FaceOff: Pt. 3

Oh color, what an unpredictable beast you are. Some people smell it, some people hear it, and others don’t know which to choose so they throw them all in there. Although associations with color have mutated over time as we’ve become a more secular society, they still possess an emotional persistence that can make them nostalgic, cold, or inviting. These two shows investigate color’s role in the visual experience.

DUEL #3

Fred Tomaselli, Night Music for Raptors, 2011, Collage, acrylic and resin on wood panel, 60" x 60" (Photographer: Erma Estwick © The Artist / Courtesy James Cohan Gallery, New York/Shanghai)

Fred Tomaselli, Night Music for Raptors, 2011, Collage, acrylic and resin on wood panel, 60" x 60" (Photographer: Erma Estwick © The Artist / Courtesy James Cohan Gallery, New York/Shanghai)

In Living Color

January 21 – May 19, 2012

FLAG Art Foundation

New York, New York

VS.

Chromophilia

March 3 – March 22, 2012

Brooklyn Artists Gym

168 7th Street, 3rd Floor

Brooklyn, New York

Tracey Chan, from her Grenada, West Indies series

Tracey Chan, from her Grenada, West Indies series

FLAG’s In Living Color is a fairly lean show of crowd pleasers like Fred Tomaselli, Rachel Whiteread, and Gerhard Richter. The artists involved utilize color for emphasis, optical effect, and as a point of engagement with an altered reality. The press release claims these works have all been completed in the last two years, including the work by Cy Twombly shown in his last exhibition prior to his passing. Order and chaos emerge in equal parts from the extremely varied techniques of each artist.

This group show at Brooklyn Artists Gym, on the other hand, brings together thirteen “contemporary colorists” that take command of form and texture via color. There is a extensive range of techniques and mediums. Unforgiving abstractions by Paul Behnke and

Paul Behnke, Yello Nike, 2012, acrylic on canvas, 60 x 60 in.

Paul Behnke, Yello Nike, 2012, acrylic on canvas, 60 x 60 in.

Veronique Gambier are a testament to successful composition and the “feeling” color can impart. Tracey Chan turns to photography to accentuate the color’s invasion of every day life. Many of these works feel primitive yet can challenge the contemporary viewer to distinguish what color actually does, how it changes and how it functions.

WINNER: Brooklyn Artists Gym. Although FLAG’s roster is killer, the Artists Gym has the variety and vitality of emergent work. Mary Schiliro, recently raved about for her drip-drying installations at Norte Maar, and the chromatic woven glass sculptures of Jeanne Heifetz throw an intriguing wrench into the mix of mostly flat work at the Gym.

Jeanne Heifetz, Shift-tint curve, acid-etched glass and silver wire, 4" x 11"

Jeanne Heifetz, Shift-tint curve, acid-etched glass and silver wire, 4" x 11"

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About Lynn Maliszewski, Contributor-at-Large

Lynn Maliszewski is a freelance writer based in Brooklyn, New York. She curated and composed work for ArtWrit, BOMB Magazine, HAHA Magazine, Hyperallergic, LatinLover, Modern Painters, No.3, Whitehot Magazine, and Whitewall. She is currently the Contributor-at-Large for ON-VERGE, an arts journalism blog sponsored by CUE Art Foundation, until 2013. She hosts her own blog, Contemporaneous Extension, as a compendium of aesthetic interests, archived exhibitions and artists, and uncensored inferences. She has contributed editorially to the College Art Association, the Bushwick Film Festival, Like the Spice Gallery, and the Museum of Modern Art.
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