FOR THE LOVE OF AGNES AND BARNEY

March 14 thru April 6, 2014

Michael Ashkin . Leslie Brack . Anne Deleporte . David Dixon . Shadi Harouni

Pete Moran . Chris Nau . Luisa Rabbia . Douglas Ross . Evan Daniel Smith

Lecture for the Love of Agnes and Barney

by David Dixon, Harvard University

Anne Deleporte, "Two Lanes", 2013 with Barnett Newman Catalogue Raisonné

 

Douglas Ross, "Stitch painting (Night)", 1993 and Luisa Rabbia, "Almost", 2013

 

Detail, "Almost", Rabbia

 

Detail, "Stitch painting (Night)", Ross

 

Michael Ashkin, "no. 108", 1999

 

Detail, "no. 108", Ashkin

 

Michael Ashkin, "Who's Afraid of Integrity, Security, and Survival", 2013

 

Shadi Harouni,"Eraser Phase 1: Paved Over. Toilets in Abdolabad", 2014

 

Evan Daniel Smith, "Pi, First 1000 Digits", 2014 and Chris Nau, "Incursive Recursive", 2014

 

Detail, "Incursive Recursive", Nau

 

Evan Daniel Smith, "Pi, First 1000 Digits", 2014

 

Detail, "Pi, First 1000 Digits", Smith

 

Evan Daniel Smith, "Pi-formance", 2013

 

Detail, "Pi-formance", Smith

 

Leslie Brack, "Dear grandma" (watercolor on paper), 2013

 

Leslie Brack, "My life is to hard." (watercolor on paper), 2012

 

Cathouse FUNeral, "2x4, Shrink it Pink it -> For the Love of Agnes and Barney", 2014

 

Pete Moran, "Untitled (Cathedral)", 2012

 

David Dixon, "Wailing Wall, Onement (Painters Painting, Karencita)", 2011

 

Artist List

Luisa Rabbia, Jeffrey Lee, Serena Trizzino, and Joel Frenzer

 

Douglas Ross (center)

 

Suzy Spence and Laura Parnes

 

Dave Spinley and Djibril Toure

 

      

Jane Harris and Sarah Bedford

 

Neither Agnes Martin nor Barnett Newman had children but we artists, today, spring from them, the Eve and Adam of the New York grid: Barnett “the first man was an artist” Newman, tracing his stick in the mud, master of the vertical, upright, male, Jewish, assertive. Agnes “the art nun” Martin, subtle, upbeat on the horizontal, female, her pridelessness never signing the front of a canvas, Calvinist, loner.  Eating of the tree of knowledge, we have certainly digressed.  Yet, it is their dedicated articulation of perfection that inspires and still can be perceived as we continue to see, unabated, moving from pure abstraction to lived-life viscera and back again.  The artists in "For the Love of Agnes and Barney" do not necessarily adhere to their forebearers' ethos of abstraction, however, almost inadvertently, because of this abstraction's utter elementality, like genetic code itself, one can find it embedded in all that we do, proportion, scale, composition, content, politics, being, the unknown...

Agnes:  Now let us turn to abstract response, the response that we make in our minds free from our concrete environment.  We know that it prevails.  We know that it is infinite, dimensionless, without form and void.  But it is not nothing because where we give our minds to it we are blissfully aware.
 
Barnett:  If my work were properly understood, it would be the end of state capitalism and totalitarianism.  Because to the extent that my painting was not an arrangement of objects, not an arrangement of spaces, not an arrangement of graphic elements, was an open painting, in the sense that it represented an open world...not of a closed institutional world.

Evan Daniel Smith writes the first 10,000 digits of infinite Pi from memory on yellow ruled legal pad paper.

Leslie Brack meticulously represents, in watercolor, roughly handled yellow ruled legal pad paper scrawled with desperate pleas.

Pete Moran instructs how to install a vertical 2x4 stud.

Luisa Rabbia's vertical is caressed with a multitude of indexical fingertips.

Michael Ashkin addresses the scale of Zionism in the desert of abstract place.

Shadi Harouni shows the abandoned that is still thing,

David Dixon the thing that is still art,

and Douglas Ross the mistake that becomes the thing.

Chris Nau wantonly violates the perfected plane

while Anne Deleporte contributes a Two Lane Black Top, anticipating our screening of the 1971 film later in the month (more info to follow).

Opening night (which Evan Daniel Smith has alerted us is Pi-day (3.14), a good omen to ward off the impending Ides of March) look forward to live musical surprises from Big Klaw, the sax-man himself, Mr. Dave Spinley. And in the continuing spirit of Agnes and Barney, be sure to see the powerful Pat Steir exhibition at Cheim & Read; we are pleased to discover our shows overlapping.

"Bedford & Bowery" article about Evan Daniel Smith: Life of a Piformance Artist by Alistair Mackay