Leslie Rankow Fine Arts

INTERNATIONAL ART ADVISORY SERVICE

Tag: abstraction

Airport, please! to the Long Museum (West bund) Shanghai to experience Full Moon, a solo exhibit by Jennifer Guidi

Long Museum
Shanghai West Bund

 

The Long Museum(West bund) is proud to present Full Moon, the first institutional solo exhibition in China by Los Angeles based artist Jennifer Guidi, from July 1st until August 21st, 2022. The exhibition is a survey of the artist’s work to date and also premieres a number of important new paintings: Full Moon epitomizes Jennifer Guidi’s practice and the evolution of her artistic process.

Shanghai is a favorite city and Jennifer Guidi a favorite artist so the trip seemed inevitable. One of the great privileges of being an art advisor is the opportunity to meet with astonishingly accomplished collectors, and to have them share their lives with you. I remember planning a trip to Shanghai and being joined by a beloved Hong Kong client who took me around Shanghai and invited me for lunch to his colonial  house that had won an architectural price for its thoughtful restoration. I remember great clients telling me of the joy of their having their first child and sharing in their daughter’s many accomplishments throughout the years. One of the sad things about the pandemic is adjusting to the necessary social distancing, the inability to hop on a plane to visit and the strictures on air travel, art fairs and galleries and the misunderstandings that only email communication encourages.

Jennifer Guidi
Full Moon
Long Museum Shanghai

 

The LRFA Blog was introduced to the work of Jennifer Guidi by an enthusiastic client and an effort to acquire a work evolved into a dialogue with the artist’s dealers and auction specialists and a deep appreciation of her practice and paintings, both on the primary and the secondary market.

Jennifer Guidi
Installation Full Moon exhibit at Long Museum

Jennifer Guidi’s immersive work operates within both the physical and metaphysical world. Her abstract compositions refer to the natural world literally and visually as she mixes sand with paint to depict arresting natural and cosmological phenomena. Her surroundings of Los Angeles, where she set up her studio after graduating from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, are palpable through her work: the immense skies of California filled with the fleeting color of sunrises and sunsets, the particular hazy light of Los Angeles that blurs colors together and casts deep shadows and the mountains she passes daily on the way to her   studio. Her practice is however deeply rooted in what also lies beyond physical surroundings, in the spiritual and metaphysical worlds. Each of her paintings is an ‘energy source’ indebted to the power of vibrations, and her works incorporate recurring symbols related to Western and Eastern religions, ancient civilisations and the esoteric sciences. Guidi’s very process of creating these serene, repetitive works is akin to a meditative practice. Reveling in external and internal symmetry in her work, such as sunrise and sunset, light and dark, these ideas sit alongside a scientific study of geometry and color theory, creating works that are not only visually in harmony but are epistemologically balanced too.

Jennifer Guidi
process

Always drawn to sand as a material, Guidi experimented with translating sand to canvas as a permanent material, taking a few years to find the recognizable pattern that is now synonymous with her work. The highly textured works are created either by pressing divots with a dowel into a thick layer of wet sand, the ‘sand mandalas’, or by starting with a smooth sand layer and painting the mandala on top, the ‘universe mandalas’. A formative moment for her composition when ‘everything changed’, came after watching Tibetan monks make sand mandalas, where patterns radiate from one central point. Guidi moved from using horizontal lines as the foundation of her composition along which she placed random marks, to making concentric repeated and formulated holes that radiate from a central focal point. They appeal to our somatic senses, the regular indentations capture the artist’s corporeal presence in the work and encourage awareness of our own bodies’ movement. The meditative sense of calm Guidi reaches when creating the work suffuses through, drawing us into her harmonious and immersive compositions. The tangibility of Guidi’s movements and state of mind within the works makes them in part a self-portrait, with her presence forever fixed amongst the grains of sand.

