A Romance of Many Dimensions

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a romance of many dimensions

A Romance of Many Dimensions is comprised of 9 artists/painters who share at least two things: their work expands the idea of dimensionality past the exactitude of two and three-dimensional space, and, they have had an interview with Brent Hallard at Visual Discrepancies. The title of the show comes from… Edwin A. Abbott’s Flatland – A Romance of Many Dimensions, who dedicates the book … To The Inhabitants of SPACE IN GENERAL And H. C. IN PARTICULAR This Work is Dedicated By a Humble Native of Flatland In the Hope that Even as he was Initiated into the Mysteries Of THREE Dimensions Having been previously conversant With ONLY TWO So the Citizens of that Celestial Region May aspire yet higher and higher To the Secrets of FOUR FIVE OR EVEN SIX Dimensions Thereby contributing To the Enlargement of THE IMAGINATION And the possible Development Of that most rare and excellent Gift of MODESTY Among the Superior Races Of SOLID HUMANITY

What better sentiments come to mind than this to suggest the tenets of a reductive visual practice… the enlargement of the imagination, the development of that rare and excellent gift of modesty? Like the novella, the paintings in “A Romance…” do not provide an axiom for the existence of higher dimensions into other worlds. That’s something a mathematician or physicist might be able to do better. Rather, the works in this exhibition attend to the flat – surfaces, shapes and color – as if in defiance of the existence of the dimensional world that they inhabit. The experience of a painting, noting that the term painting here can be applied rather loosely, is primarily phenomenological. Yet just as a line or shape can suggest an aspect of the recognizable as a response to the world around us, shapes also go on to form recognizable things, and, as such link the threedimensional experience of supports and canvases as they protrude from the wall. While early abstraction had its interest in non-Euclidian geometry, the fourth dimension and the idea of time and motion as a perceived illusion, artists such Mondrian and Malevich clearly worked with the phenomenal world that they were in. Their mature paintings generally had a top and a bottom, not of sky and sea, but in correspondence to the way the body responds to the environment. And if some of this early experimentation appears to be gravity free, on closer inspection it becomes clear that a bodily response to gravity is there expressed through a modesty of means. The artists in the show all work with visual dialects, understanding that line is connected to form, that object is connected to color and line, that our participation informs and blends all this, and the relationships formed hereafter are very much about our connectivity, be-coming aware of another sensual realm that may have no physical location. It is here that the artist romances, bringing together relationships, for the viewer to experience and wonder about.

Clary Stolte, Don Voisine Henriëtte van ‘t Hoog José Heerkens, Kasarian Dane Linda Francis, Mel Prest Paul Pagk, Richard Schur

a romance of many dimensions

curated by Brent Hallard

a romance of many dimensions

Clary Stolte That is funny, I think you were the one to bring up Ryman... I’m used to the comparison with Ryman. And it’s true – I’m curious about similar issues, such as white, light, transparency, density and the appearance of these in a painting, a drawing on the wall, or in a space. And as with Ryman I search for representing the color white in all its purity. However, I also feel inspired by Arte Povera and the artists of Fluxus who wanted to widen the bridge between art and life by using perishable materials. I bring shampoo or acrylic dispersion to the canvas with a brush; pour hair gel, spread hemorrhoids ointment, and pour sugar water. The action of making the painting is important: the act defines the work. I feel close to the artists Dieter Roth (known for the chocolate sculptures), or Thomas Rentmeister, who were also experimenting with ‘poor’ and various materials.

a romance of many dimensions

Don Voisine I try to make various elements in my paintings to read in multiple ways. For example the white ground can read simultaneously as a positive or negative space, or in another painting the blacks can flip back and forth as to which is over the other depending on how you look at it. Keeping the picture planes intact is certainly important to me. For all the movement and spatial ins and outs of my recent paintings the planes must maintain an overall pictorial integrity. Earlier attempts to do this created an incoherent image, the warped corner. It’s like looking at a figurative painting where the artist doesn’t have the skill to render the body in space, where the depiction of a limb doesn’t turn naturally. It might look like the shin is pasted on rather than reading as if it flows realistically from the rest of the body. It’s out of whack, and the same thing happens in abstract pictures.

