Saturday, April 14, 2012

Joseph Havel


nothing. (pinned), 2010 silk shirt labels and pins dimensions variable
My art review repost from February 2012

Joseph Havel made me fully conscious of real nothingness. Lucky this was more in the word and knowledge sense, than my extinguishing to Nirvana. Talley Dunn Gallery displays a symphonic like mix of Havel’s conceptual musings, with abstract paintings, and textile related sculptures.

Joseph Havel made me fully conscious of real nothingness. Lucky this was more in the word and knowledge sense, than my extinguishing to Nirvana. Talley Dunn Gallery displays a symphonic like mix of Havel’s conceptual musings, with abstract paintings, and textile related sculptures.

I relate the show “Plus or Minus” to a symphony, because each piece in the show seems to play an important part of a greater composition. The conceptual part of the show is like the percussion. The wall installation is a huge collection of shirt labels, each with the word “nothing” woven in, hung with straight pens. These labels cover the wall and seem to boom out the word “nothing” loud and clear. I say these are conceptual in nature, because the word “nothing” can be traced to the philosophy of Socrates. His number one claim was that he knew nothing, and he was trying to find anyone that did. Ancient Greek philosophers were debating whether the written word was promoting people to forget more, because you didn’t have to memorize stories any longer. Havel taps into the loss, gain, and loss of words and experiences though his assertion of “nothing.”

The sculptures act as the string section. These structures give the illusion of being light and made from textiles, but you can see that the work is physically heavy. The violin is light, but you can feel the heaviness in the music. These representations of clothing are sometime attached to a pedestal of stacked books. I would like to think these books are also playing with the idea of remembering and forgetting, but I am not completely sure I am on the right track with this thinking. It is worth exploring your own feeling when confronted with Havel’s symbols.

The paintings are the brass. You see a mix of line drawings and broad white brush strokes. These
paintings build and fall with expressive drips and brushstrokes. I enjoy how informal the larger works are hung. These paintings are works on paper that have been push pinned to the wall. You can see that the works have been push pinned several times. The holes in the paper are like the improvised jazz moments in a performance, where as the framed paintings on paper have been frozen like a music score.

The woodwinds are the “nothing” paintings. The image is drowned out in white with moments of when you can see the word “nothing.” Each “nothing” is quiet, but sharp. I think I spent most of my time looking at them. The gallery told me that Havel had a few more of these pieces in the series, but not all of them fit the space. This told me that Havel not only authored all the work, but he conducted the installation of the show. Though, I am sure he didn’t do it with a baton.

Like an orchestra, each grouping of works played their own notes, but you could see some interesting play in each individual piece as well. Joseph Havel and Talley Dunn Gallery have put together a powerful show of subito between each grouping of art works in the gallery to the crescendo in each piece. Joseph Havel will be exhibiting through February 25th.
For more images from the show visit ModernDallas.net

1 comment:

Judith Hladik-Voss said...

Great post-like your work-saw it through a Linked in email.

I'm a printmaker/artist from the Chicago area-work with language in a different way.

http://www.hladikvoss.com/index.html for my art website

http://jhladikvoss57.wordpress.com/ for my new blog

https://www.facebook.com/pages/hladikvosscom/112385732173811 On FB

Judith Hladik-Voss