The most acute charge of contemporary abstraction is its obligation to engage power structures. Patterns and its affordances serve as symptoms, critiques, or celebrations of systems of order and routines. Additionally its formal interpretations are the root of value systems and its visual multiplicity.
Varied degrees of formal and informal arrangements, systems of organizations and visual vocabulary are at work and often to different ends in PATTERNS II. As in the exhibition PATTERNS I which included works by Sheila Hicks, Edda Renouf, Dan Walsh, Stephen Westfall what is evident in all work is serious repetitive concentration and a recognition that abstraction is a complex and evolving cultural engagement. The work in both exhibitions is rigorous and disciplined but never forced or forbidding. Each work in its own way manifests degrees of wonderment in material histories, intellectual disciplines, and systems found in nature.
Polly Apfelbaum, Liza Lou, Sheila Hicks and Stephen Westfall share the exigent conditions of materiality, temporality, and the professional ethics in extraordinary works of haptic form and color. Olivier Mosset, Sadie Benning, and John Zinsser employ formal invention as a critical means to upend traditional and hierarchical programs in modern histories, visual and material culture. Amplifying the rudimentary or the overlooked patterns culled from routines of daily life, Kate Newby, Kristina Matousch, Edda Renouf’s work convey fullness, vibrancy, and strength of familiar and reoccurring gestures. And the hard-edge systems encompassing Ditty Ketting, Dan Walsh, Jan van der Ploeg, and Lars Wolter reflect rigorous propositions of graphic pattern and color in which no more can be added and nothing can be subtracted; a balance between opticality, rhythm and emancipatory undertakings. Yet it is the vast critical affordances of pattern and form that cut through each of these artist’s work, regardless of their inventive vocabularies that grips my ethics and my eyes.
This exhibition was intended to be installed and opened to the public as of April 2nd. Because of the current health epidemic, travel restrictions and out of respect for all people involved, the installation views are only imaginary views of what was planned. We wish you good health and patience during these difficult times and hope this exhibition allows you to reflect on the various patterns in your lives, surrounding you and in the show.
With sincere thanks to the artists Polly Apfelbaum, Sadie Benning, Ditty Ketting, Liza Lou, Kristina Matousch, Olivier Mosset, Kate Newby, Jan van der Ploeg, Lars Wolter, John Zinsser, curator and friend Michelle Grabner, and their galleries, Cooper Cole Gallery, Frith Street Gallery, Galerie Gisela Clement, Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Rocket Gallery.