Nancy Margolis Gallery is pleased to announce John Platt’s first solo exhibition at the gallery. The show will be on view May 24th through June 23rd, 2018, with an opening reception on Thursday, May 24th from 6pm until 8pm.
John Platt’s recent body of work explores abstract expressionism through a deeply personal artistic language. Platt’s paintings, which are all oil or enamel paint on canvas, combine linear color field compositions together with loose, gestural abstractions. Each of his paintings is nonrepresentational, but his discerning eye and instinct for arresting color combinations provoke emotional responses from the viewer. Ultimately, color, light, and texture become the subject of his paintings.
Platt creates vertical stripes of pure color (Northern Lights), free-flowing drips (River), islands of swirling gradients (Around the Bend), and in some canvases, an amalgamation of all these styles (Palisades). In his monumental composition, Pharaoh, Platt builds up a mountainous foundation of dark blue pigments. Cascading from the apex is a flurry of white paint, mixing together with surrounding hues to form a textural mass of color and light. In stark contrast to the looseness of Pharaoh, the artist’s 51st Street is a rhythmic dance of hard-edged stripes. Colorful bands of varying widths are slightly separated from one another so that the white-painted canvas underneath peeks through, creating a seductive luminosity.
Among Platt’s influences are two pillars of American Abstract Expressionism, Mark Rothko and Barnett Newman. From Rothko, Platt borrows the technique of pairing multiple colors to evoke an emotional response and to stir a meditative experience. With Newman, Platt shares a bold acceptance of chance and spontaneity, allowing his work to continuously evolve. Platt’s paintings are strongly individualistic, however, and while he draws inspiration from past masters his final products are rooted in sources that are unique to the artist: his memories, his surroundings, and the spirit of his time.
John Platt (b. 1984) was born and raised in New York City, immediately exposing the young artist to the world’s great capital of art and culture. Early visits to the Museum of Modern Art opened his mind to the possibilities of being a painter, a career path that took him to the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, where he graduated in 2007. Platt has honed his skills as an abstractionist by allowing a wide range of media—architecture, fashion, music, photography, and film—to influence his work. He has exhibited globally and currently splits his time between NYC and Africa, where he founded the art education program for children, How to Draw a Lion.