It’s no secret that on the horizon of every new generation yields a reaction to what came before. Artists Lucas Moran and Debra Drexler seek to participate in the ongoing conversation that tires of technology’s stark pervasiveness. Their work is on display until the 23rd of July at Gallery Gary Giordano located in Bushwick, Brooklyn.
It has been said that we are past postmodernism and now thriving in “the age of authenticity” where craft is king and the certifiable is of the utmost importance, a reaction to what Nicolas Bourriaud described as alter modernism, claiming that we are a people of “nonstop communication and globalization.” The nature of the almighty image is an invasive one, to such a degree that it has become normalized and there seems to be a call within the post-postmodernist generation in New York City for the resurrection of Abstractionism.
Both artists employ Galkyd to layer their paintings, a medium that Abstract Expressionist Jackson Pollock used with oil color to create his famous drip paintings. Because layering is a complex technique, craftsmanship has played a significant role in the works of both Drexler and Moran. The layering technique, for Drexler, conveys playfulness and simplicity upon first glance that allows the piece to not look overworked. Although seemingly effortless, upon a double-take the painting becomes complex; some of the original canvas being exposed and other parts layered so innumerably the paint protrudes from the cloth.
Moran’s process begins without intention, abstraction in true form, then morphs and converges into something more tangible and representational (like a collection of vases). Moran uses Galkyd in combination with rags and mineral spirits to achieve a more weathered, wrinkling look. The landscape of the work achieves its look by also applying muted earthy tones that are, according to Moran, less popularly used. One of Moran’s pieces in specific depicts a cauldron resting on a bed of fire through the use of ratio, burnt ambers and muddy browns.
Drexler is a professor at the University of Hawaii, where one of her studios is located. The bright color palette of pinks and yellows is reflective of the island inspiration in which she finds herself surrounded. She was originally an abstract painter but later began to create narrative paintings. Drexler returned to abstraction after a year long sabbatical she spent in New York, in 2007. According to Drexler, her students have also shown an interest in recent years in the return of abstraction.
Neither artist knew the other until New New York, a show that Drexler co-curated at the University of Hawaii Art Gallery that Moran made an appearance in. This was where Drexler and Moran together discovered that they had a similar approach to painting. She approaches her work as a full-bodied, spiritual exercise; being a person of regular meditation, Drexler seeks to connect physically with the work by placing it on the floor in hopes of pushing not only the limits of the materials but also her body. Moran too approaches his work with physicality, only using more gestural, guttural movements. Although Moran and Drexler differ on a number of planes (differences in palette and dimension, namely) the bright cadmium yellows that peek out from beneath charcoal blacks and browns in combination with the plum purples at the corners of Drexler’s painting effectively and unintentionally intertwine the work.
(Additional photos below)
Galkyd! Galkyd! Debra Drexler and Lucas Moran at Gallery Gary Giordano
56 Bogart, Brooklyn
Opening reception June 30, 2017, 6-9pm
June 30 – July 23, 2017
Gallery Hours: Friday, Saturday and Sunday 12-5 pm
Writing by Angela Groom
Photographs provided by the gallery and Arte Fuse (Melanie Luna)