BUIA Gallery is pleased to present Heaven is a Place on Earth, Kadar Brock’s second solo exhibition at the gallery. Pushing the dense nature of earlier series into a more spacious, compositionally simplified realm, Heaven is a Place on Earth explores the potential of minimal, abstract, and figurative modes to discuss issues of the everyday sublime.
While retaining an interest in the New Age philosophies on which he was raised and the resulting idea of art-making as a form of catharsis, Brock expands the scope of his work making distinct nods to the contemplative mindset of Chinese landscape painting and 60s and 70s Minimalism, the straightforward, awkward quality of American painters Arthur Dove and Marsden Hartley, as well as his heroes Gerhard Richter and Albert Oehlen.
At times, as in November Rain, 2008, Brock constructs a distinct Rothko-like feel in terms of layout and color field, but with particular reference to the composition of Richter’s November, 1989, which has incidentally been related to Richard Serra’s work on paper. Misty Morning Light, 2008, on the other hand, takes another path towards minimal distillation, analyzing a highly complex composition characteristic of earlier series through ever so slightly tinted whites in place of bold colors, a step towards equalizing gestures and focusing specifically on composition and surface texture. Looking at the void end of the equation, Brock presents Dark Entries, 2008, a spraypaint Stella-like grid covered with a black acrylic wash and then layers of acrylic, oil, flashe, and spraypaint, once again focusing in on its monochrome nature, surface texture, and composition.
In a turn to the figurative side of abstraction, Brock’s Selbst Portrait Mit Gold, 2008, a self-portrait paying homage to Oehlen and Kippenberger accesses all sides of the equation. In the end, Heaven is a Place on Earth is the first summation of Brock’s exploration of the sublime through several different modes as well as the direct response to the title of his debut solo exhibition at the gallery, Painting Can You Take Me to Heaven, underlining the newly found resolution, optimism, and energy at stake.