The artist’s fascination with light is inextricably tied to her attentiveness to color. The visible light spectrum is formed of all the colors of the rainbow, each wavelength of light vibrates at a different frequency to produce a different color. This idea forms the basis of her chromatic explorations and drew her to a study of chakra methodologies, an idea from early Hinduism. Chakras are energy centers within the human body, each giving off a different vibration, like the colors in the light spectrum. ‘Chakra’ in Sanskrit translates to ‘wheel’ or ‘circle’, linking the spiritual idea to that of the nineteenth-century invention of color wheels and broader color theory that associated specific color pairings with emotions and explored in detail connections between nature and color. Reading through these multiple lenses Guidi’s investigation of a rainbow spectrum of color is therefore more than an exploration of pure pigment, but rather a reflection on emotion, shape, nature and philosophy.

Jennifer Guidi
Installation
Full Moon: Long Museum

The circle predominates Guidi’s work, geometrically present in the repeated holes, and symbolically representative of the sun and moon. Other shapes recur throughout her work, as an exploration of pure geometry and for their diverse symbolism. Triangles represent California’s mountains and refer to the allusions surrounding Ancient Egyptian pyramids. Guidi is drawn to the symbol of the serpent, relevant to ancient mythologies and mysticism. Their particularly complex symbolism represents rebirth, creativity and immortality through shedding of the skin and as the rod of Ascelplius, the Ancient Greek god of healing, and consequent use as a symbol of medicine. Guidi uses shaped canvases to explore these shapes and meanings, grouping symbols together in tandem and opposition to create dialogue between their formal lines and forge new meanings. These works are an innovative take on the traditional composition of diptychs and triptychs in paintings, using entirely separate canvases to create these formations, constructing works that lie somewhere between painting, sculpture and design.

JENNIFER GUIDI “FULL MOON” EXHIBIT July 1, 2022 – August 21, 2022

The title of Jennifer Guidi’s exhibition, Full Moon emphasizes the cosmological and mystical roots of her practice; the moon is like life: constantly changing; it is representative of peace, prosperity, harmony and luck; the full moon is a time to be receptive and to connect, which we are motivated to do throughout the exhibition. We are encouraged through engaging with her mandala-like works, not only to travel outward to be transported into distant landscapes and watch sunsets through her eyes, but also to travel inward to connect with our minds and spirits. During the full moon we are guided by unusually powerful light, symbolizing, much like the balance strived for in her work, a moment of unity between two dualities, where light can be found in darkness.

Jennifer Guidi
at work

JENNIFER GUIDI BIOGRAPHY

Colors charge us externally and internally. I translate these colors into works every day. On an intuitive level, I am guided by the colors in nature.
—Jennifer Guidi

Light and color pervade every aspect of Jennifer Guidi’s work. The Los Angeles artist’s radiant, mandala-like paintings are marked by tonal and chromatic shifts that operate in concert with richly textured surfaces. The effect echoes natural phenomena and undergirds a powerful archetypal symbolism. Guidi mixes sand into her paints—she uses both oils and acrylics—to produce immersive abstract compositions that borrow from the pared-down structures of Minimalism while evoking ancient theories of energy and perception.

Born in Redondo Beach, California, Guidi received a BFA from Boston University and an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. On moving to Los Angeles, she was immediately struck by the city’s distinctive hazy light and blocky 1950s architecture. Basing her early paintings on her own photographs of local domestic interiors, she became increasingly interested in the colors and textures of her subjects’ walls. Following a 2012 visit to Morocco, she began to pursue a more abstract approach, drawing inspiration from the heavy stitching and irregular undersides of the country’s handmade rugs. She made her first abstract “dot paintings” that year, applying small dabs of white paint to black grounds.

Jennifer Guidi
Long Museum West Bund

Light and color pervade every aspect of Jennifer Guidi’s work. The Los Angeles artist’s radiant, mandala-like paintings are marked by tonal and chromatic shifts that operate in concert with richly textured surfaces. The effect echoes natural phenomena and undergirds a powerful archetypal symbolism. Guidi mixes sand into her paints—she uses both oils and acrylics—to produce immersive abstract compositions that borrow from the pared-down structures of Minimalism while evoking ancient theories of energy and perception.

Guidi began incorporating sand into her panels in 2013, using sticks found on the beach in Hawaii as simple mark-making tools. She then developed a system of underpainting in which she first applies a thick layer of sand to the surface of the canvas; while this is still wet, she makes marks with a dowel in controlled and repetitive movements, often adding sand and paint along the edges of the divots. The result of this intensely physical process is a hypnotic swirl of saturated color that is at once contemporary and timeless, prompting consideration of the diversity of cultural and corporeal meanings that have been assigned to shape and pattern.