a romance of many dimensions

Henriëtte van ‘t Hoog I was happy to make studio work. The fabricator works in my studio building, is an artist himself, and understands what I am doing. He also was able to help me to refine the hanging system. But something even more interesting was happening: Looking at the Inner Glows (which are actually convex), the optical illusion is that it can be read either convex or concave. And when you look at the Fotons (which are actually concave), it is working the other way around. This becomes even more giddying when you negotiate the objects from different positions, or even walk along past. I hoped for something optical like this to happen, but had not expected the visual power of this... The back of each work is painted. The reflection on the wall is an important part of the work. And while the object is ‘transportable’ it is very much dependant on a wall, one that needs to be white to reflect the color. The intensity of this ‘glow’ depends on the color, of course, but also the use of light. All colors produce a glow over a short distance, so even when I’m not using fluorescent color you still get the desired impression. While this optical flipping is nothing new I feel the way I am using it, the play of form, adding my own personal color spectrum, offers a whole new field for creating more mischief.

a romance of many dimensions

JosĂŠÂ Heerkens For me line is an important means to visualize space: both the vertical and the horizontal are needed, yet it is the horizontal line that predominates through the painting process. Line pulls the image out, to the sides, lengthwise, opening up to a place that can breathe. This sense of space is full of movement and rhythmic construction, and is very different from that of perspective drawing. The vertical lines are there, as you say, and create the structure or framework on which the horizontals walk their own rhythm. The vertical line also returns in the shape of aligned horizontal lines. And thus the dialogue ensures: between vertical and horizontal, structure and freedom, form and space.

a romance of many dimensions

Kasarian Dane It’s like when you put a group of colors together, and it’s just right, it all comes together. There’s an aspect of unity or totality, where though you may have a panel made up of several different colors, it holds together as a whole, it reads as one unified work. And the whole becomes something more than just this color sitting next to that color, something happens that just clicks, and the colors open up and become more than the two or more than the group when put together. Really, I think this is what makes the work more than color exercises, so to speak. I mean they are color exercises, but when the paintings really work, there’s something more there than a formal arrangement of color, or so I believe.

a romance of many dimensions

Linda Francis The markings are screened from actual images of crystals produced with an electron microscope: An alternate geometric reality in three dimensions in an unlocatable space. The scale of the pattern stays the same but appears smaller and even a bit flatter as the area increases. I don’t know what kind of a perceptual shift that is. Maybe a psychological one, but again has to do with the vagaries of points of view and how much information one has.

a romance of many dimensions

Paul Pagk One of the issues I love about painting is that it addresses the body as well as the mind. A painting is more or less flat: so it’s tied to a world that addresses the cerebral field; we usually cannot walk around paintings, we move only in front and from both sides. We move, the painting stays still. The desire of the painter is to stop the viewer, to captivate and maintain the viewer’s gaze with the painting developing a problematic of time and space, space due to the position of the body in relation to the painting and the pictorial space in the painting. Painting addresses time and the body differently from some of the other arts, such as film, music, video and writing, as it doesn’t use linear time; there is no beginning, middle and end.

a romance of many dimensions

Mel Prest The panels are a more hermetic practice than the works on paper, though they are also process driven. Although the oil paintings are more closed, there is play in the beginning and end, with the middle being the labor of paint mixing. I arrive at the base color slowly, beginning with a color I can see or imagine. Once the color is painted on the panel it takes over and needs to be something new, so I have a lot of time to play and experiment. The line colors are all premixed after the base is complete, but I don’t always paint them in the order mixed; I can repeat colors or skip them. I only know if the painting is a success once it is complete and I am standing in its presence.

a romance of many dimensions

Richard Schur The bars are derived from a long process of placing many layers over, and over, sometimes to create left-out spaces, sometimes consciously they become bars. This gets even more interesting when you realize a small painting on Masonite as large scale, replacing the grey colored fields – which simulate the bare canvas – by actual canvas. So something that was set as a positive shape turns into an open space – that could be called negative, but as color it often has a “positive” function within the composition. For example on the upper left, the wide horizontal bar of canvas is a left out, but optically it comes forward (in front), like a “positively” set color filed. I like the idea that really everything has meaning, so realizing a small painting as large scale should not only be about reproducing a motif, but should lead to different results, bringing in new aspects.


