The cycle of life always has a beginning and eventually ends. So do the rhythms in the art season. Last year ends and a new one starts. For the most part we are confronted head on with art right in the face. Why not art that opens doors to new realms and ideas? 2015 may begin with the harsh winter weather but art is the salve that shall bring forth warmth and the antidote from visual ennui.
AF came to the opening of Australian-American artist Denise Green for her second solo exhibition where she presented Paintings, Drawings, Photographs. A trio of practices that are distinct and it takes a learned hand to combine them harmoniously. The abstract work reverberated with buoyancy in color, exuberance with gravity defying forms and majestic glimpses of nature photographs.
Her artistry can be a slight whiff of the essence of both Robert Motherwell and Mark Rothko under whom she studied as a student at Hunter College. Green’s style is evocative of the Modern and Abstract aesthetic. However, information and conditioning is only a matter of what one learns as opposed to the execution where artistry is unleashed. This is where Green succeeds as the creative bent in the large-scale works illustrate a deft hand and creative freedom.
The brush strokes are sweeping statements very much like Motherwell and the singular homogenous use of color as an emotional component to the visual is clearly Rothko. There is something pure and unencumbered with the way Green creates her planes of forms dancing in static waves and channeling a strong current of energy.
It was monumentally illustrated with the mixed media works of photographs and drawing combined. The rambling brook with the river rocks inform the earth bound hues of browns and deep blues. The large paintings in yellow or red held the radiant power of light or heat. Therein lies the balance between the cooler planes of terra firma and the searing power of what lies in the atmospheric heights. The tones from the two types of work made it the perfect temperature or shall we say temperament for the show.
Rothko was said to have made doors or portals to worlds with his color blocks and spheres. The half concentric shapes that repeat in rhythmic punctuations in the canvas of Green can be imagined as a door handle that could open into another world or dimension. The beauty of it can be the exorbitant power of imagination for the viewer. It can be limitless. It is a generous gesture on her part to provide us with that suggestion in the created atmosphere of the canvas. Her abstract practice for this show turned itself into something magical. It gave us the license to broaden our imagination along with hers as the monochromatic pictures did not veer into mundane or one note. It was a symphony and crescendo of her artistic flourish.
There is the distinction in Green’s work that her training and discipline is on sharp focus. Nowadays the tenet of contemporary art does not require technical precision and relies on the device of the concept not the visual. It has become rare and at times unfashionable for artists to develop skills from mind’s eye to hand. Choices are as wide as the blue yonder in art but maybe I am old school at heart but it’s just great to see a finely made piece of work.
Denise Green gave us access to a world far beyond what we can imagine. If Rothko suggested the door and Motherwell swept in with the wind to blow it down then she made it possible to put your hand on the handle to pull it open. But like any other doors before us, it is one’s choice to enter.
Denise Green: Paintings, Drawings, Photographs
On View: January 6 – February 21. 2015
Gallery Hours: Tuesday – Saturday (10 am to 6 pm)
SundaramTagore Gallery. 547 West 27th Streert. NYC, NY 10001
Art Review by: Oscar A. Laluyan
Photography by: Olya Turcihin