For his twelfth show OV Project is delighted to present an exhibition focused on minimal art —one of the most significant art movements of the 20th century, bringing together paintings produced by Paul Mogensen and Steven Parrino. The association of those two influential American artists shows a constellation of dialectical practices about the structure, form, material, production, and function of the artwork and its relationship to space and to the spectator.
Born in Los Angeles in 1941, Paul Mogensen was first represented in New York by the legendary Bykert Gallery from the time of its founding in 1966 until its closing in 1975. At Bykert, Mogensen kept company with a pioneering group of artists, which included Brice Marden, Chuck Close, Dorothea Rockburne, David Novros, Barry Le Va, Alan Saret, and Joe Zucker, among others. The use of mathematically - based systems of ordering and progression have been central to Mogensen’s practice from early on. Traced historically to antiquity, these concepts are by no means exclusive to visual art. Their counterparts can be found in disciplines ranging from Renaissance architecture to music. The artist’s interest in the ordering of form and progressions encompasses other timeless configurations and shapes, such as the spiral—a motif that has preoccupied Mogensen for decades. Recent examples of coiled-band (polychrome) “spiral” paintings, such as no title, 2016, allow for a progression of both form and color, as determined by their order in the spectrum.
Steven Parrino was born in 1958 in New York, and died in 2005 in New York. Parrino is best known for his signature “misshaped” monochromes with slashed, torn, or twisted canvases. An established pioneer in performance and video art, his radicalism was borne out of a deep understanding of the history of painting and the avant-garde. The “vibe” of his work derives from his other loves: Pop iconography and the subversive counterculture of the Hell’s Angels, the occult, and the No Wave and punk rock movements. His commitment to the belief that “radicalism comes from content and not necessarily form” radiates throughout his artistic practice, where he utilizes all the disciplines of painting, photo collage, drawing, film, video, and super-sonic performance. At the end of the 1980s, Parrino’s work began to diverge aesthetically. Never completely comfortable with the “Neo-Geo” label, his work took on a darker, more monumental character. The iconic monochrome paintings took shape as radical, nihilistic, pop sculptural objects—a transformation which fused historical tradition with the defunct notion of the avant-garde.