Kayne Griffin Corcoran is pleased to present Painting, a group show bringing together nine artists with a focus on painterly practices. The exhibition will include work from Huguette Caland, Mary Corse, Sarah Crowner, Kiki Kogelnik, Sam Moyer, Mary Obering, Eamon Ore-Giron, Beverly Pepper and Mika Tajma. While the majority of the exhibiting artists have creative output that expands beyond the application of paint, this exhibition focuses on the various ways this medium is used.
The arc of painting is as wide as the genesis of every painting, though most paintings begin with the decision to use paint. Secondary decisions revolve around representation, abstraction, the sculptural, use of materials, flatness, depth, the gestural, minimalism, addition, subtraction… it goes on. Painting can be a painting or it can be a performance. It can behave as paint or it can perform tasks other than simply being a painting.
The gallery will soon be open by appointment and visitors will have this opportunity to inspect the many different ways these nine artists have chosen to battle with paint. In the meantime, we invite you to investigate the included works through the digital presentation.
Huguette Caland’s use of line is central to her work, whether in the edges that divide her painted forms or in her numerous ink drawings. With unlimited patience, elegance and lightness the Silent Letters series of Huguette Caland invites us into her daydreaming. Every line, thin or thicker, short or longer, vertical or horizontal carries intense emotions. Transcending words the artist chooses to express pain and joy with her brushes. From one side of the page to the other, with artistic and personal command, the lines offer to those who take the time to decipher her secret thoughts. A game, in which the unspoken is delicately whispered to the paper; a way for Caland to discreetly overcome life’s turbulences and move on towards the next adventure, an empty space yet to be filled.
Mary Corse’s nearly six-decade long practice has been devoted to the perceptual qualities of light and the dynamic physical and visual interplay between the viewer and the painting. Perhaps her best known and longest running series, Corse first created her glass microsphere White Light paintings in the late 1960s. By layering the microspheres over visible and expressive brush strokes in monochrome white paint, Corse created works that both capture and refract light, appearing to shift, move, or glow from within. In the painting included in the exhibition, a White Light Inner Band painting from this year, a defined inner band emerges and disappears from within the monochromatic white field as the viewer walks along the length of the work. Through this visual push and pull, Corse makes the inherent abstractness of human perception felt instead of merely seen.
Sarah Crowner’s varied practice consists of paintings, sculptures, and installations inviting the viewer to engage with the work and the environment that surrounds it. In addition to the natural world, Crowner’s visual language often references mid-century abstraction, architecture, and modern design, re-contextualizing those visual cues and found forms into cut and sewn paintings, stage design, and costumes. The painting in the exhibition comes from a series of work the artist started a few years ago in which forms are culled directly from the artists environment; found botanical silhouettes seen from outside the artist’s studio window.
Kiki Kogelnik’s notable work emerged soon after moving to the United States—during the period between 1959-1970. Lifesize human figures appear as if they’re almost floating over the ether. Kogelnik uses seriality, repetition and stenciling to allude to and represent her fascination with technological progress and space travel. A sense of artificiality is perpetuated further in her work with the use of a spray brush to obliterate a sense of personal style.
Sam Moyer’s practice has evolved from its more conceptual and process-based origins to address formal and theoretical issues regarding the construct of painting. In all her production, issues of scale and space are critical, and Moyer is particularly interested in the way architecture functions in tandem with her objects to create dynamic visual experiences. Uniting found textures and objects in innovative ways, the work included in the exhibition is an example of Moyer’s paintings that are made through a process of fitting repurposed stone into hand painted canvases. Moyer manipulates the materials into beautifully abstract formal works that provoke an expanded artistic vocabulary.
For the last fifty years, Mary Obering has painted geometric abstract compositions that investigate the essence of color and form. In her early Drop paintings, which were made just after her move to New York’s SoHo in the 1970s, Obering explored color and space by creating fields of color in acrylic on canvas. She then cut the canvases into horizontal and vertical panels that she attached or dropped, one on top of the other, onto a large-scale monochrome field. The effect, as exemplified in Lawn, 1974, asks the viewer not only to revel in dynamic and unique color relationships, but also in the formal and spatial ambiguities of the work. Obering delights in the tension in the painting’s existence as both a single flat-planed composition as well as a layered and assembled material object. The various washes of deep greens and brilliant blues within the painting are compared not only visually side-by-side, but also physically overlapping each other, complicating and expanding the experience of painted abstraction.
Eamon Ore-Giron’s “Infinite Regress” series is a living heuristic document of his expanding approach to abstraction; it is an ongoing record of a precise but always evolving language of painting. Ore-Giron sees the paintings as a (re)generative expression of his own experiences of cultural hybridity, Mesoamerican rituals and aesthetics, and Western Modernism. His compositions variously recall Peruvian gold work, architecture, feathers, pendulums, and sunset vistas yet refuse the specificity of representation, allowing the viewer an analogous, associative response through a lived relationship with the paintings’ evocative forms and rhythms.
Beverly Pepper’s artistic career began as a painter, however, after a life changing trip to Angkor Wat, the artist redirected her creative interests into sculpture. The work in the exhibition is amongst the rarest examples in which the artist marries her foundation in painting with her long standing reputation as a sculptor. The painted totem series mimic the pillars of an ancient temple. They were made at an emotional time in the artist’s life; after she had experienced a major loss. She thought of these works as unique angels or pillars holding up the large entablature. Faithfully painting on the sculpture was a way to imbue the object with care and reinsert the artist’s hand that went into its construction.
Mika Tajima’s work is about control, performance, and freedom. In her Art d'Ameublement series, the reverse spray enameled acrylic objects are transparent shells that contain blooming paint mists made solid on its interior surface. Each piece in this ambient painting series is subtitled by a geographic location drawing on the psychogeographic associations produced by the affective names of industrial colors and paints. Art d'Ameublement refers to Erik Satie's Furniture Music (Musique d’ameublement)—a series of infinitely repetitive compositions meant to be background music for different occasions (aural decor). Spray paint is where solid substance meets air.