’s works rely on the practice of choosing letters for their specific shapes, such as in SOUL, in which the artist layers the word’s individual letters on top of each other to create a complex labyrinthine shapes that reflect the word’s meaning.
show paintings that give poetic language visual embellishment, be it through Lang’s straightforward, colorful block letters in Swallowing, or Sternberg’s almost illegible flowing evocations that build up into landscapes, as in And The Sky Turned Orange, But Her Eyes Were Bloodshot.
has retyped a novel by Bukowski; he puts two sheets of paper put through a vintage typewriter while it is filled with paint. The resulting display is a diptych that is the residue of his creative steps; on one page, the original text is legible, while the other is partially destroyed evidence of the process.
both present works that are highly self-referential, and somewhat cynical. Powhida is a former critic who brings an understanding of the language of conceptual art into his process, literally. The artist writes about the work he wants to make and works that plan into the final sculpture: “Idea: Make a surface-oriented abstract something using only black and white materials, paint etc...,” handwritten in pencil on a piece of lined notebook paper that the artist has drawn, is manifested in the neighboring display, a dichromatic, wall-hung sculpture made of wood and Plexiglass entitled A Neo-Modernism (Sculpture and Painting). Mars, on the other hand, creates statements that challenge either the identity of the artist or the art world, such as For Eli Broad Or Some Rich Broad. Both artists seem to see the current state of art as a series of steps and scenarios that can be broken down and analyzed, for better or worse.
Seen as a whole, “ConTEXTual Abstraction” reflects and explores the evolutionary process of making art. With letters and words being omnipresent in the world around us, they logically become a recurring motif for artists worldwide.