Jennifer Guidi
The Priestess

Guidi also often explores visual manifestations of duality—light and darkness, abstraction and figuration, science and mysticism—finding symmetry and balance in seeming opposition. This is apparent even when her work returns to representational elements, as it does in the twinned serpentine canvases of To Protect and Hold You Up (2019). (Such imagery has appeared in Guidi’s work since 2013, when she produced a series of “snake stick” sculptures that reference the serpent as a symbol of rebirth and transformation, and sticks as totems of strength, healing, and magic.)

Jennifer Guidi
To Protect and Hold You Up

These diverse interests recur throughout Guidi’s oeuvre, suffused as it is with allusions to spirituality and the metaphysical, and drawing as it does on various practices originating in Eastern tradition. After watching Tibetan monks make a sand mandala, she moved from using horizon lines as the foundational element of her compositions to preferring a central focal point. She has also alluded to chakras (a system of corporeal energy centers with origins in early Hinduism) alongside Enlightenment color theory. Citing the influence of predecessors including Georgia O’Keeffe, Agnes Martin, and Hilma af Klint, Guidi makes work that also resonates with images and methods far beyond the Western art-historical narrative.

Created in response to the covid-19 pandemic, the Artist Spotlight series created by Gagosian Gallery highlights individual artists, one week at a time, whose exhibitions have been affected by the health crisis. A single artwork by the artist is made available with pricing information for forty-eight hours only.

https://gagosian.com/fairs/2020/04/19/jennifer-guidi-artist-spotlight/

TWELVE TRACKS: JENNIFER GUIDI

Jennifer Guidi shares a selection of music she listened to in the studio and speaks about its connection to her meditative painting process.

https://gagosian.com/quarterly/2020/04/16/twelve-tracks-jennifer-guidi/

 

Airport, please! the LRFA blog heads to London for Pace’s exhibition Creating Abstraction of seven international sculptors

Pace Gallery
Hanover Square
London

 

Creating Abstraction, a group exhibition that brings together seven female artists whose experimental approach to material and engagement with Modernism has pushed the boundaries of abstraction opens on February 3rd. Airport, please! the LRFA blog is looking forward to visiting Pace’s new gallery in Hanover Square and seeing this thought provoking exhibit co-curated with Carla Chammas, that centers on the idea of multi-disciplinarity as a means of exploring abstraction. In a time of Covid, complicating  travel, communication and personal connecting, the LRFA  blog applauds Pace Gallery for assembling such a diverse and intellectual survey show very much worth a visit.

In bringing together an array of work by these seven artists, Creating Abstraction offers a window into each individual’s complex, layered, radical work as well as the broader context of their practice.

https://www.pacegallery.com/exhibitions/creating-abstraction/

THE ARTISTS


Carla Accardi

On view from 3 February through

12 March, across the full expanse of Pace’s recently opened Hanover Square gallery, Creating Abstraction looks at the ways in which various Modernist movements were disseminated across the world and interpreted by artists from Britain, Italy, Lebanon, Morocco, Portugal, Singapore and the United States. This exhibition creates dialogues between the sculptures, paintings, textiles, works on paper, video, photography, and installations of Carla Accardi (1924-2014), Leonor Antunes (b. 1972), Yto Barrada (b. 1971), Saloua Raouda Choucair (1916-2017), Barbara Hepworth (1903-1975), Kim Lim (1936-1997) and Louise Nevelson (1899-1988). Despite vastly disparate nationalities and socio-economic backgrounds, there is a shared sensibility between these artists who each found inspiration in Modernism’s non-hierarchical approach to material, and abstraction’s rich capacity for multi-disciplinary experimentation.

