dayoutlast is a record of my direct engagement with mostly contemporary art, mostly Los Angelean.

As this blog has evolved since its 2010 inception, so has my perspective. What I once perceived as central within the investigation was what was central, literally, within the photographic frame that I shared here. While still an important consideration, such thinking has also given way to more peripheral considerations, ones also accompanied occasionally by text (written manifestation of thought) and the oscillations between them. What's missing here are larger unknowns surrounding issues of presentation and representation; the amount of time and space it actually takes to accomplish such first-hand observations; and the quandaries between documentation and interpretation.

Despite my attempt to communicate here with image and text what is essential in some respect about the artwork, neither representation should ever be considered a substitution for the primary viewing experience. Of course, occasionally there are exceptions.

Most of the time, these posts are merely remnants---residual fragments---from my last day out.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Claudio Verna @ Marc Selwyn

Note: This was not an easy show to capture snapshots, for at least three reasons: lighting conditions (note the uneven pools of light in the installation shots; the subtlety in paint within the work itself; and how Verna uses the edges (this latter one an issue of shape/form rather than lighting). So, following my own attempts to photograph, which I am usually happy with for the sake of discussions here, I am also using some photos that I borrowed from the gallery website. They are credited accordingly.


Photo appears courtesy of Marc Selwyn Fine Art

Precipitato, 2012
Acrylic on canvas
78 3/4 x 78 3/4 inches





Sul rame del sole, 2004
Acrylic on canvas
67 x 55 inches







Photo appears courtesy of Marc Selwyn Fine Art

Ambiguo scuro, 1968
Acrylic on canvas
57 x 57 inches







Pittura, 1967
Oil on canvas
59 x 47 1/4 inches



Photo appears courtesy of Marc Selwyn Fine Art

Aegizio II, 1970
Acrylic on canvas

55 x 67 inches





Photo appears courtesy of Marc Selwyn Fine Art

Piccola archipittura, 1976/2013
Acrylic on canvas

39 1/3 x 39 1/3 inches





Photo appears courtesy of Marc Selwyn Fine Art

A 50, 1971
Acrylic on canvas
39 1/3 x 39 1/3 inches






Photo appears courtesy of Marc Selwyn Fine Art

Pittura, 1975
Acrylic on canvas
27 1/2 x 31 1/2 inches





Photo appears courtesy of Marc Selwyn Fine Art

Pittura, 1975
Acrylic on canvas
27 1/2 x 31 1/2 inches




Doppio acrilico II, 1968
Acrylic on two canvases
86 1/2 x 31 1/2 inches




Photo appears courtesy of Marc Selwyn Fine Art

Equilibrio mobile, 1968
Acrylic on canvas
45 1/4 x 63 inches






Dioniso, 1990
Oil on canvas
78 3/4 x 67 inches




Photo appears courtesy of Marc Selwyn Fine Art

Grande arancio, 2007
Acrylic on canvas
74 3/4 x 78 3/4 inches







Controluce 3, 2011
Acrylic on canvas
63 x 45 1/3 inches





Rothko. Newman. Peculiar specificities in terms of modulation of color, line, shape and therefore space. Simple articulation at the edges or between " frames." Marden? Certainly, Mondrian. Albers. A touch of Hoffman (push/pull). Shifting between hard and soft edges. Logic (objectivity) and unreason (subjectivity). Morris Louis in terms of color occupying blank ground...

What keeps paintings like these from looking like so many others, particularly ones that seem more imitative/derivative in which the value would seem diminished as a result? As a group perhaps, and therefore a body of work over a longer period of time, does it separate itself from aforementioned works and so as individuals in the end?  Defining borders and subsequent consequences seems to be at play in the work and therefore justifies the aforementioned question. In fact, justified might be a good word here as it compares to how text sits on a page in relationship to centers and edges.

Playing with the edges and color defies reproduction (at least photographically) in terms of position and light.  The paintings must exist in the present viewing and nothing else.  On that point, the present viewing in the gallery falls victim to day and night light conditions as the site of reception varies accordingly.  I would have liked to have seen these paintings in broad daylight or at the very least a closer approximation to the full-color spectrum, because there was so much subtlety to appreciate, again in the liminal space when things become other things similar to the center to edge shift. It’s the only way to tease out the nuances that someone like Mark Rothko would have cared about as well. 

Paintings about paintings, especially as it pertains to color, are light dependent to be sure.  Verna’s oscillated between ethereal internal shifts and ones more segmented and divided, more like Barnett Newman at times.  How they synthesize and break apart within the same studio is not only a great reassertion of the transitional/transformational space already acknowledged within works but also between them over longer periods of time.  Such integrations/disintegrations not only reflects painting and its history but also  biological processes, and, so, while seemingly hermetic in their language, they exist, certainly symbolically as totally human(e) and therefore continuously relevant and contemporary while literal and figurative agents attempt to resolve one another though they constantly defer.  This movement seems to be to the point as it pertains to a body of paintings that spans several decades. Here, for this brief moment in time, we were able to see one constellation of such efforts, and they are worth thinking about.

So, they are paintings about light, color relationships, present time and the complications of knowing which is which.

*As an aside (which may or may not underline the challenges of paintings like these), the photo that I took of Equilibrio mobile, 1968, is 180 degrees different than the image that appears on the gallery website. So, either the painting was hung upside down or the digital file was rotated on the website.  Whatever the answer, it's at least two different paintings depending how you look at it and suggests the difficulties in knowing these paintings absolutely.  If you look at the color differences between mine and the website's, you will also see how much lighting affects these.