By Show and Tell
By Bree Davies
By Bree Davies
By Cory Casciato
By Emilie Johnson
By Robin Edwards
By Bree Davis
By Josiah M. Hesse
In the gallery to the rear are nearly a dozen works made from repurposed materials by New Mexico's Ted Larsen. "Lost in Space," a flattened constructivist assemblage that's a three-dimensional axiomatic drawing, and "Rodeo Clown," a closely associated sculpture, are knockouts, with both containing the unlikely combination of hard-edged geometry and soft-toned expressionism.
It's impossible for me to mention all the notable attractions in Material Abstraction, so go check it out for yourself. And while you are at it, swing by Goodwin Fine Art to take in Bryan Nash Gill: Cut Wood, which functions as a perfect chaser to the Robischon show, since it's also about contemporary abstraction.
Nash, a nationally known artist who lives in Connecticut, is interested in wood in the form of cut beams and logs. The front space at Goodwin is filled with an installation that comprises two cubes made of cut-up pine beams. One, left in its natural color, has been taken apart and arranged around the floor. Gallery owner Tina Goodwin asked different people to arrange the pieces any way they chose. The week I saw the show, Karl Kister had used the beam fragments to outline two rooms, with other guest curators including Simon Zalkind and Yoshitomo Saito.
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The other cube — which is displayed as a cube, as opposed to being taken apart — is colored, but only because Nash used its parts to make geometric relief prints and covered them with different shades of printer's ink. These prints are done in a chine collé technique in which the transfers of the wood images are done on papers that are attached through the workings of the press to a larger sheet.
There are many other compelling pieces, including "Ash," a relief print of a section of a log, revealing the tree's rings, and "Three Stacks," a paper mural that wraps around a corner in the small gallery behind the office. Also striking is "Snowflake," in which identically cut pieces of wood have been slotted together in a symmetrical arrangement. I love the way Nash conflates natural materials and idealized shapes — opposites, if you think about it.
Bryan Nash Gill at Goodwin — just like Material Abstraction at Robischon — helps to prove that abstraction is still a major force in contemporary art.