ABSTRACT MINIATURES (Fine Art Complex 1101) & ABSTRACTION IN THE SINGULAR (Bentely Gallery)
In the past few decades there has been a lot of discussion in abstraction about the unmonumental, the provision and the ‘new casualism’ of ZoFo (Zombie Formalism). By contrast, the works included in Abstract Miniatures ask us to question how abstraction in a minor key can be more opulent, dynamic and complex than the iconic forms of high modernism. Like looking through a microscope at, Abstract Miniatures aims to see how can the smallest gestures open onto a larger set of theoretical and conceptual concerns, such that a reduction in scale is not conflated with a reduction in meaning production.
As a survey of the very best abstraction here in Arizona and California, Abstract Miniatures also acts as a snapshot of a generation of critical formalists with a diversity of interests beyond simply being invested in abstraction for the sake of abstraction. References to the history of art and culture are at play as much in the works in Abstract Miniatures as narrative devices, process based systems, re-appropriative acts and conceptual programs.
Thus while the works in Abstract Miniatures are certainly smaller in scale it does not mean that they are necessarily equated with the fragment, the piece-meal or the unfinished but rather, that a smaller painting can open onto a larger world of concerns by implication and intimations. As such, this survey is an entre into thinking about scale not as a restriction but as a way of reframing the discourse of abstraction by being hyper-attentive to the valances of preparation, perception and the intentions of artistic production.
Abstraction in the Singular @ Bentley Projects
Abstraction in the Singular is a survey of painters from the West Coast and Arizona that have had an impact on how we think about the genre of abstract art. Running counter to the New York aesthetic of what Jerry Saltz recently termed “Zombie Formalism” we can say there is no way to lump the divergent practices of the painters that are included in Abstraction in the Singular into a particular school, trend, or ethos. By using the gestural and the geometric, the atmospheric and the iconic, the theoretical and the pleasurable in any number of hybrid ways, the artists in this survey challenge how we think about non-objective imagery as an integral set of pictorial relations. In other words, the painters included in this show ask us to engage with how the indexical quality of abstract art is intimately tied to a language of touch, tempo and transposition. Such singular qualities characterize the very best of what abstract painting has to offer us today by building on the achievements of a genre that has kept art goers captivated for well over a century.
Artists in the show: Jonathan Apgar (CA), Bill Dambrova (AZ), Tom Dunn (CA), Kent Familton (CA), Rema Ghuloum (CA), Rachel Goodwin (AZ), Audra Graziano (CA-AZ), Layne Farmer (AZ), Yvette Gellis (CA), Jenny Hager (CA), Dion Johnson (CA), Micheal Kindred Knight (CA), Christopher Kuhn (CA), David Michael Lee (CA), Joe Lloyd (CA), John Mills (CA), Maysha Mohamedi (CA), Ian Pines (CA), Mark Pomilio, Max Presneill (CA), Alison Rash (NE), Bryan Ricci (CA), Travis Rice (AZ), Nano Rubio (CA), David Spanbock (CA), Samantha Thomas (CA), Marie Thibeault (CA) and Chris Trueman (CA).
Arizona Foothills Magazine
Phoenix New Times
Art Gala at Bentley Gallery