Carrie Haddad Gallery is pleased to present Interlock, an exhibit that explores the tensions of color and contrast in minimal abstraction. This show will feature contemporary paintings by artists Donise English, Paul Katz and Ralph Stout, as well as paintings on canvas and paper from the estates of Edward Avedisian and Stephen Brophy. The exhibit will be on view March 22nd through April 30th. Please join us for a reception for the artists on Saturday, May 25th from 5-7pm.
Abstract painter, Paul Katz, reinterprets his signature canvases of interwoven black & white text into bold gridlocked patterns of gray scale tones and accents of vivid red. Working in a square format, Katz designs his compositions like abstract puzzles, molding misshapen forms together with pristine lines and graphic color. Paint is applied in determined strokes with a mixture of sand for a textured impasto effect. Not only is Katz a painter but he also has worked as a staff photographer for the Guggenheim Museum, an art lecturer, gallerist, and curatorial consultant. The artist, who now lives in rural Vermont, grew up in Manhattan and received his graduate degree in Art History from Hunter College.
Audiences may know Donise English best for her brightly colored encaustic paintings of abstract geometric designs resembling architectural drawings or maps. English’s fascination with constructed patterns extends into her latest body of work that draws inspiration from quilts and the hands-on process in which they’re made. Taking a general quilting pattern into three-dimensional form, the artist constructs small wall sculptures, no more than ten inches long, using hand-painted and encaustic soaked paper that is then stitched together in box like components. The irregularities of the multi-colored units result in a quirky, imperfect shape one might find in a quilt pieced together with scraps of fabric. English will also exhibit new gouache and encaustic paintings on wood panel, ranging up to 40 x 40 inches, that are reminiscent of her beloved abstractly patterned compositions. The artist received her MFA from Bard College and is currently a Professor of Studio Art at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, NY.
Ralph Stout is an accomplished abstractionist working primarily in colorful, hard-edge painting with acrylic. The boldly graphic and design-oriented nature of his painting nods to the modern minimalist aesthetic associated with the 60s. However, this exhibit will be dedicated largely to Stout’s drawings on thick cotton Arches paper in black acrylic, graphite and charcoal. Stout demonstrates a preoccupation with rectangular and circular formats, as well as the repeated use of muted palettes. Stout expertly employs varying degrees of contrast in grayscale to demonstrate a tension between foreground and background. Minimal, yet animated line work creates masses that are connected and held together abstractly. Opposing light and dark values work in harmony to blend strength with subtlety. The artist currently lives in East Hampton, NY.
NY Times reporter Roberta Smith writes in the obituary published in 2007 that “Edward Avedisian helped establish the hotly colored, but emotionally cool, abstract painting that succeeded Abstract Expressionism in the early 1960s. This young luminary harnessed elements of minimalism, pop, and color field painting to create prominent works of epic proportions that energized the New York art scene of the time. Today, we will combine selections of small works on paper in acrylic and watercolor as well as their inflated counterparts on 8 foot canvases that are being unrolled for the first time in over 30 years. The boldly colored and freely composed studies are accepted as the playful experimentation of new ideas. But when these palettes and compositions are transposed onto canvases that reach 13 feet in length, it’s a whole new ballgame. The confidence and audacity is palpable; Avedisian remains emotionally detached as he commits himself to the most unnatural of colors, easily dominating your field of view. There is little evidence that he holds regard for how this will provoke the viewer, yet creates a space that never ceases to engage.
By the late 1980s, Stephen Brophy was shifting away from the vivid, intensely colored paintings of houses, barns and landscapes that consumed the prior twenty years of a forty-year career as a self-taught artist. In the five years of painting represented in this show, viewers can see this transition, as he became increasingly consumed by the possibilities of abstraction. His paintings moved in two directions at once. One, a more gestural form of abstraction, is seen in the robust black-and-white and black-and-red paintings. The other, a cooler, more reductivist geometry, sometimes references the structures of his earlier work, as in "Barn". He would go on to paint many more, less referential works: big, striped canvases, compositions with bars or bird-like forms floating over pyramids, or arcs of pure color. In all these works, Brophy shows his natural gifts as an abstract artist - one who was particularly courageous in his use of color and ambitious in a restless search for meaning and possibility in his life, as well as his art.