This exhibition explores repetitive mark making and patterning as an act that transforms the surface into a charged visual field. It considers the artist’s process as an almost meditative state, and how this way of working is made visible.

The exhibition shows the creation of grids and matrixes of dots and lines as distinct from the gestural construction of form. It asks how this way of working constitutes a rejection of an existentialist-based process, prioritizing the universal rather than the individual. Repetition, and an ordered, process-based approach to mark making is a significant aesthetic phenomenon representing this shift.

Repetitive Motion will include the work of eight artists who span several generations. In distinct ways, they all utilize repetitive mark making, patterns, grids, dots and lines.

Ross Bleckner’s cell paintings make reference to diseased human cells and his father’s battle with cancer. This work follows his 1980s paintings, which were responses to the AIDS crisis and which used patterns of dots to suggest lesions from AIDS-related sarcomas. A solo exhibition of Bleckner’s work is currently on view at Mary Boone Gallery.

Andrew Forge (1924-1978) was a painter, critic, and scholar, born in England, who studied with William Coldstream at the Camberwell School of Art, London. Beginning in the 1960s, Forge began to reduce his own painterly vocabulary to two basic units: small dots, and dashes of paint he called sticks, which coalesce into fields. Forge was Dean of the Yale School of Art and also taught at the New York Studio School. The 1981 exhibition he organized at Yale brought British figurative painters, like Leon Kossoff, Frank Auerbach, and Patrick George to the attention of an American audience. He wrote a major monograph on Monet.

Glenn Goldberg studied at Queens College and the New York Studio School, and teaches at Queens College and Cooper Union. An interview between Goldberg and Samet was one of the original inspirations for this show. In it, Goldberg describes his transition from wrestling with form and radical erasure to leaving visible a repetitive and additive process. Dots are accrued as form and image is constructed: often symbolic, iconic representations of birds, trees, flowers, and animals.

Michelle Grabner, who was born in Wisconsin and lives near Chicago, is known for her abstract metalpoint tondos and paintings of textile patterns. Her work employs a search for systems of order, math and counting formulas, the Archimedes spiral, and radial compositions. Grabner is co-curator of the 2014 Whiney Biennial. She is also a writer, teacher, and runs the exhibition project spaces The Suburban in Oak Park, and The Poor Farm, in rural Wisconson. Her indexical work first used as subjects crocheted blankets, curtains, paper towel patterns, and gingham motifs. Grabner has said that the “repetition, redundancy, and predictability” of these patterns and its effect on her process “became a dependable counterbalance” to her critical, curatorial, and community-based endeavors: “With painting, I could go to the studio, be by myself, and change time.”

Alison Hall works with repetitive graphite marks on panels prepared with rabbit skin glue and gesso. One of her I Santi drawings will be shown. These pieces are often based on fragments of pattern from the vestments worn by saints in Italian Renaissance paintings. Her tightly bundled graphite marks build into mystical, abstract forms. Hall has stated that her impulse to repetition is connected to her Virginia family working in factories and farms, her interest in Eastern religions and meditation, and the qualities of devotion, quiet, and labor in Italian religious painting. Hall discovered and became interested in the work of Andrew Forge when she was a student at Hollins University.

Tine Lundsfryd was born in Denmark, and studied at the New York Studio School and Parsons. She began working with dots by painting with a cylindrical sponge, then moved into organizing them within a grid system. She builds matrixes of lines that accrue into geometrical forms, symbols and ornaments. The forms become entangled and complex, but always remain quiet and airy. As Lundsfryd noted in a recent interview with Samet, “Painting is not a battlefield for me.” This sentiment is characteristic of the larger tendency explored in this exhibition.

Amy Park’s paintings begin with the facades of modern architecture. Grids are laboriously constructed through repetitive pencil marks and watercolor strokes, creating optically charged fields that signify the order, layering, and density of information implicit in urban experience. Park studied at the University of Wisconsin, Madison with Michelle Grabner, and was shown at the Poor Farm. She will have a solo exhibition at Morgan Lehman in May 2014.

Barbara Takenaga’s paintings use packed, detailed repetition of dots and grids overlaid with washes and punctuated by irregularities, to create radiating, undulating constellations. They suggest cellular and cosmic forms, the underwater world, and outer space. Takenaga has been a professor at Williams College since 1985.

An exhibition is curated by Jennifer Samet.

Steven Harvey Fine Art Projector Gallery
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