Front Room Gallery is pleased to present “Fluency and Clank” a solo exhibition of new paintings by the artist Mark Masyga. This is Masyga’s third solo show at the gallery.
In this new series, Mark Masyga employs drawing techniques of composed and gestural lines of color, which overlap and intersect to create compelling linear abstract compositions. The sometimes coiled, sometimes kinked contours have a structure to them, which is rendered through the artist's intuitive relationship to color and density. There is a controlled depth to the paintings’ visual surface, while the background creates an endless atmosphere in which the lines take on the feel of objects in space. Masyga's masterful knowledge and background in Color Field painting shows a heightened sense and use of color, which he relates to chance encounters on the canvas. These ‘encounters’ become edited and directed until a harmony and accord is achieved through a complex structure created through layering of lines and boundaries of color.
This body of work reflects an ongoing exploration of how drawing and painting work together or act in opposition. The exhibition “Fluency and Clank” unites drawing and painting on one canvas, with each painting engaging in a lively discussion of line. Transparent squiggles created with seeming abandon are countered with determined woven paths of opaque color. The materiality of drawn line is magnified by the textile quality of the canvas, giving a luxurious feel to the concealed texture in the painted lines. A disrupted pattern emerges through seemingly random placements, which are choreographed to create a rhythm of overlapping lines.
While leaving a place for chance, Masyga controls the random actions in his compositions, which allows for new discoveries. Masyga’s philosophy of painting is reflected in his title choices. While they seem arbitrary, such as “Alone in the Dim Baggage Room (shipment of newt fate)” they are inspired by his childhood pastime of changing TV channels randomly and recording the results, without editing. When the random phrases are joined, their original intended meaning dissipates, but recombine with a new significance.
“Fluency and Clank” brings together the worlds of drawing to painting with line, embracing the opposition and unity of both. The principals of each are maintained and exist in copacetic stratum between the canvas’ surface into the infinite depth of abstract illusionary space.
Mark Masyga received his MFA from the Art Institute of Chicago and currently lives and works in New York. The recipient of the Edward F. Albee award, Masyga has participated in residencies in Montauk, New York, Skowhegan, Maine, and was featured in the PS 1 Studio Visit Program. Mark Masyga has exhibited extensively in New York and Nationally. He is represented by Front Room Gallery in New York.