The Philip Slein Gallery is pleased to present Monochromatic Paintings, the first St. Louis exhibition for New York painter Robert Sagerman. Merging painting, sculpture, and Jewish mysticism, Robert Sagerman approaches each one of his textured, abstract compositions as an act of devotion. He begins by creating his own rich mixtures of oil paint, which he squeezes in individual dabs directly onto the canvas. He builds up thick, massing monochromatic surfaces in works that toe the line between painting and sculptural relief. Along the way, he counts and records every single one of his marks and tracks the time he spends on each composition, titling his works after their total number of marks—often reaching into the many thousands. This is in keeping with an ancient kabbalistic practice of meditation through counting, which was seen as a route to the divine. Each one of Sagerman’s paintings, is an act of meditation, the embodiment of the artist’s striving toward the sacred.
In addition, the gallery is pleased to introduce another New York painter, Alison Hall whose work is also rooted in ritual, meditation, and repetition. Like Sagerman’s work, Hall’s paintings appear to be monochromatic, however, upon further inspection, they are captivating in their formal complexity and subtlety.