“We ascribe beauty to that which is simple;
which has no superfluous parts;
which exactly answers its end.” –
Ralph Waldo Emerson
(March 26 – May 7)
Is there a space for language to engage abstract painting with equanimity and the clarity of empathy? It’s no easy task, but the visually sumptuous paintings of Osamu Kobayashi and Paul Pagk are a wonderful place to begin such an exercise.
Pagk (b. 1962) and Kobayashi (b. 1984) share a love of the materiality of paint, the delights of vibrant color, and the varieties of spatial experience found in abstraction.
Pagk’s paintings are a strangely seamless combination of the futuristic and modern. The paint is thick and buttery, shiny in some places, matte in others. There is a translucency to the surfaces, an odd fact given the heavy layering of hand-ground oil pigment. His colors have a strong urban appeal, perhaps due to a blend of the industrial and natural. Orange is reminiscent of New York City’s ubiquitous plastic construction fences, but also richly simmers like a setting sun. A soft pale teal double-triangle shape holds the middle of a canvas like a rune or a spaceship landing strip. In “Amisi” (2014) a yellow ground is overlaid with a whitish-pink line describing a rectangle. The outlined shapes verge on the geometric, but are not hard or exact. There is a precision and intentionality to the inset forms that is architectural and meandering. I’ve often thought of Pagk’s paintings as blueprints for an impossible space that recedes and flattens. At 76 inches high the paintings in this show are scaled to the size of a tall human, establishing a familiar communion between viewer and work. Like a surprisingly good conversation between two strangers, the more one gives, the more one receives. (Written by Nora Griffin)
Kobayashi has worked with a wide, sweeping brush stroke for many years, but in this new series of paintings a subtle bodily presence is perceptible. There are intimations of an extended tongue, the curve of a spine, a drop of fluid, or a couple side-by-side. Thankfully, the paintings never fully materialize into a clear image; an experience that can be slightly frustrating, but also visually rewarding. One of the great joys of this work is found in colors so sharp and delicate they can almost be tasted. This is especially present in the aqua, bubble-gum pink, and lemon yellow of “Taste Bud.” Color field painter Paul Feeley comes to mind as a predecessor, as do other post-painterly abstract artists who combine a sweetly sensual Pop sensibility with the factual materiality of paint. Kobayashi’s finely outlined, blobby droplets and squiggles are defined by an expanse of monochrome color. Similar to Pagk’s work, our eye jumps between form and space, without one dominating the other. Both artists are dedicated to a sensory technique that eschews optical calisthenics in favor of touch, temperament, and the humanizing of the non-objective.
(Written by Nora Griffin)
Lauren Mabry’s vibrant series Contain or Deliver is an experiment in dimensional painting and letting go of the control she has gained over the ceramic process. In this series she overloads the forms with glaze. During the firing it melts, cascades, and flows into hypnotic rivers of color that pool and spill over the edge.
In her own words:
“I am captivated by the potential of glaze as an abstract medium, because no matter how well I understand it, I never have complete control of how it will turn out, transformed by both time and temperature in the kiln– not by the direct action of my hand. Guided by informed intuition, I experiment with expressive abstract painting and the phenomenon of ceramic process. While each viewer will relate to my work in a different way, the formal language of color, movement, and contrast are meant to engage people in a contemplative, visually charged experience.”
About Mindy Solomon Gallery
Established in 2009, Mindy Solomon Gallery specializes in contemporary emerging and mid-career artists and art advisory services. The gallery represents artists working in painting, sculpture, photography, and video in both narrative and non-objective styles, and was named one of the Top 500 Galleries Worldwide in Louise Blouin Media Modern Painters 2013 and 2014 annual guides.
The gallery serves as an incubator for dynamic artists establishing their creative voices and exploring a broad range of exhibition possibilities.
Represented artists include: Scottish photographer Muir Vidler, LA photographer and writer Scot Sothern, Korean sculptural artist Kang Hyo Lee, Mexican mixed-media artists the de la Torre brothers, New York-based painter James Kennedy, and an array of national and international talent. Mindy Solomon Gallery participates in global art fairs including Art Miami, Zona Maco, VOLTA BASEL, VOLTA NY, PULSE, Moving Image, and Shanghai Contemporary. Always interested in the intersection of art and design, Mindy Solomon and her staff work closely with designers, advisors, consultants, and curators to inform and integrate fine works of art into every aesthetic environment.
Mindy Solomon Gallery
8397 NE 2nd Ave.
Miami, Fl. 33138786 953 6917
Hours: Tues -Sat: 11 – 5
Monday & Sunday by appt.