"Wit" at The Painting Center, NY. 2013
Wit" is defined as a natural aptitude for using words and ideas in a quick and inventive way to create humor. Abstract language is not immediately associated with humor, as pictorial and narrative language can seem more accessible. Why certain shapes and colors appear humorous depends on context, cultural associations or individual experience. But sometimes the reason is not tangible, or sensible, some things are just funny.
Analyzing wit in reference to abstract art and language is a sure way to diffuse its potency, since its delivery feeds on the novel and unexpected. Disruption of the status
quo helps to define humor. Modernist aesthetics surrounding form, balance and proportion still provide a common reference point from which to view abstract art. This
shared visual language has become part of our collective consciousness and dictates our expectations. When preconceived standards are disrupted they can alter assumptions, surprise, reinvent and communicate wit.
The conversation between artist and viewer is enhanced by recognition and discovery. A small gesture like a nod or wink can provide a link with the mindset of the artist and set the tone of the conversation. It is a mistake to polarize humor and intellect since they work best in unison. Wit suggests qualities of the human spirit in an overly synchronized world, be it the slip, the twist, the pratfall, it's the imperfection that identifies the personality.
The artists selected for this show share a sense of humanity and amusement that resonates in their work. You could call it a "twinkle in the eye" or a "joy" that permeates through what they do. I think of it as an inner wit that can't be kept down, as long as someone is willing to play.
Joanne Freeman 2012
The artists featured in this exhibition are Marina Adams, Polly Apfelbaum, Joanne Freeman, Joe Fyfe, Barbara Gallucci, Phillis Ideal, Jonathan Lasker, Sarah Lutz, Doreen McCarthy, Mario Naves, Thomas Nozkowski, Paul Pagk, Ruth Root, Fran Shalom, and Stephen Westfall.
The exhibition will be accompanied with a catalogue. An artist panel discussion will be held on Thursday, Febuary 14 from 6 to 8 pm.
COLOR-TIME-SPACE at Lohin Geduld Gallery and janet Kurnatowski, NY. 2010
Color Time Space - Curated by Joanne Freeman and Kim Uchiyama
Janet Kurnatowski Gallery, in conjuntion with Lohin Geduld Gallery present “Color-Time-Space”, curated by Kim Uchiyama and Joanne Freeman. The artists in the show are: James Biederman, Laurie Fendrich, Joanne Freeman, Julie Gross, Ben La Rocco, Gary Petersen, Kazimira Rachfal, Jennifer Riley, Yvonne Thomas, Kim Uchiyama, Stephen Westfall, Thornton Willis, Kevin Wixted. There will be two separate opening receptions for the artists, for each gallery. Please join the artists on Friday, September 11th from 7-9pm for an opening reception at Janet Kurnatowski Gallery, located at 205 Norman Ave in Greenpoint Brooklyn. Please join the artists for an opening reception at Lohin Geduld Gallery, located at 531 West 25th St in Chelsea Manhattan, on Thursday September 10th 5-7pm. For more information please contact the galleries directly. -JK
“Music is an art of sound interval, time interval, and painting—my painting—is an art of space intervals. One is time, one is space.”
Gene Davis interview, 1981 April 23, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institute.
Sound and sight share experimental qualities when interpreted in music and visual art. The rhythm and tones of music compare with the intervals of sight and space in painting. The underlying systems in the score of music, and the grid in painting are comparable structures in the art of composition.
The artists participating in “Color-Time-Space” use color selectively to build intuitively rhythmic, and distinctly diverse color relationships in their creation of the painting space. That space is defined by grids, both actual and implied and by the repetition of the specific color elements. The paradoxical relationship of the intuitive and the measured gives these painters’ works a variety of contradictory attributes.
In a 1971 interview with Barbara Rose for ArtForum, Gene Davis states, “ One must enter a painting through the door of a single color…if the viewer selects individual colors and looks at them across the surface of the work, he’s almost reliving the painting process…the spectator is in a sense, entering into kind of a time experience in the same way that I did when I painted it.”
The “time experience” described by Davis, links the experience of contemplation by the viewer with the process of creation by the artist. The artists participating in “Color-Time-Space” address this link and demonstrate the emotive, visceral space created in painting when color is used with psychology and intention.