The Hole is proud to announce two two-person exhibitions, “Two on Two,” opening this Tuesday, March 1st. In the main space Johnny Abrahams and Matt Mignanelli meet, while the big back Gallery 3 teams together Russell Tyler and Palma Blank.These four artists make abstract works that look at line and texture through geometric or optical abstraction in a fresh, digital-era way. Each of the four artists has an unmistakeable personality, however, that comes through in both their approach and way of looking. From Russel Tyler pitching paint balls of oil at his pieces to Palma’s taped-off winnowing of thick acrylic, the sphere of interest is shared but the details distinctive.
Johnny Abrahams and Matt Mignanelli both make mechanical looking canvasses with an exaggeratedly handmade paint job to explore process oriented painting. Johnny often combines super-precise painted lines with not-so-precise limning in the same piece. In his new body of work created for this show, phase shifts in line are coupled with shifts in canvas shape to accommodate the offsets. Some shaped works look like origami instructions, while others relate to the hard mechanics of early digital imaging software with the Sol LeWitt-like appearance of an executed formula.
Matt incorporates speckles and slops into his gloss enamel and acrylic paintings that are done by hand though they look super silkscreened and precise. The monochromatic squares with diagonal transections proliferate across his works with gloss enamel, in narrow canvasses that look like Xanax to larger works that evoke early Super Mario scenery or architectural diagrams. Their lustrous gridding creates not just illusory depth but something more phenomenological.
Palma Blank and Russell Tyler use texture and directionality to colorfully optic ends. While Palma layers acrylic lines into thickly grooved surfaces, Tyler scrapes, slaps and smears oil paint into surprisingly controlled-looking ab ex rectangles. Both painters are creating low relief wall objects where texture plays a key part in their optic efforts.
Palma explores seeing with overlapping color lines that create motion on your retina and new chromatic deceptions. Where warm and cool lines slice thin triangles of slanted stripe, the colors morph and vibrate. Their precision and glow evoke vector graphics and video games or perhaps even logos and sportswear. Their sensation might be described as “accelerating.”
Russell seems to paint abstraction about abstraction and painting. His oil paintings contain controlled moments of action and gesture, lumps where a giant dollop of paint is plopped on, smears where fingers swipe in more pigment, even mini explosions of color where a laden brush slaps hard against the surface. Around the little universes of paint marks with personality are crisp borders and perfectly abutting textured backgrounds. The palette is strongly skewed towards salmon and turquoise and all variants therein contained; and for all the mayhem, the restricted palette and confining borders really pull together this painting party.