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.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Brice Marden "New Paintings" @ Matthew Marks | Los Angeles

Yellow Square, 2015
Oil on linen
24 x 18 inches

Red Square, 2015
Oil on linen
24 x 18 inches

Grey Square, 2015
Oil on linen
24 x 18 inches

Nevis Stele 5, 2007-2015
Oil on linen
60 x 36 inches

Nevis Stele, 2007-2015
Oil on linen
60 x 36

Nevis Stele 2, 2007-2015
Oil on linen
60 x 36

Uphill With Center, 2012-2015
Oil on linen, five panels
Four panels: Each 48 1/8 x 36 1/8 inches
Center panel: 48 1/8 x 48 1/8

Eastern Moss, 2012-2015
Oil on linen, nine panels
Each: 24 x 18 inches
Overall: 24 x 162 inches

Over Autumn, 2015
Oil on linen
96 x 72 inches

Summer Square, 2015
Oil on linen
98 1/4 x 74 1/4 inches

First Impressions:

Old master palette. Brush hairs. Drippy. Spotty. Vertical orientation; horizon. Not particularly fussy. Glossy. Therefore, reflective.

Muted red, green, blue contained within midtone, neutral ground. Palimpsest backgrounds under.

Color as field (Sky/land). Drops relate to the lines of the grounds. So, a dynamic surface on which to stand in relation to a more or less homogenous atmosphere beyond. Like dust on our lenses (optical and photographic). Window and door. Washy and matte. Translucent and opaque yet no real registration of light via contrast, for example. Just dull haze.

Varying degrees of bound, boundary and boundless as curved lines, align or transform into straight either by outer frame or some other ricochet. Like waves in a pool.

Corrections and wipes.  White outs and erasures.

Interesting to consider titles in light of shape and what drops below. So, upper "squares" yield downward and heavy (gravity) bottom section. Reference to color is very broad. Red more like maroon; blue more like gray; yellow more like yellow-green. So, internal idea of color more than actual perception.

Confluence of pigment AND optical "primaries." A vague notion of light as reference, but again nothing perceived. Blinky Palermo did a piece that I liked which synthesized, by inversion, the relationship of line and plane. With Palermo it was in more direct reference to architecture, the edge and facades of space.  Here, a less obvious reference is made, though what's central could be thought about as internal dynamism surrounded by external stasis upon slippery ground. A personal sense of space looking forward seems to be place. Micro/Macro circuitry plays out in five parts, a classic narrative structure, here where no story applies. No question, the horizontal is important, seen within four panels as much as the whole. And one can it in the central one, as a pencilled grid reveals more than just horizons. Sections relate to sections yet nothing, ultimately, coheres.

Subtle tempo and rhythm.

With colors like these, seasonal references reinforce change (not to mention works that span five years in the making). Certainly, not the uprising colors of an Ellsworth Kelly, another artist also given to simple shapes.

Not bad viewing on a drizzly, overcast day such as this one.

Second Thoughts:
Neither squares nor specific colors according to titles, "stele" does conjure meaning as we understand such ancient Greek grave marker as vertical, monumental slabs (heavy, dark, brooding...). A persistent existential ennui seems to pervade these works, as some that have come before.  So, what then?

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