Tableaux – (noun, plural) 1: a graphic description or representation: 2: a striking or artistic grouping: 3 [short for tableau vivant (from French, literally, living picture)]: a depiction of a scene usually presented on a stage by silent and motionless costumed participants * (Source: Merriam Webster Dictionary)
There is a whole lot to see and be “scene” at the second solo exhibition of Jordan Kantor with an opening last February 27th for Tableaux. The wide range of works from large scale figurative paintings to the numerous collages on one wall clearly exude a studio aesthetic powerfully conveyed in the forms and composition. Rich with historical content, Kantor integrates modernistic touches that breathe familiarity but renewed vigor with the handmade gestures evidently redefining the entire context of the piece.
Untitled (clown dance) 2012 reminded me of vintage French advertisement poster and according to the artist it is based on French clowns. All you need is the text “Period” but there is something operatic yet photographic about the two figures floating in the dark background. In another piece were the Harlequin diamond patterns and it was a closer inspection of the clown narrative that is clever yet totally independent on its own. Mummified Simians, a female spreading her legs, and a diverse lot of subjects clearly did not rely on a theme here. What is apparent is the conceptual idea of a tableaux redefined for the modernist era. There are historical references made but it is only lightly touched upon and the broad stroke of hand gestural element obscured the old into a new format. There is deep study and respect for the studio practice but as they say, know the rules before you break them or at least divert from the norm.
The overall impression of the show is revered beauty, clever composition, striking gestural points, and the variety is a bounty of riches brought to the table. If art lovers want to feast on something meaty and substantial then this is the show to sink your teeth into. It is quite delicious and the bon vivant spirit hearkened to the period when Paris exploded the birth of modern art. Kantor managed to bring forth so many delectable things to the table and nothing looks better than a full table to quell a ravenous hunger. In this case, the hunger for art must be satiated.
Jordan Kantor: Tableaux / On View: February 28 – March 30, 2014
Gallery Hours: Tuesday – Saturday (11 am to 6 pm) & by appointment
CHURNER and CHURNER. 205 10th Avenue. NYC, NY 10011
Art Review by: Oscar A. Laluyan
Selected Art Images from CHURNER and CHURNER courtesy of the artist
Photography by: Max Noy Photo