Thursday, March 27, 2014

ModArtists


 Ron Radwanski - Contempo Iridescent eclipse 48in x48in

ModernDallas.net re-post of my article

I was recently offered an opportunity to help judge an online exhibition of art. It got me thinking about our changing digital world, where online exhibitions have become a new phenomenon. I value seeing art live, but you can get a great deal of visual information just by looking at the available images online. Fortunately for me, I don't have to go far on the internet to see an interesting grouping of artists. I am talking about the Mod Artists curated by Jeff Levine.

I showed with Ron Radwanski, Elle Schuster, Dar Dowling, and Joshua King down in Austin, during a Mod Artist event. Radwanski brought an acrylic on canvas to create a hard edge painting experience. Schuster’s fractal creations were akin to some of my digital work. I found myself lost in her engrossing images. Dowling’s figure rolled out before you as a delicately sensual piece of work.

King seems to be the most Post Modern artist Levine shows and I hated his work almost instantly, but grew to love it as I spent time with it. It was worth getting to know his work. I also enjoyed visiting his online presence and learning a bit more about the work. In another time and place, I have also seen Donn Parr’s work in person. To see his airplane inspired objects/paintings was a real treat, and I felt Parr’s shapes were ready to fly off the walls. There is not a hint of irony, but an honest love for flight and the machines that provide this amazing feat.

Other Mod Artists I have only experienced online. Levine has gathered several artists with a similar approach to abstract art. Alison Jardine, Sonali Khatti, Marilyn Biles, Esther Ritz, Kiki Curry Winters, Carol Ordemann, Jan Ayers Friedman, Deanna Kienast, and Tamara White all have abstraction as their main approach. I feel an earthy theme ran through many of the paintings and a real connection to the developments of High Modernist period. Carmen Menza and Ross Van Hunt are two artists that might translate better if you experienced the work live. But the information of thick paint comes across loud and clear. Jan Ayers Friedman, Erika Jaeggli draw from the natural world, but Ayers Friedman pushes into the abstraction, where Jaeggli uses more playful illustrations of shapes.

Trevor Kobrin is the only photographer Levine shows. I was impressed by the skill and variety of the photos. Michael Broussard and Nic Noblique generally deal in metal, but Noblique apparently also creates paintings, which I was unaware of until I looked at his website. Broussard really defies an artistic category. I have a hard time labeling his work, other than it looks Modern.

Like any gallery, I know the Mod Artists gallery has had artists come and go. I am not completely clear on Jeff Levine’s reasons for picking artists to be part of his Mod Artists. But I can see some interesting ideas and themes that run through many of the artists he has chosen. Levine is attempting to pick artists that stay true to Modernism and those sensibilities. But I also see some expansion of his tastes in a few key artists, which is always a good sign for things come.

ModernDallas.net for more images

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