44-02 23rd Street
Long Island City
January 29 - February 15, 2009
Reception: Saturday, January 31, 4 - 7 PM
When I don’t have red I use blue.
–– Attributed to Picasso
M55 Art gallery is pleased to announce the solo exhibition of new paintings by guest artist John Allen. The Stereo Float Field paintings are abstract works of hand drawn, close-packed fields, bordered by hard-edged color frames.
Based on an optical phenomenon Allen discovered over a year ago, his structured arrangement of repeated elements creates vibrating spatial fields of three-dimensional illusion when viewed in everyday variable-focus stereo vision. These pieces continue the themes Allen has pursued of spatially ambiguous planes compounding hand drawn geometry with rigorous symmetry in what he calls an experiential approach to conceptual painting. By combining optical, formal, perceptual, and symbolic-emotional components, Allen’s work invites meditation on the form as well as references to art history and the everyday experience of the viewer.
In their reduction to field and frame, the Stereo Float Field paintings represent a crystallization of form and expression for Allen. The exhibition’s subtitle––What’s Up with Red, Yellow, and Blue?––refers to Allen’s use of color and is a play on a Barnett Newman title by way of Edward Albee, Woody Allen, and an exhibition last summer at Tony Shafrazi Gallery conceived by Urs Fischer and Gavin Brown.
John Allen was born in Japan in 1955. His work in painting and sculpture has been exhibited in New York, Minneapolis, Stockbridge, and the Kingston Sculpture Biennial in 2005. He is a recipient of New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowships in Painting in 1994 and 2000. This is the artist’s first one-person show at M55 Art.