The studio is where it’s at – that’s ground zero where the artist’s thought process and experimentation explode into fruition. Now what if you take that investigation into the gallery interior and set it free all over? AF walked into the solo exhibition of Franklin Evans for paintingassupermodellast June 5th to witness the full color explosion come to life. Maybe there was no Gisele Bundchen or Chanel Iman aka Super Models present but art was definitely making itself known in Super Sized doses.
Based on the 1993 Yves-Alain Bois book Painting As Model and his essays on Matisse, Mondrian, and Newman that Evans covered every surface of the gallery with paintings, collages, digital prints on canvas / paper / silk, photographic sculptures, floor works and sculpture vitrines that laid bare his studio process into an art installation. The patchwork formed by squares of various images, patterns and notes evoke a visual quilt that informs yet in its multiplicity kept the elusive and abstract thought of his artistic process still a secret. Evans exposed a lot yet reveals nothing singular about his artistic process. This proves that art is never distilled into a simple idea because it is a complex network of ideas made cohesive by the creative prowess and investigative process.
There are elements of Matisse, Mondrian and Newman who are all masters of color forms. Evans took those cues and made his own visual landscape of color that is a modern matrix grid projected in large scale. It is allowing us to flip through his art journal but we get a wallop of everything thrown our way. Quite clever and ambitious but it does so with a concise and controlled manner that kept one engaged instead of overwhelmed. It is a super sized artistic skill that Evans managed to pull off and pass with flying colors.
The show reflects today’s seismic shift in information as bits and pieces to be processed in a millisecond. Welcome to the age of fast information at your fingertips, held by your electronic devices laden with apps, attention spans that are spastic and that instant gratification of the now. Evans may have demonstrated a visual pastiche of the artistic model in the process but it is also a commentary on how we digest and process said visual information. The art world may have gone digital and tech savvy but it is still quantified by what the eyes capture. The visual cues might have evolved but the manner of viewing art remains the same. One still has to look in order to be informed in a variety of ways. Look all you want because what you choose to see either the tiny gem or the super sized version is entirely up to you. Anyway, as it stands in the art world, you’d better WORK!!!
Franklin Evans: paintingassupermodel / On View: June 5 – August 1, 2014
Gallery Hours: Tuesday – Saturday (10 am to 6 pm) & by appointment
Ameringer McEnery Yohe. 525 West 2nd Street. NYC, NY 10011
Art Review by: Oscar A. Laluyan
Select Art Images from Ameringer McEnery Yohe courtesy of the artist
Photography by: Max Noy Photo