Participating artists: Albert Oehlen, Christopher Wool, Norbert Schwontkowski, Josh Smith, George Condo and Carlos Amorales
Color Aside explores the various processes involved in the act of painting. Each of these artists approach the canvas in a very different way, but this particular group of paintings are united by the fact that they use very little color and resort instead to ranges of tonal value. By exempting color from these compositions, the painters are forced to communicate their ideas through pattern, texture and composition and avoid indulging in color as an expressive tool. Several paintings in this show conflate printing and painting, using mechanical means to remove the hand from the canvas and create cooler disengaged images. Other paintings demonstrate more heartfelt and emotional brushwork. By eliminating color, these artists set up strict limitations on the range of the paint and further push the boundaries of what makes a painting formally successful.
In this exhibition Christopher Wool continues to explore the ideas of painting and erasing, gesture and removal, depth and flatness. Through action and erasure Wool creates a unique mark that makes a clear reference to industrialism and graffiti, yet remains elegant and poetic. Wool’s work has been featured in numerous exhibitions including, most recently, a solo survey show at the Institut Valencia d’Art Modern, Valencia, Spain (2006), and the Musee d’Art Moderne et Contemporain de Strasbourg, Strasbourg, France (2006).
George Condo, a master colorist, pares down his palette for this exhibition. Surprising figurative moments reveal themselves within George Condo’s complex and elegant abstract painting. Condo is well known for his painterly portraits and for the bizarre cast of archetypal characters that inhabit them. Condo is currently on view at the Wrong Gallery at the Tate Modern in London.
Josh Smith’s practice explores the ideas of authorship and originality. His process and aesthetic engages with repetition as a philosophical concept, yet his hand and unique character is very much present in every composition. Josh Smith is currently on view in the show USA Today at the Royal Academy in London as well as Uncertain States of America at the Serpentine Gallery in London.
Carlos Amorales’s work revolves around the displacement and transmutation of identities. Amorales makes work in a variety of media, including animation, sculpture, installation and performance, drawing on the rich visual imagery and popular culture of his native Mexico.
Well known for his oil on canvas abstractions, Albert Oehlen was also one of the first painters to use the computer as a painting tool. The painting in this show is one of a body of work that breaks down the pixel grid and exposes the computer printing process. Albert Oehlen is currently on view with at the Arnolfini in Bristol, UK. He is also featured in “Make Your Own Life: Artist In & Out of Cologne” at the Power Plant in Toronto.
Norbert Schwontkowski’s deceptively naive paintings depict simple, yet deeply magical or melancholic moments. Rich in associations, his work references a wide array of painterly traditions, but expresses a highly unique and personal vision. Schwontkowski’s most recent exhibition ‘Kino’, traveled from the Kunsthalle Bremen to the Brandenburg Kunstsammlungen, Cottbus and the Kunsthalle Erfurt during 2004-05.