Saloua Rouada Choucair

Saloua Raouda Choucair is widely considered the first abstract artist in Lebanon. Inspired by mathematics, architecture and Islamic design and poetry, her pioneering practice encompassed sculpture, painting, drawing, jewellery, and textile. The modular structure of her sculptures, such as Poem (1972-74) or Poem (Ramlet el Beida) (1966/2013), which, like the stanzas of Arabic poetry can stand alone or be presented as a whole, have a particular resonance with the sculptures of Singaporean-British artist, Kim Lim. Lim’s practice, which traversed wood, bronze, marble, stone, fibreglass, aluminium, slate, and ink primarily took the form of sculpture and printmaking. Like Choucair, Lim took immense inspiration from the aesthetics of ancient Eastern art, travelling extensively across the Middle East and Asia throughout her life. In sculptures such as Caryatid (1961) Lim’s elegant fusion of historical sculptural forms with a distinctly Modernist aesthetic is particularly apparent.

Kim Lim

Lim and Choucair’s prints, works on paper and paintings have a shared sensibility with the work of Italian artist Carla Accardi, who’s avant-garde practice paved the way for many twentieth century movements in Italy. Best known for her experiments in sicofoil, a transparent plastic material, Accardi’s sculptures and paintings investigate both the formal and spatial effect of line, shape and gesture. The graphic quality of Accardi’s work such as Fondo Rosso (1959) or Segni Grigi (1986), resonates strongly with Choucair’s dynamic gouache paintings on paper.

Barbara Hepworth

An innovator of the Direct Carving technique and the first sculptor to pierce their forms, Barbara Hepworth is recognized as a master of British Modernism. Though most commonly recognised for her groundbreaking sculptures, which included bronze, stone, wood and string, her practice also encompassed painting, lithograph, collage, and drawing. Three Forms (1971) and Stringed Figure (Curlew) (Maquette) (1956) creates an enchanting dialogue with Louise Nevelson’s sculptures and collages. Unlike Hepworth, Nevelson’s artistic practice was additive, assembling materials found in the streets surrounding her studio to construct sculpture, collage, and installation. By painting the elements of her sculptures entirely black, white, or gold, Nevelson erased their former functions, focusing attention on their form. In Untitled (1971), a monumental monochromatic black sculpture, Nevelson nestles forms within a larger structure akin to a cabinet of curiosities.

Louise Nevelson

By including both twentieth century artists who were instrumental in the development of abstraction, and contemporary artists – Yto Barrada and Leonor Antunes – Creating Abstraction considers the legacy of Modernism today. Barrada’s work in textile, photography and video speaks at once to the multifaceted, multidisciplinary histories of Modernism and to her own personal landscape. In Velvet collage #6 (2021) Barrada references the hard-edge abstraction and Modernist history of the ‘grid’ while also drawing from her own daily life – the velvet is dyed using homemade pigments forged from the plants in her Tangier studio garden. Similarly, Antunes’s research-based practice actively responds to the histories of overlooked female Modernists, anni #26 I (2020) is a reimagining of Anni Albers’s abstract weavings in glittering brass. Antunes’s installation, indirect lighting (group 2) (2021), which extends from floor to ceiling with ceramic sculptural pieces spiralling in space, echoes the modular sculpture of Choucair, Lim, and Nevelson.

Yto Barrada
Marian Goodman Gallery
New York

   

 PACE GALLERY

Pace is a leading international art gallery representing some of the most influential contemporary artists and estates from the past century, holding decades-long relationships with Alexander Calder, Jean Dubuffet, Barbara Hepworth, Agnes Martin, Louise Nevelson, and Mark Rothko. Pace enjoys a unique U.S. heritage spanning East and West coasts through its early support of artists central to the Abstract Expressionist and Light and Space movements.

Leonor Antunes

Since its founding by Arne Glimcher in 1960, Pace has developed a distinguished legacy as an artist-first gallery that mounts seminal historical and contemporary exhibitions. Under the current leadership of President and CEO Marc Glimcher, Pace continues to support its artists and share their visionary work with audiences worldwide by remaining at the forefront of innovation. Now in its seventh decade, the gallery advances its mission through a robust global program—comprising exhibitions, artist projects, public installations, institutional collaborations, performances, and interdisciplinary projects. Pace has a legacy in art bookmaking and has published over five hundred titles in close collaboration with artists, with a focus on original scholarship and on introducing new voices to the art historical canon. The gallery has also spearheaded exploration into the intersection of art and technology through new business models, exhibition interpretation tools, and representation of artists engaging with technology.

