Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Cult of Color: Circuit 12 Contemporary

Installation view

Repost ModernDallas.net of my article.

Cult of Color, the title of the current group show at Circuit 12 Contemporary could have easily been about process as much as color. Color doesn’t have to be explained, thus an easy read. But I saw a great deal of deeper craft at work in this family of abstract paintings, and I asked Circuit 12 owners a lot of questions about these artists and their processes.

Jacin Giordano’s color came from a process of building up layer after layer of paint then removal through cutting and scraping. Some of Giordano’s work is built up with paint outside in the elements. Nature and chance become part of his process. All of Giordano’s work is recovered to make more work, so when he removes something from a painting, that part might end up in a sculpture. Timothy Bergstrom made the bright impasto paintings where he laid plexy on top to flatten the paint. Thus squashing and smearing the paint to form trippy psychedelic abstract paintings. The colors were bright and caught your attention, but as you walked closer to the paintings, you were floored by the process. I had to ask how it was made.

Of course, I can’t write only about process. After all the show is about color. Cody Hudson’s paintings are pretty straight up shape and color relationship. I didn’t linger much on his process because his images were simple and direct. Stephen Ormandy had similar shapes as Hudson, but the colors were more electric. When looking at Family Portrait, my eyes hurt a little before I adjusted to the painted surface. Then the pain turned to pleasure in an instant. Lush and plastic, Ormandy’s other paintings might have been more muted than Family Portrait, but no less interesting.

An artist I would like to see in a solo show is Lauren Silva. I get the feeling that a few examples are not enough. Her work stood alone well, but it would be nice to see her paintings in conversation with each other, rather than in a group show. Worth mentions was Arthur Peña’s paintings. I like the repetitive mark making. Tomory Dodge and Ivan Gueorguieva round out the show with a flurry of brush work. Dodge’s and Gueorguieva’s paintings felt more like collages than paintings. Crowded and layered with objects, I could imagine these works pasted on rather than painted on. Feelings, of course, are not the same as reality, because these works were clearly paintings. Yet I still felt a relation to collage in these works.

The Cult of Color will be up until May 7th. However, this weekend, Circuit 12 Contemporary is taking the leap into the first Austin Art Fair . This new art fair will has 25 booths, will be indoors, and will be next to the outdoor fine arts festival; Art City Austin.

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