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Jason Karolak, Rivers of the Same Mountain

Massimo Audiello
526 West 26th Street, 5th Floor, 212-675-9082
October 16 - November 29, 2008
Reception: Thursday, October 16, 6 - 8 PM
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Massimo Audiello is pleased to announce Rivers of the Same Mountain, Jason Karolak’s first solo exhibition in New York.

For this exhibition, Jason Karolak presents new oil paintings in both large and small formats. Although no two paintings are exactly alike in measurement, his recent work has gravitated toward two distinct sizes—one large and physically engaging for the viewer, the other small and intimate in proximity. The abstract images are bold and painterly, giving us the sense that these paintings are the consummated happenings of a rigorous studio practice. Karolak’s painted forms seem to teeter between becoming and dissolving as they are built up in a kind of cathartic momentum.

When asked about the recent work, Karolak responded, “The work is consumed with the process of painting but I would not say it is ‘about painting.’ Though formal and abstract, the paintings aim at a kind of impurity. I want the visual experience to bleed into the other senses, particularly the auditory and the bodily. I aim to find a kind of image within abstraction, one that comes from my mind and emotions, and that stretches outward to meet the viewer with association and feeling.”

The title of the show, Rivers of the Same Mountain, comes from a passage in Johann von Goethe’s Zur Farbenlehre (Theory of Colors) written in 1810. Though Isaac Newton had already proven much about the hard science of color and light by the end of the 17th Century, Goethe insisted that there was more to it, that color is something that gets perceived and received by human beings. Goethe thought color was emotional and held associations, both biological and cultural. Through his experiments with color perception and his writing on “color meaning,” he proposed a larger theory of connectedness in the universe, one that defied the empirical, scientific reductionism that was taking place in the West. Karolak’s paintings have an affinity with some of Goethe’s notions. Karolak’s colorful paint-forms reach out and open up rather than close down and contain. The notion of the blending of the senses seems active (for example, Synaesthesia is the phenomenon of a melding of sound and sight—hearing color, seeing music). Goethe stated that color and sound are not the same but very similar. “They are like two rivers which have their source in one and the same mountain…”

Karolak received his BFA from Pratt Institute in 1997 and his MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2006. Recent exhibition venues include Rowland Contemporary, Devening Projects, McCormick Gallery, and the Next Fair.

For more information, please contact the gallery:
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