Today, Pace has nine locations worldwide including London, Geneva, a strong foothold in Palo Alto, and two galleries in New York—its headquarters at 540 West 25th Street, which welcomed almost 120,000 visitors and programmed 20 shows in its first six months and an adjacent 8,000 sq. ft. exhibition space at 510 West 25th Street. Pace was one of the first international galleries to establish outposts in Asia, where it operates permanent galleries in Asia and the first to Seoul.

Saloua Raouda Choucair,
Trajectory of a Line, 1957-59,
brass,

CREATING ABSTRACTION

Despite vastly disparate nationalities and socio-economic backgrounds, there is a shared sensibility between these artists who each found inspiration in Modernism’s non-hierarchical approach to material, and abstraction’s rich capacity for multi-disciplinary experimentation.

On view from 3 February – 12 March, across the full expanse of Pace’s recently opened Hanover Square gallery, Creating Abstraction looks at the ways in which various Modernist movements were disseminated across the world and interpreted by artists from Britain, Italy, Lebanon, Morocco, Portugal, Singapore and the United States. This exhibition creates dialogues between the sculptures, paintings, textiles, works on paper, video, photography, and installations of Carla Accardi (1924-2014), Leonor Antunes (b. 1972), Yto Barrada (b. 1971), Saloua Raouda Choucair (1916-2017), Barbara Hepworth (1903-1975), Kim Lim (1936-1997) and Louise Nevelson (1899-1988).

During a time of intense personal concerns, it is refreshing to see women artists exploring the legacy of Modernism and abstraction in this beautiful exhibition.

 

 

The LRFA blog welcomes Ron Warren, director and partner at the Mary Boone Gallery,

Ron Warren
Partner and Director
Mary Boone Gallery

MARY BOONE GALLERY WAS FOUNDED OVER 40 YEARS AGO, IN 1977, IN A SMALL GROUND FLOOR SPACE IN SOHO. ALTHOUGH MODEST IN SIZE, 420 WEST BROADWAY WAS A BUILDING THAT HOUSES THE LEGENDARY LEO CASTELLI AND ILEANA SONNABEND GALLERIES. ALTHOUGH MODEST AT THE START, MARY BOONE HAS ALWAYS HAD A VISIONARY INSTINCT FOR THE RIGHT LOCATIONS AND THE RIGHT ARTISTS. THE GALLERY HAS ALWAYS BEEN COMMITTED TO SHOWING THE WORK OF INNOVATIVE YOUNG ARTISTS AND, AS THEIR CAREERS PROGRESSED, MORE ESTABLISHED ARTISTS AS WELL.

420 West Broadway
SoHo

TODAY, THE LRFA BLOG IS HONORED TO INTERVIEW RON WARREN, A DIRECTOR AND PARTNER AT MARY BOONE GALLERY.

RON, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR CONTRIBUTING TO THE BLOG.

Ellsworth Kelly
Red Yellow Blue V, 1968
Hirschhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden

HOW DID YOU BECOME INTERESTED IN ART? WHAT WAS YOUR EDUCATIONAL BACKGROUND THAT LED YOU INTO THIS FIELD?

My family was more about science, music, and books, so I wonder myself what brought me to art. I went to a small private, and very conservative, liberal arts college in the Mid-West and, like most people I know who ended up in the art business, took some studio classes along with art history. I did have one art history professor that I liked very much, a French former nun, very reserved and proper yet passionate about her subject, who organized trips to far-flung museums. On one of these trips I remember standing at the Hirshhorn before an Ellsworth Kelly – a series of monochrome panels – and feeling that this was something very exciting, even though classmates whose opinions I respected dismissed the work.

Leo Castelli Gallery
Jasper Johns exhibition

November of Senior year, my roommate bet that I had enough credits to graduate in December. We sat down and calculated… and he was right. So I made a fast plan to enter the “real” world. I was doing an Independent Study with the Ohio Historical Society, and my supervisor was a photographer who kept a loft in New York, in SoHo. She suggested I go to New York and sublet her place. I arrived in January 1980, which seemed very auspicious – new year, new decade. This was a time when SoHo, and the city, was on the brink of enormous change. And with the new galleries right in my neighborhood, for the first time I began to look at contemporary art.

