The exhibition borrows its title from one of Piet Mondrian’s most notable works from the 1930’s. The painting’s elements have been reduced to its simplest colors and rectilinear forms in a new method for representing the underlying structure of the visible world. His integrative approach to abstraction was a great influence on painting, design and architecture throughout the twentieth century and still today. Through Matt Connors and Klara Lidén’s works, the show explores how the adaptive language of geometric abstraction can be actualized to render contemporary reality and new concepts of social space.
Connors’ loosely gridded compositions seek to blur the distinction between art and life by relating social and pictorial space. His paintings incorporate rubbings from the floor or the artist uses one wet painting to imprint another, acting as both pictures and objects alike. By pouring layers of paint into the fabric like dye, they draw particular attention to their surface, and result in colorful yet translucent compositions that “register the surfaces behind or beneath them, as well as those before them.”On the other hand, if Mondrian’s floating geometries sought to reflect the underlying spirituality of nature, Klara Lidén engages directly with the fabric of the city. Her interest in the urban environment frequently manifests itself in built structures described as “un-building, re-cycling or improvising new uses for what’s already been set up.” The works on view are created by an accumulation of fliers and advertisements gathered from the street and seek to challenge our most fundamental perceptions of private and public space. The “Poster Paintings” have been covered with a layer of white paper in order to erase or silence the oversaturated metropolitan landscape.
Composition with Red, Blue and Yellow brings forward Mondrian’s vision of modern art as a common language based in the pure primary colors, along with the Modernist belief in abstraction as an expression of living. Working within the contexts of Minimalism and Conceptualism, Connors and Lidén forge recognizable, stripped-down vocabularies that expand and actualize the language of abstraction, embracing geometry as a democratic device. Their works turn away from utopia, and add the expedience and restlessness of our times.