Clary Stolte Title: Transparent Volumesurface 1 #11 (#001141) Medium: Folded polyester paper Date of completion: 2011 Dimensions: 30 cm x 30 cm x 5 cm cover image


Clary Stolte Title: Perforated Volumesurface 1 Medium: Folded paper Date of completion: 2011 Dimensions: 24 x 24 cm catalog image


Don Voisine Title: Riven Medium: oil on wood Date of completion: 2011 Dimensions: 30 x 24 inches, 76 x 61 cm courtesy of McKenzie Fine Art, New York, NY catalog image


Don Voisine Title: Pull Medium: oil on wood Date of completion: 2011 Dimensions: 12 x 12 inches, 30 x 30 cm courtesy of McKenzie Fine Art, New York, NY


Henriette van 't Hoog Title: Bars Medium: Acrylic on zinc Date of completion: 2011 Dimensions: 14 x 14 x 5 inches, 23 x23 13 cm splash image


Henriette van 't Hoog Title: Core Medium: Acrylic on zinc Date of completion: 2011 Dimensions: 14 x 8.5 x 4 inches, 36 x 22 x 10.5 cm catalog image

a romance of many dimensions


Jose Heerkens Title: L30. Mars black, Emerald green and a pinch of Azure blue Medium: Oil on Linen Date of completion: 2011 Dimensions: 13.5 x 15.7 inches, 35 x 40 cm catalog image


Jose Heerkens Title: P36. Green River Medium: Acrylic Cardboard Date of completion: 2011 Dimensions: 20 x 16 inches, 50 x 40 cm


Kasarian Dane Title: Untitled–For Ryan Miller Panel 1: Blue/Yellow/Blue: Buffalo Sabres (NHL) Panel 2: Blue/White/Red: Rochester Americans (AHL) Panel 3: Blue/White/Red: USA Hockey: World Championship Team (catalog image) Panel 4: Green/White/Green: Michigan State University (NCAA) Panel 5: Black/White/Red: Soo Indians (NAHL) Panel 6: Black/White/Green: Soo Hawks (AAA Midgets) Medium: Acrylic on aluminum Date of completion: (first completed 2009), 2011 Dimensions: Six panels 8 x 12 inches each, overall 18 x 38 inches each 20.3 x 30.5 cm, overall 45.7 x 95.5 cm


Linda Francis Title: Interference #4 Medium: Mixed media/Wood Date of completion: 2011 Dimensions: 36 x 36 inches courtesy of Minus Space, Brooklyn, NY


Linda Francis Title: Interference Medium: Mixed media/Wood Date of completion: 2010 Dimensions: 24 x 24 inches courtesy of Minus Space, Brooklyn, NY catalog image

a romance of many dimensions


Mel Prest Title: Amsterdam Medium: oil on panel Date of completion: 2011 Dimensions: 12 x 12 x 3 inches


Mel Prest Title: Eights Senses of Blue Medium: oil on panel Date of completion: 2011 Dimensions: 36 x 36 x 2 inches catalog image


Paul Pagk Title: Lexicon series #124 Medium: oil on linen Date of completion: 2011 Dimensions: 28 x 27 inches


Paul Pagk Title: Lexicon series #132 Medium: oil on linen Date of completion: 2011 Dimensions: 27 x 26 inches catalog image


Richard Schur Title: Fleur, 2011 Medium: Acrylic on linen Date of completion: 2011 Dimensions: 100 x 80 cm, 39 x 31 inches catalog image


Richard Schur Title: Fleur du Mal (Study), 2011 Medium: Acrylic on masonite Date of completion: 2011 Dimensions: 35.6 x 27.9 cm, 14 x 11 inches

a romance of many dimensions

November 14 ~ December 1 2011

Clary Stolte Don Voisine Henriëtte van ‘t Hoog José Heerkens Kasarian Dane Linda Francis Mel Prest Paul Pagk Richard Schur

November 14 ~ December 1 2011

A Romance of Many Dimensions curated by Brent Hallard at Brooklyn Artists Gym

November 14 ~ December 1 2011