Brice Marden
Work on paper

WHEN DID YOU START AT MARY BOONE AND HOW DID YOU EVOLVE INTO A DIRECTOR AND PARTNER OF  THE GALLERY?

I started in 1985. The Gallery had recently taken on representation of Brice Marden, so there had been an influx of twenty-plus years of slides and black and white photos into the archive, and all the while new works were being inventoried, photographed, and added. I kept everything organized. In those days every label had to be hand-typed. We were continually sending out photographs to collectors and for press, and continually asking to get them back – inconceivable now. Over time one comes to know an artist and their work very well and becomes dedicated to them and the gallery.

Brice Marden
Oil on canvas

IN OUR NEXT LRFA BLOG POST, RON WILL INFORM US OF THE IMPRESSIVE ARCH OF HISTORY AND GROWTH OF THE GALLERY. BY TRACKING THE ARTISTS REPRESENTED BY MARY BOONE, WE HAVE A BIRD’S EYE VIEW OF THE ART WORLD AT THE TIME.

PLEASE JOIN US!

The ultimate kudo: Flora Crockett’s New York Times review

Flora Crockett
Exhibition Catalogue
Meredith Ward Fine Art

The Observer, a New York arts and culture newspaper, published an article in May 2013 by Andrew Russell who laments the dying tradition of formal art critics.

What is disappearing is not the art critic—you could argue that, with the expansion of websites and social media, there are now more than ever before—but the tradition of a regularly recurring voice in a widely circulated newspaper or magazine or even alternative paper: people who have the opportunity to expose a wide variety of art to a broad audience on a continual basis.

Roberta Smith, art critic for the New York Times, is such a voice and with  a huge amount of exhibitions every month, at galleries, in museums and in non-profit centers, the choice is almost infinite in terms of what she can write about and whom.  It is an honor to Flora Crockett’s visionary paintings and to Meredith Ward’s astute eye and hard work that this tribute of the FLORA CROCKETT exhibition at Meredith Ward Fine Art, a beautiful townhouse gallery at 44 East 77th Street, New York commanded so much space and such great praise!

http://www.meredithwardfineart.com/

ART & DESIGN | LAST CHANCE

 A Forgotten Abstractionist Roars Back in Bright, Jangly Lines

Review: Flora Crockett, a Forgotten Abstract Painter

By ROBERTA SMITH NOV. 10, 2015

The paintings of the American abstractionist Flora Crockett have not been exhibited in New York since a group show at the Overseas Press Club of America in 1965. That was the year she turned 73 and began her most productive period as a painter.

Flora Crockett
Untitled
Oil on canvas board

After Ms. Crockett died in 1979, her canvases from 1965 to 1973 were inherited by a nephew, Austin Hart Emery, an engineer and great admirer of his aunt, who stored them in his barn outside Albany. He always meant to do something with them but never got around to it, and so the job fell to his daughter, Mary Emery Lacoursiere, an artist and designer living on Nantucket, in Massachusetts. She was introduced to Meredith Ward, whose New York gallery specializes in 20th-century American artists, especially forgotten ones. Ms. Ward saw photographs of the paintings and was immediately intrigued.

And so at the moment about two dozen of Ms. Crockett’s sparkling late paintings, with their bright tangles of jazzy lines and shapes floating on pale, brushy backgrounds, form a surprising exhibition at Meredith Ward Fine Art. This is our first sighting of a body of work that could hold its own in the collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art or the Museum of Modern Art and in the history of American abstract painting.

They are accompanied by a catalog that contains the first published account of Ms. Crockett’s life and speculates about her development, written by Ms. Ward. She used Ms. Crockett’s papers, which are being organized by Isabella Rosner, a Columbia student, working with Ms. Lacoursiere.

Flora Crockett
Mental Landscape
Oil on board

Loosely geometric and modest in size, Ms. Crockett’s paintings are elegant, knowing and at ease, made by a practiced hand. They indicate a familiarity with 20th-century abstraction: Mondrian’s quietly robust brushwork, and the levitating compositions of Kandinsky, Miró and Léger. They also suggest exposure to American liberators of geometry like the painters Charles Green Shaw and Stuart Davis. But the sharp colors and dynamic compositions feel hip, fresh and very much her own. Ms. Crockett’s paintings are in step with their time, a moment after Pop Art and Color Field painting had given color new heat.

