Brenda Danilowitz has curated the wonderful Anni Albers exhibition at David Zwirner’s West 20th street gallery. Albers is one the preeminent fiber artist of the 20th century. There are s number of her weaving masterworks on display. What I found special about this show was the works on paper. There was one large room devoted to gouache color studies, drawings and prints.
Some of the pieces from the 1970’s really caught my eye.
In each of these three works Albers has used a grid of squares. The squares have been split in half diagonally. The resulting isosceles right triangles have been colored in contrast to the other half.
“Color Study (Blue and Reds)” is a gouache and diazotype on paper from 1970.
“Study for Second Movement III” graphite on paper, 1970
“Second Movement III” two color copper plate etching, 1978
The David Zwirner gallery is presenting “Sonic Albers” an exhibition related to Alber’s interests in music and sonic phenomena. Albers is known for his his investigations into color and geometric forms. His series of paintings “Homage to the Square” produced between 1950-1976 are an iconic contribution to the lexicon of 20th century Art. This current solo exhibition includes some work almost devoid of color, only using black and white.
“Structural Constellation M-9” from1954 is a line drawing created using machine-engraved plastic laminate that references the outlines of geometric solids in 3-D space. Two rectangular cubes share a segment of one side. The central figure is a rhombus depicting the shared section. It seems as though the two solids are sliding against each other on the same plane.
Here is another panel from the “Structural Constellation” series instead of featuring closed geometric solids this work depicts open forms that share edges in what looks like a precarious arrangement.
David Zwirner is presenting the exhibition “Corners, Barriers and Corridors” at the 20th street gallery. This show presents the work of Dan Flavin from the late 1960’s into the 1970’s. The artist is famous for his use of fluorescent light constructions to define geometry within a space.
“Untitled (to Sonja)”, 1969
Much of Flavin’s work involved the use of straight lines and grids. I was particularly happy to see a work that was all about circles.
“Untitled (to a man,George McGovern) 2” ,1972
Situated in the corner of the room “Untitled (to a man, George McGovern) 2” from 1972 is made up of a series of columns of circles of light. They descend in order from a height of ten circles to a single circle. The juxtaposition of the curves of the circles with the straight edges of the corner space and the placement of the circles with in a grid creates an interesting tension. The 45 degree angle produced by the descending columns gives the illusion that the circles are rolling down the construction. Dan Flavin is known as a minimalist and this work uses only the most basic elements, circles within an environment of straight lines, but the impact is impressive.
The David Zwirner Gallery’s 20th Street branch in Chelsea is presenting a large show of the work by one of the most influential Dutch artists of the last half of the twentieth century, Jan Schoonhoven. A member of the Nul Groep in Holland, Schoonhoven was connected to the international art movement “ZERO Group”. The artist members of these groups worked to develop a type of art that was more objective then the more emotionally expressive art created after WWII. Schoonhoven established techniques to create monochromatic wall sculptures that relied on clean geometric lines to explore form,light, and shadows.
Jan Schoonhoven – “R70-28” – 1970
The rectangular grids like the ones seen in “R70-28” from 1970 are probably the types of structures that became most famous. A square relief sculpture with 5 columns with ten rows each. The white walls are the grid lines, creating rectangles with a 1:2 ratio of height to width. The exhibition at David Zwirner is quite inclusive and includes works on paper, earlier geometric work, as well as work featuring more complex geometry.
Schoonhoven used latex paint, paper, cardboard and wood to assemble these sculptures. The hand of the artist has given these 3-D spaces an ageless quality. Although the geometry is all straight edges there is a softness to the lines of these shadow boxes.
Jan Schoonhoven – “R69-33”
The work “R69-33” from 1969 has a rather complex pattern made up of trapezoidal surfaces. They are positioned into rows with horizontal axes of symmetry. The longer side of each trapezoid is closest to the viewer. This work offers a dramatic example of Schoonhoven’s use of shadows.
Jan SChoonhoven – “Diagonalen” – 1967
“Diagonalen” from 1967 is one of my favorite pieces in the show. The grid format is intact but by bisecting each grid square on alternating diagonals the artist has created a lattice of right triangles. One of the most exciting elements of Schoonhoven’s wall sculptures is that they change depending on the angle from which you see the art. As the viewer moves around the gallery the shadows are changing.
All pictures courtesy of the gallery.