Saturday, March 19, 2016

(Un)conditional Color @ The Curator Gallery | Chelsea

The thread that connects the four artists in (Un)conditional Color, according to curator Mark Wethli, is that the "use of vibrant uncompromising color is a defining characteristic of their art." At first glance, what is most in evidence are the palette and formal aspects that characterize each artist's work. But there is something more that links the work of these four artists. When I had the opportunity to revisit the exhibit and linger over the work, I found myself acutely aware of the energy and activity embedded in their work, and the many ways in which their use of color enhances our experience of that energy.

Suzanne Laura Kammin's paintings are marked by channels that sweep across the surface, smoothly directing us through open expanses of color. The curved corners of many of these channels allow us to zip around with ease and also serve to connect adjacent areas of color. Kammin's palette allows us moments of rest as we travel around the field.

Suzanne Laura Kammin     Snake Charmer, 2013    oil on panel    16 x 16 inches

Suzanne Laura Kammin     Installation view

The experience changes dramatically when looking at Jason Karolak's paintings, where we move up, down, across, in, and out . . . a bit of a bumpy trip around a manic jungle gym. His intensely hued and somewhat awkward structures hover over fields of deep blacks and magentas, and move us energetically through the space. Shifting bands of color pushing in from the edges add to the intensity of the ride.

Jason Karolak     Untitled (P-1435), 2014    oil on linen    18 x 16 inches

Jason Karolak    Installation view

Brooke Nixon divides her canvases into grids of intensely hued triangles that pulsate across the surface. I was struck by near simultaneous sensations of flatness--looking across the surface at the rhythmic patterns of color, and depth-- experiencing dimensionality as the interlocking triangles coalesced into a continually shifting network of cubes. 

Brooke Nixon     Sailors Take Warning, 2015    acrylic on panel    24 x 24 inches

Brooke Nixon   Installation view

The highly energized paintings of Tom Krumpak are marked by a cacophony of form and color. In several of his smaller works, the many shapes sort themselves into somewhat orderly arrays, but most often his vibrantly colored forms are interlaced across the surface, daring us to engage and enter the fray.

Tom Krumpak     Come Here    acrylic on canvas    72 x 96 inches

Tom Krumpak      Installation view

To see more work from the exhibit, click here.