Ms. Crockett left very little imprint on the art world, perhaps because she always had to work to support herself. She seems to have had a total of three solo shows during her life. One was in 1937 in Paris, where she had lived since 1924, just before the impending World War drove her back to the United States. The second was in 1939 in the town library of Potsdam, N.Y., where the W.P.A. had sent her to run an art school. The third was in 1946 at the Bonestell Gallery in New York.

Flora Crockett

And yet despite Ms. Crockett’s challenges, the paintings at Meredith Ward attest to an optimism that seems to have been backed by an inborn sense of determination unusual for women of her generation. Ms. Crockett was born in Grelton, Ohio, in 1892, to a family of farmers whose ancestors included Davy Crockett, which may have something to do with the independence gene. She graduated from Oberlin College in 1911 with a major in art and mathematics and headed for Detroit to study to become an art teacher. In 1915 she landed a job as supervisor of art for the public schools of Roslyn, N.Y., where she married an Italian-born sculptor, Edmondo Quattrocchi (1889-1966). Next stop, Paris.

Ms. Crockett seems to have taken full advantage of this sojourn. She studied at the Sorbonne and the school of the Louvre while directing a school for war orphans in Poissy, outside Paris. In 1926 she enrolled as a student in Léger’s Académie Moderne, eventually serving as its director until 1931. And then, in 1937, having divorced, she came home, settling in New York. In 1940 she rented an apartment at 233 West 14th Street, almost directly opposite Duchamp’s studio at 210, and lived there for the rest of her life. She supported herself with various jobs — in design, sales, engineering and also teaching — trying to save enough money so she could take time off for her art.

A belated and remarkable growth spurt ensued as her abstract vocabulary came into its own in a remarkably up-to-date way. Two canvases from 1967 have backgrounds of blocks of pale color, as if painted over an earlier geometric style. Then come a series of works that seem based on energetic doodles of whose peregrinations create delicate amalgams of shapes that are then filled in with vibrant colors. These are wonderful works, but, except for their palette, they might date from the interwar period.

Flora Crockett
77-82
Oil on canvas board

Over the next three years the lines thicken, take on color and come to dominate, flitting and flirting across the canvas while the shapes become fewer and almost disappear. The internal scale is bolder and the compositions have a graphic bounce. In “77-82,” a blue line loops about the surface, while a red one zigzags through the center: Two very different signatures are competing, and they’re both winning.

Yet “66,” from 1966, may be Ms. Crockett’s masterpiece, with its band of yellow- orange snaking among pale wine-red islands, all on a kind of painting- within- a-painting of mint green. Little blocks of blue and pink pin things down and an undulant vertical of red claims the right edge — and its own space. How many more women like Flora Crockett await discovery?

Flora Crockett
66
Oil on board

 

IN OUR NEXT POST, THE LRFA BLOG IS PLEASED TO INTRODUCE THE FEDERATION OF MODERN PAINTERS AND SCULPTORS, AN ORGANIZATION FOUNDED IN 1940 IN RESPONSE TO THE POLITICAL AND SOCIAL TURMOIL OF THE THIRTIES, THE DEPRESSION AND THE WPA MOVEMENT.  A NEW EXHIBITION OF MEMBERS’ WORKS, SOUND & IMAGE IS OPENING AT WESTBETH IN EARLY FEBRUARY. NICHOLAS CHRISTOPHER, A MEMBER, WILL INFORM US ON THE HISTORY OF THE FEDERATION, THE CURRENT EXHIBITION AND ITS FUTURE GOALS.

PLEASE JOIN US!

