Art 3 gallery is pleased to present Some Differences, a solo exhibition featuring works by Marjorie Welish. On view at ART 3 gallery, 109 Ingraham Street, Bushwick, Brooklyn. The show opens on November 9th with a break for Thanksgiving (November 24 - 27), and extends through December 18, 2016. Gallery hours: Wed-Sat. 12-6PM, Sun. 1-5PM. The opening reception will take place on Friday, November 11, from 6-9PM.
Since the late 1970s, painter and art critic, Marjorie Welish has cultivated a position of independence from fixed schools or tendencies and has premised her work on the relentlessly self-interrogative question: What needs to be done now? What would be an art in consequence of that question? The criticality evident in her answers invites you to join her demanding inquiry in post-structural play. Welish encourages re-thinking classifications and codifications.
The art of Marjorie Welish is diagrammatic: dedicated to forms of thought. Grids make visible a structural stability, but also a questioning of such stability--through changing approaches to repetition and difference.
Some Differences will present some of Welish most recent diptychs paintings. This exhibition makes a point of showing that an opposition need not be a contradiction: kinds and degrees can coexist in opposition. With these diptychs painted with acrylic on panel, Marjorie Welish investigates how difference articulates both a concept and a procedure.
In a conversation with critic and curator Lilly Wei, (in an excerpt from the forthcoming catalogue titled: A Work, and…), Welish answers a few questions about her painting:
By moving from left to right I keep the mark but reorient its patterned patches as sufficient to create a change—a procedural difference that has conceptual consequence. Other possibilities put into effect: to move from left to right is accompanied by the decision to feature irregularities in spacing, with sparseness or density. To paint with a brush introduces all kinds of contingencies into the mark—especially pronounced in the several works done in all gray—Payne’s Gray, to be exact.
Why is Payne’s Gray so significant to you?
The point is that holding to the uniform tone of Payne’s Gray allows for calibrating difference. It was through Payne’s Gray that I introduced the concept of difference as differentiation. Many of the diptychs one sees are not binary, not differing in structure but differing in mode. With its translucency not so easily controlled, using Payne’s Gray aids the improvisatory aspect throughout: as gradients cultivated in developable indeterminate folds subject to cramping, then abrupt breaks. This gray has wonderful properties. It can be dark or darkest, blue and/or gray with an aura. It is a metamorphic color. Such differentials emerge through an iteration of difference, and if not radical, are generative of ramified or perturbed orders.
Essentially, then, you are changing the instructions that you gave yourself.
True. Some are structurally antithetical; but several are not, as I go from left to right to reorient the translucent tone in regular folds where it had been circumstantial. Passing from left to right across the gap in other diptychs insists that change allow for irregular shape, and so an erratic orienting of the field. In another work I predetermined that brushwork go from horizontal to vertical, and from where spacing diverges on the left margin of the left panel to the gaps within the field on the right panel. It is easy to see the differentiation here. In another couple of works internal spacing is generative of major change across the gap and throughout the field where complexities expressed difference within repetition.
Marjorie Welish is an American artist and art critic. She received her first solo show thanks to Laurie Anderson, then curator of the Whitney Museum Art Resources Center; she has exhibited most recently in New York, Paris, Vienna, and Cambridge, England.
Welish is a graduate of Columbia University and received her M.F.A. degree from Vermont College and Norwich University. Her writing on art has appeared in Art in America, Art International, Art News, BOMB (magazine), Partisan Review, and Salmagundi. A collection of her art criticism came out in 1999 entitled, Signifying Art: Essays on Art after 1960 (Cambridge University Press). Writing on her maybe found in: Of the Diagram: The Work of Marjorie Welish (Slought Foundation). The book compiles essays given at a conference on April 5, 2002, at the University of Pennsylvania. Of the Diagram orders contributions with the reader new to Welish's work in mind. By assembling art critics and literary theorists, poets and artists, architects and art historians, this collection of essays manifests the ongoing conversations in Welish's work.
She has received many grants and fellowships including the Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Foundation, the Djerassi Foundation, the Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts, Fifth Floor Foundation, the Howard Foundation, the International Studio Program, Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship, the MacDowell Colony Fellowship, Pollock-Krasner Foundation, and the Trust for Mutual Understanding (supporting an exchange between the International Studio Program, New York and the Artists’ Museum, Łódź, Poland)..
In 2006, she received a Fulbright Senior Specialist Fellowship to teach at the University of Frankfurt, where she also worked on a limited edition constructed art book, Oaths? Questions? in collaboration with James Siena, published by Granary Books in 2009 (in the collections of the Beinecke Library at Yale, Columbia University, Getty, and The Metropolitan Museum of Art) ; in 2010 with a Fulbright, she was at Edinburgh College of Art. In 2015, she was nominated for the award “Anonymous Was a Woman”.
Marjorie Welish is now on the Board of the International Studio and Curatorial Program (ISCP). She writes art criticism for Art Monthly.