The Rosenwald-Wolf Gallery of the University of the Arts is pleased to present Quicktime, an exhibition of recent painting from March 13 through April 22, 2017. This exhibition examines quickly manufactured contemporary New York abstraction via various painterly modes by Marina Adams, Amy Feldman, Ann Craven, Melissa Meyer and Patricia Treib.
These five painters are from various generations but all adhere to a practice of expedient painting, full of the flare and flash of gestural freedom. The fact that each of these paintings is often physically limned without massive re-editing imbues them with a sense of spontaneity. However, as Marina Adams notes, it is not actual time that is needed to make a specific work, but the accumulated years of committed studio time that is needed to achieve this level of unrehearsed liberty.
In 2009, Raphael Rubinstein wrote “Provisional Painting” in Art in America, in which he described contemporary painters such as Christopher Wool, Mary Heilmann or Raoul De Keyser with contingent concerns for the unfinished, the unrefined.
Likewise, each of the Quicktime painters explores and extends ephemeral legacies and languages of the New York School. Feldman’s perversely biomorphic yet lively dramas of figure/ground seem like ghostly grisaille homages to the spirit of Pop painter Nicolas Krushenick. Her newer, emptier silhouettes seem to adhere to an even more provisional genre. Similarly Ann Craven’s systemically replicated motifs generate canvases, which mime croquis, memes. Based in observation, each slight variation of lunar depiction, for example, balances a meditation on (re)production, on time’s passage, with a modicum of kitsch. Other works in Quicktime, immediate and punchy like Adams’, display a serious tectonic planar tension within color space. In Adams’s paintings, flatly brushed color masses dance around and create contour edges. Her forebears seem to be Matisse cutouts and the paintings of Miriam Shapiro, Ken Noland and Ray Parker. The broadly brushed planes and sharp edges of Treib’s paintings skitter and tack direction with a racecar driver’s virtuosity. Treib has her own sense of nostalgic color, and like Craven will often repeat themes until they naturally exhaust their potential. She draws with paint in almost calligraphic contours, which counter and balance with passages of planar splendor. And last, within Melissa Meyer’s tachiste paintings, the delicate wisps of adept palimpsests resemble suspended zen lattices; a grid of pictorial actions only able to be attempted once.
Rosenwald-Wolf Gallery (press release)