and links, affinities and parallels with respect to these three phenomena. This exhibition wants to do more than just “compile” a number of works that somehow refer to the three main phenomena. It has no intention of providing clear-cut answers—it merely wants to disorder and disturb what we thought we knew. Through the combination of myths with psychiatry and art, this exhibition seeks to create a mental space capable of yielding insights about the assumption of what art is—or could be.
Middle Gate Geel ‘13 is obviously not the first exhibition that zooms in on the relationship between psychiatry, myths and art, yet through its intrinsic link with the city of Geel, it acquires a uniquely rich dimension. Geel’s “foster homes” have been welcoming psychiatric patients of the Public Psychiatric Nursing Centre (OPZ) ever since the 13th century. This integration has contributed to the inclusion of patients in families’ daily lives and in the city’s activities. Geel’s home nursing system still enjoys a special status in the field of caring for the mentally disturbed. The integration of psychiatric patients in families used to be frowned upon. Today, home nursing is considered a monument (so much so that the official psychiatric term is now “rehabilitation”). This approach has aroused interest the world over—even Michel Foucault wrote about it. Geel’s home nursing system is considered a valuable model with a special ethical value. Dialogues and shared experiences of patients and non-patients abound in Geel. Middle Gate Geel ‘13 capitalises on this context and attempts to continue and intensify this dialogue.
Participating artists: Bruce Nauman, Cindy Sherman, Michaël Borremans, Mike Kelley, Nadja Verena Marcin, Jan Fabre, Agatha Snow, Bjarne Melgaard, Jan Fabre, Andy Hope 1930, Nancy Barton, Johnny Meese, Katie Heck, Jon Plypchuk, Paul Mc Carthy, Pablo Picasso, Paul Klee, David Hammons, Jan Fabre, Francis Picabia amongst others.
Armando Marino presented at VOLTA 9, Basel
The axis of Armando Mariño’s recent work flows from the ethical dilemma implied by aestheticizing or domesticating a violent event — from the moment it becomes “breaking news” and is then converted into art through painting. He appropriates images whose authorship and authority become less important and more “everyday”, to which the public has instance access to via the web or print media, and from these Mariño launches a new kind of neo-historicism.
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Avenues recent visits to the Paint and Memory exhibit by English painter John A. Parks was a fun experience with the children immediately responding to the finger paintings. They also toured the map paintings of London, pointing to places they knew or recognized by name.
In praise of the revolution May 4th, 2013
” I think Marino is one of the great artists of modern times. Look at the passion, the energy, the drive, the rage, the imagery: it’s magnificent.” Donald Rubin
Marcy Brafman Interviewed by Leah Oates
Rossknödel am Schnellbuffet
Zum guten Schluss die Volta. In neuem Quartier auf der Mercer Street (ein Wechsel, der gut tat) schlug sich die Einladungsmesse wacker. Obwohl aus Soloshows bestehend, hatte man den Eindruck, dass die Volta so ist, wie die Independent es gern wäre. Großerfolg für die 532 Gallery Thomas Jaeckel, der dem artmagazine.cc sagte: „Fantastische Messe! Bei uns läuft es unglaublich gut. Wir haben viele Sammler schon in die Galerie mitnehmen können.“