BOSTON / PHILADELPHIA The inspiration that Seattle-based artist John Dempcy finds in molecular structures is greatly evident in this new body of work, Wild Type. The forms closely resemble that of cells; small bodies working together to make a more complex, advance image. The colors are brighter than past work, the forms clearer, and throughout all is a new addition of white, which was not quite as abundant before. The white offsets the brightly colored paint, creating a contrast
to the presence of intense color with its more absent qualities. The white space adds a shimmering quality to the work, despite it's being a matte finish. It interrupts the business of the work and instills a sense of calm amongst the beautiful chaos. The organic forms float together, sometimes like flower petals along a stream. In it's abundant simplicity, there is an overwhelming sense of connectivity between the works, each presenting a new yet familiar image.
Al Loving (1935-2005) is one of the most intriguing artists of the 20th century. His work had a personal trademark created by extending the ideas of abstract expressionism in truly original and groundbreaking ways. His distinctive work united influences from the abstract expressionist Hans Hoffman, colorist Josef Albers, and optical illusionist Viktor Vasarely. He was not simply an abstract painter but rather an artist who redefined the boundaries of abstraction throughout his career. A native of Detroit, Loving burst onto the New York scene painting hard-edged geometric abstraction in the late Sixties. Loving was the first African-American artist to have a oneman exhibition at the prestigious Whitney Museum of American Art in 1969. In this landmark exhibition, Loving succeeded in breaking racial barriers and opened doors for other African-American artists, proving that abstraction was a viable way of working. Inspired to create work beyond the boundaries of geometry and traditional
painting on a stretched canvas, Loving began moving toward the expressive freedom found in the collage process. These later works were more fluid and freeform: layered constructions of rag paper painted in vibrant acrylics and crafted into elaborate compositions. Loving referred to these assembled works as material abstraction. This body of work introduced the iconic spiraling forms. The spiral affirmed a personal connection to the natural cycle of continuous growth and defined time and space extending out towards infinity. The driving reference for all of Loving’s work is the issue of space. He succeeded in expressing a new and dynamic spatial and aesthetic experience that pushed his work beyond the limitations of perspective and the modernist notion of the flat picture plane. This rare exhibition which will include a wide variety of mixed media works and prints. Al Loving has exhibited internationally and his work is held in numerous major collections in museusms throughout the world.
For his new group exhibition of digital media, alterations, curator and artist Peter Campus sought to understand "the transformation of our society to an age of electronics,” He writes that “it was so rapid and unexpected that the time elapsed to allow retrospective thinking is almost non-existent in its brevity. We don’t know the dangers contained in this age; it is too soon to know, and too integrated to identify. In this presentation there are five different messages, five different points of view, that present
only a fraction of the message." The videos of Peter Campus provide hopeful images as a remedy for the anxieties of contemporary life, while Nayda Collazo-Llorens creates multi-media video and installations to underscore the complexity of the mind and the obstacles of communicating thought. Kathleen Graves combines current technology with objects from the past. Jason Varone is inspired by the advancement of society through technology and its decline from eroding resources.
John Dempcy Walker Contemporary Boston [through Feb 12]
Dempcy, Coronado, acrylic on clayboard, 30x30”
Al Loving Sande Webster Philadelphia [through Jan 29]
Al Loving, Life & Continued Growth #12, mixed media on paper, 29” x 22”.
“alterations” Locks Philadelphia [through Feb 5]
Peter Campus, Inflections: changes in light and colour around Ponquogue Bay, 2009, high definition multi-screen video installation.
An issue of American Contemporary Art magazine, published in January 2011.