Open Mind Art Space is pleased to present "Surface Tension", featuring contemporary abstract paintings by Christopher Kuhn, Alison Rash and Bryan Ricci. An opening reception for the artists will be held on Saturday, January 18, 2020 from 7:00 PM - 10:00 PM. The exhibition will be on view from January 18 through February 15, 2020.
"Surface Tension" explores the innate human desire to maintain order over the unknown and unfamiliar, and the process of finding ease in releasing control and adapting to change. Artists Kuhn, Rash and Ricci, each use color, line and texture in various ways by deliberately manipulating paint in a precise manner and surrendering to the organic materiality of the medium, to create works that are formally balanced yet spontaneously gestural. Geometric shapes and crisp lines converge with accidental spills and sporadic smears of paint. The surface of each painting reveals evidence of both intentional and unconstrained marks made in the process of seeking to counterbalance the tension between perfection and imperfection.
Embracing the element of chance, Christopher Kuhn’s paintings begin spontaneously, with watery acrylic stains, pours, drips, or brush marks. In subsequent layers, these improvised marks are responded to with oil paints in a slow, methodical manner, often employing precise tiny brushwork. The colorful drips and pours are painted over in carefully rendered gradients except for a thin silhouette outline. Kuhn mixes paints to match the hue of the raw linen or canvas supports, blurring the lines between positive and negative space and causing the viewer to question what came first. Portions are left unaltered, giving the viewer a peek back into the foundational layer. The works revel in the inherent dualities of paint, as both object and artifice, and canvas, as both a surface and a window.
Alison Rash’s current body of work explores the idea of absence as presence as she begins to unpack her own experience with metastatic breast cancer. Themes of control and surrender, perseverance and beauty in the unexpected emerge. Her work occupies the intersection among order, coincidence and manipulation. Working primarily on Yupo paper, Rash employs both additive and subtractive processes and examines the relationship between compulsive and impulsive mark-making. The paintings, while appearing physical, are very light in paint application.
Bryan Ricci’s work explores both medium and surface to create ephemeral abstract work which evoke an atmosphere alluding to deep memory and the process of time’s effect on it. His approach is a combination of formal compositional attitudes towards space with innovative usage of materials to create works that are painterly and abstract. Ricci starts each painting by staining the back of the linen canvas with transparent pigment to create the first layer. He then continues to apply layers of paint to each side of the linen using pouring techniques, brooms, scraping tools, and fabrics. Ricci associates the fluid-like and thicker impasto applications of paint on and through the surface of the canvas, to the dichotomy between the unconscious and conscious modes of remembrance, which is slippery and elusive on its own. The paintings ultimately become a by-product of an experience that once existed.