Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Surface Pattern at Circuit 12 Contemporary

A repost of my article in in May 2012.

I could kick myself for missing Circuit 12 Contemporary's last show, "Dream Continuum." Linda Chalmers from Toronto had a piece in the show, plus there were several other artists I wanted to see up close and personal. I did not make the same mistake with their current show, "Surface Pattern." Between this show and the artists from the last show, you can really get a sense of the galleries aesthetic mission.

The current group show hosts thirteen artists and some of the highlights I saw were the works by John Guthrie, Thomas Spoerndle, Misato Suzuki, and Dean Monogenis. Boston based artist John Guthrie, in particular, caught my eye with his bright colors on gray background, repetition of geometric shapes, and I enjoyed how the lines seem to stack in ascending order. His paintings have a motion of Op art without the gimmick illusions. With his multiplicity, I can see how Guthrie’s work could easily flow off the canvas and onto the walls, floor, and ceiling. Looking at his older work, I see Guthrie is really investigating the use of the line and how far he can stretch its function.

Dean Monogenis and Thomas Spoerndle are both New York City based artists. Spoerndle’s current approach to painting is about the appearance of weaving in shapes of primary colors, black and white to make deceptively simple compositions. With a few exceptions, Spoerndle uses this minimal pallet to create targets. I see a little bit of Jasper Johns meets Bridget Riley here. I wonder if Dean Monogenis is influenced by Mark Tansey and at least a little bit of surrealism, because Monogenis’paintings channel the idea of imaginative landscapes. Some chunks of land float like fantasy Concept art, while other scenes are invaded by minimal elements. Monogenis’ work is topsy turvy, unbalanced, and precarious all wrapped up in an undefined plot.

An odd person out, but no less interesting is LA artist Misato Suzuki. Unlike many of the other artists in the show, Suzuki’s mark making is less crisp, with loose lines and worked surface. There is a real sense of organic spontaneity in these works. Minimal in nature, Suzuki maximizes the effects with lines and muted colors.

“Surface Pattern” includes artist: Dean Monogenis, Pepa Prieto, Misato Suzuki, Thomas Spoerndle, Morgan Blair, Lucas Martell, John Guthrie, James Roper, Jessy Nite, Eddie Villanueva, Books Bischof, Sandra Fettingis and Maxomatic. The show will be on view at Circuit 12 until June 16th.

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