Cosmic Scatterings of Abstraction: Four Artists Take Stock of Abstraction in the 21st Century

This fall, Artspace Warehouse takes stock of the state of abstraction with “Cosmic Scatterings of Abstraction,” an exhibition featuring the work of four contemporary artists, each bringing a unique approach to this enduring style. Though their backgrounds and passions range widely, these artists—Paul Kirley, Mark Acetelli, Atticus Adams, and Bettina Mauel—share an interest in materials and in transforming their experiences and emotions into works of art that speak to all of us.

A love of architecture, cityscapes, and landscape design drives Kirley to merge painting and photography in his mixed media compositions. He pieces together digital photographs of urban sights and passages of paint into the overlapping images, blocks of color, and geometrical forms that characterize his works. The mixed-media paintings included in this exhibition center upon blocky diamonds, triangles, squares, and other shapes that coalesce into suggestions of city blocks and buildings. 

In his sculptures, Adams subtly references the built environment and industrial materials through his use of aluminum mesh, a material commonly found in door and window screens. Through bending, painting, and other manipulations, he transforms such utilitarian matter into forms resembling flowers, seedpods, and other natural phenomena.

Both Acetelli and Mauel filter what they see and feel into expressive paintings. Acetelli works from the heart, alternately applying and scraping back layers of pigment, wax, and other media to form abstract and semi-abstract compositions inspired by such universal human experiences as love, loss, birth, and death. This process results in complex, textured works, mimicking life itself. Mauel claims to “paint what I experience, [including] landscapes, flowers, people and always dancing.” The exhibition includes a number of her paintings focused on dancers, whose swirling forms dissolve into blurred brushstrokes and bright colors as they dance their cares away.

Karen Kedmey

Cosmic Scatterings of Abstraction” is on view at Artspace Warehouse through Nov. 21st, 2014.

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