 

 

Never too late for a recommendation by Doug Flamm, rare book expert at Gagosian

Brice Marden: Paintings and Drawings
Text by Klaus Kertess

I kept putting the same color on—the same color, the same color—but every time I put it on it was different. Each time it was this whole new light/color experience. It was not a revelation, but a whole wonderful new experience… To me, it involves harnessing some of the powers of the earth. Harnessing and communicating.
—Brice Marden

Brice Marden
D’Apres la marquise de la Solana, 1969
Collection of the Guggenheim Museum

 

A singular painter who has extended and refined the traditions of lyrical abstraction, Marden is a master of color and touch, from the subtle, shimmering monochromes of his earlier career to the calligraphic compositions that characterize the last three decades. Recently, Marden has turned his attention to the qualities of monochrome again, turning his gaze to the expansive possibilities of terre verte (green earth), an iron silicate/clay pigment. Terre verte came into use during the Renaissance, its greenish hue and innate transparency serving as a base to balance flesh tones; Marden first used it in connection with the Grove Group paintings of the 1970s (exhibited at Gagosian New York in 1991).

https://www.gagosian.com/exhibitions/brice-marden–october-04-2017

 

Brice Marden
Cold Mountain 6 (Bridge)
1989-1991
San Francisco Museum of Art

BRICE MARDEN IS ONE OF THE VERY RARE ARTISTS WHO CAN RADICALLY CHANGE STYLES MID-CAREER AND NOT ONLY SURVIVE BUT THRIVE IN THE HIGHLY COMPLEX AND CRITICAL ART MARKET.  FROM THE EXQUISITE MONOCHROMES OF THE 70s, THE COLD MOUNTAIN PAINTINGS, LYRICAL CALLIGRAPHIC ABSTRACTIONS SOMETIMES PAINTED WITH STICKS AND NOT BRUSHES TO OBTAIN A MORE GESTURAL AND ORGANIC EFFECT, TO THE RECENT TERRE VERTE SERIES  EXHIBITED AT GAGOSIAN IN LONDON’S GROSVENOR HILL GALLERY, BRICE MARDEN CONSISTENTLY CONTRIBUTES TO THE HISTORY OF ABSTRACTION IN PARTICULAR AND TO ART IN GENERAL.

The Third Mind: Interview with Brice Marden, December 7, 2016

HIS FIRST DEALER, KLAUS KERTESS, WAS A REVERED GALLEREST AND CURATOR.

Visiting the “Primary Structures” show of Minimalism at the Jewish Museum in 1966, Kertess was told by an artist friend that he should go see an artist named Brice Marden. Marden, as it happened, was working as a guard on the second floor of the museum.

“Brice was somewhat wasted, leaning against a case of silver,” Kertess recalled. “He was one of several artists where the door opened and I just stood there in wonder.” Marden would end up showing with the gallery, and becoming a friend, pointing the dealer to the studios of many other remarkable artists as well.

http://www.artnews.com/2016/10/09/klaus-kertess-foresighted-art-dealer-and-curator-dies-at-76/

 

Brice Marden
Terre Verte
Gagosian Gallery, London 2017

DOUG FLAMM, RARE BOOK EXPERT AT GAGOSIAN, 976 MADISON AVENUE, NEW YORK, HAS A RECOMMENDATION THAT IS AN EXCEPTIONAL ADDITION TO ANY LIBRARY ON MODERN AND CONTEMPORARY ART AT ANY TIME OF YEAR, A MONOGRAPH ON BRICE MARDEN WITH A TEXT BY KLAUS KERTESS THAT WILL ENRICH OUR UNDERSTANDING OF THE ARTIST AND ADMIRATION FOR THE AUTHOR, SIGNED BY BOTH.

http://www.gagosian.com/shop/

 

BRICE MARDEN 

Paintings and Drawings

Text by Klaus Kertess

Published by Abrams, New York, 1992

12 1/4 × 11 1/2 inches (31 × 29.5 cm)

$1,500

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A major monograph on the work of Brice Marden with an insightful essay by Klaus Kertess. Kertess’ essay provides a perceptive understanding into Marden’s development as an artist as well as contextualizes the important role Marden has played in Abstraction in the second half of the 20th Century. Well illustrated with 133 full color plates, this volume also includes a selected biography and bibliography. Signed by both Kertess and Marden.

THANK YOU, DOUG, FOR CONTRIBUTING YOUR GREAT HOLIDAY RECOMMENDATIONS TO THE LRFA BLOG!

WISHING EVERYONE A HAPPY, HEALTHY AND PROSPEROUS NEW YEAR.