“Evidence of Absence” at ZieherSmith Gallery

The ZieherSmith Gallery in NYC current group exhibition is titled “Evidence of Absence”. Two of the artists in the show create work that uses mutated repetition of geometric shapes.

Ryan Mrozowski

Ryan Mrozowski makes wood blocks that are coated in acrylic and vinyl then they are held together in a rectangular frame. This creates a patterned plane or a 2D tiling pattern from 3D blocks. His assemblages give the illusion that all of the blocks started out the same size and shape, but they have been squished together and distorted by the limits of the frame capacity.


Courtesy Ryan Mrozowski and ZieherSmith New York
“Dark Blue, Red, Maroon, Green III” 2014

In Mrozowski’s “Dark, Blue, Maroon, Green III”, rows of isosceles triangles appear to have been compressed into a frame that is too small, distorting the geometry of what could have been a very repetitive geometric pattern. As the viewer I get the feeling that the order we associate with mathematical patterning has been disturbed and mutated. So it is the imaginary starting point of this pattern before it was compacted that holds the mathematical connections. Although the wood blocks are solid, there is the false appearance of plasticity that hold the memory of the geometrical starting point.

Adam Winner

Adam Winner creates minimalist paintings with a hand-made edge. Instead of brushes he uses palette knives, instead of a smooth solid canvas he pieces together torn linen canvas. He uses the rough edges of the linen to create straight lines. Winner is interested in the Golden Section and incorporates this into the proportions of his work.


Courtesy Adam Winner and ZieherSmith Gallery New York
Untitled 2014

Winner’s untitled oil painting above features a series of twelve concentric rectangles (including the outer edge of the canvas). This is a theme that has been explored by Minimalist artists including Frank Stella, but Winner’s unique technique breaths new life into the subject matter. Earlier interpretations of the parallel lines of concentric rectangles relied of the slickness of clean and accurate lines. This painting has rough not quite perfect lines created from the torn edges of canvas strips. I am always looking for work like Winner’s that revisits how mathematics has been used before, but in some way alters the process.

– Susan Happersett

Denise Bibro Fine Art INC

Henry Bermudez

Denise Bibro has two adjacent gallery spaces in Chelsea. The main Gallery and in a separate room, the Platform Project Space. On a recent visit, the drawings of Henry Bermudez were on display. Two of the drawings have very mathematical frameworks, that create structure for his freehand patterning. Bermudez is a renowned artist, who has exhibited extensively throughout the world. His work is included in many  important collections. He represented his native country of Venezuela at the Venice Biennale in 1986. Bermudez takes inspiration for his art from pre-Columbian and religious themes. His black on white drawings are intricate and detailed with swirls of patterns.


Henry Bermudez
Square, 2014
pen and ink drawing, acrylic paint, paper
30” x 22”
Picture courtesy of the gallery and the artist

In the drawing “Square” the swirling pattern is broken up by a vertical line bisecting the paper and a line drawing of a square in the center of the page. The bisecting line creates a line of symmetry for the square. This symmetry seems to anchor Bermudez’s frenetic free-for-all of patterning.

7_Bermudez_Center Piece

Henry Bermudez
Center Piece, 2012
pen and ink drawing, acrylic paint, paper
30” x 22”
Picture courtesy of the gallery and the artist

The exuberance of pattern is also evident in the drawing “Center Piece”. This drawing again features the curls and waves of pattern. This time – however – the structure is based on a circle. The circle has been divided into two separate concentric rings and a center circle that is empty. The inner ring is divided in to six equal sections. The outer ring is also made up of six equal sections but it has been rotated 30 degrees. The two rings each have a different type of patterning. In this drawing you can really see Bermudez’s cultural influences. There is a connection to pre-Columbian calendars. Bermudez uses  geometric mathematical frameworks to create order for his freeform patterning.

David Ambrose

In the main gallery there is a group show of ten artists titled “Process”. I was immediately drawn to the work of David Ambrose. He has a very interesting approach to working with paper. He first pierces the paper, making a multitude of tiny holes with raised lips. These pierces create patterns. When a pigment is then applied to this uneven surface it is forced to interact with the pattern.

High Kente (2)

David Ambrose
High Kente, 2007
watercolor on paper
30’’ x 22’’
Picture courtesy of the artist and the gallery

The punctured patterns in “High Kente”  have an architectural element. Near the top there is a circular form divided up into ten even segments. It reminds me of patterns found in both stained glass windows and Middle Eastern ornamentation. There are other sections of the paper with rectangular grids and other geometric forms. Some of Ambrose’s work uses lace patterning as inspiration. The piercing of this work creates a type of paper lace. Lace making is probably one of the most mathematical of all needlework. That mathematical sensibility has carried over to this watercolor on  pierced paper .

— Susan Happersett