Berggruen Gallery is pleased to present Contemporary Paintings, an extensive exploration of light, color, and composition through the medium of paint.
Renowned for her stitched canvases of solid, bold colors in geometric patterns, Crowner individually paints each piece of cloth and then later sews the individuals shapes together to form a dynamic composition.
Her unique approach to painting actually emerged from the artist’s impatience with the medium; instead of abandoning the practice of painting altogether, she made it distinctly her own.
As the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum describes, “Crowner fuses the rarified realm of abstract painting with techniques associated with domestic craft.”
Often playing with materiality and perception, Corse’s work involves a unique amalgamation of medium as the artist mixes acrylic paint with microspheres (small spherical particles often used in composite manufacturing) to paint vertical bands onto canvas.
This unique process that Corse has developed causes an illuminating, oscillating effect in her work that can only truly be appreciated in person. Focused on medium, color, light, and illusion, Corse finds that the push-and-pull between her work and the viewer is of the utmost importance.
The driving force behind her creative impulse is the act of reduction, which Rojas uses to simplify concepts into universal themes in order to communicate with her viewers and listeners. Inspired by folk art, Rojas’ aesthetic has moved from the figurative into the abstract in her more recent work.
She derives motifs from the Persian tradition, Native American textiles, Quaker Art, and Byzantine mosaics, but one universal thread unites all of her works: the impulse to tell a story. Her work addresses gender roles and female sexuality, the relationship between humans and nature, and the universality of forms found in our environment.
Tending toward geometric abstraction, Rojas’ pieces reflect our own collective search for harmony and balance.
ODILI DONALD ODITA
The artist's vibrant work references historical and sociopolitical events, as well as his personal experience of living with two cultural identities. Odita’s geometric paintings are inspired by traditional Nigerian textiles and include references to modern art.
Odita holds the conviction that color has the profound ability to mirror the complexity of the world in its simultaneous universality and individuality.
"I continue to explore in [my] paintings a metaphoric ability to address the human condition through pattern, structure and design, as well as for its possibility to trigger memory."
- ODILI DONALD ODITA
Messenger’s intensive, rules-based craft unfolds in the formation of grids drawn carefully by hand. This process involves using a straightedge to draw parallel lines, which he then carefully rotates to create depth and movement where the lines intersect. Messenger’s labor-intensive technique recalls his captivation with compass-and-straightedge designs as well as his early study of Fibonacci numbers and the golden ratio.
Throughout his artistic career, Messenger has balanced his penchant for geometric precision with an approach to art-making that relies on natural processes and a degree of uncertainty. The artist continually returns to ephemeral and natural resources in his work, incorporating organic materials such as rain or snow throughout his practice. For example, Messenger has experimented with priming his paper by soaking sheets in the river before placing them onto snow. He then washes over the paper with black ink, combining natural and synthetic forms of liquid to saturate the original material.
MATTHEW DAY JACKSON
Jackson’s works are often recognizable by their juxtaposition of materials. Such materials include scorched wood, precious metals, epoxy resin, mother-of-pearl, and found objects such as ropes, t-shirts, or posters. His work often reflects themes including the evolution of humankind, the effects of technological advancements on societies, and what Jackson describes as the “myth” of the American Dream.
Much of Jackson’s work also reflects humankind’s understanding of and interaction with the natural world around us. However, for Jackson, beauty is frequently partnered by desolation. His work explores a concept that he terms 'the Horriful:' the belief that everything one does has the potential to bring both beauty and horror.
"The enormous pieces... [locate] startling beauty in their counterintuitive material juxtapositions."
- JEFFREY KASTNER (Artforum, December 2008, p. 299)