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, March 25, 2017

Richard Wilson "The Pond Series" @ Louis Stern Fine Arts

Pearsons, 2016
acrylic on canvas
60 x 60 inches

Saponin, 2016
acrylic on canvas
70 x 70 inches

I'm a bit of a sucker (not like a lollipop) for simple arrangements of color, although I am reluctant, in one respect, to use the word "simple."  For, color and color/light relationships are anything but simple.  Consider the lighting in the image directly above with respect to the wall and therefore the painting and its site of reception.  The light at the right spilling through the gallery window from outside onto the painted gray wall reveals a a subtle or not so subtle shift from right to left, light to dark gray.  For me, two things happen with this.  Either the painting is seen independently of such distractions in which case everything I've already suggested goes for naught or, if the wall color choice is important, for example, then the lighting must also be controlled more accurately.  This is common and more noticeable with work that relies on subtlety especially in terms of color. I'm assuming that the artist spent a fair amount of time considering each color and the composition as a whole. So, a poor lighting condition seems to be a large compromise to the work.  Or perhaps none of this matters to the artist.  To me, it does and I actually like the wall color choice in relationship to Pearsons, the warm-color painting, for example, against a cooler gray; it intensifies color.   Such soft contrast as the wall allows difference without being too dramatic within the painted surface.  So, display conditions aside, these works reproduce fairly well and there is a pleasure in viewing them

Once I've taken a moment to be curious and enjoy these paintings, I start to wonder how they differentiate with such a congested history of similar paintings. Albers comes to mind quite quickly as the progenitor of this color exploration (he in turn from Hoffman) as do a whole cadre of California colorists more recently.  cf. Scot Heywood at Frank Lloyd that I have considered here in this blog and so on ad nauseam to the point where I can't quite resolve their place, these paintings or the long list of other artists who accompany them.  I can't help but think about how easily these are absorbed, easily digested and swallowed, kind of like a scoop of neapolitan ice cream or a hard candy sucker. There is part of me that asks what could be bad about that while another part of me wonders what new thoughts I am able to enjoy from looking at these? Or are these timeless questions, in fact ones about time itself, worth considering with respect to current perceptions of time, and therefore, joyously inconclusive?

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