❮ New York
Rental Info
Equity Gallery
245 Broome St New York
+1 646-820-2459
Wednesday - Saturday: 12 - 6 pm
The New Math: Geometric Plasticism, Ideal Visions, and the Reductive Impulse
May 11 - Jun 10 2023 - 14 days left
The modernism informing Geometric Abstraction, as filtered through the Greenbergian lens, opened a formalist critique presenting a new reality distilled to its purest, most basic structure ⎯a seemingly impossible utopian vision comprising a pure and harmonious expression of space, color, light, and design. Informed and permissible aesthetic debates on an artwork’s perceived merit (or lack) focused on this reductive plasticity as form, as opposed to content, given modernism’s wholesale rejection of the need to paint or sculpt “something” or represent or illude to anything outside of itself. In hindsight, we might now position Greenberg as an astute content marketer with a sentient’s instinct for America’s post-war psyche and its collective need, at least among its intellectual elite and emigree community, to seek shelter from the horrors of the real world in the transcendental recesses of color and geometric form. Save one couldn’t say so. Copping to an art practice that heeded metaphysical impulses would be blasphemously un-American in its anti-heroic leanings and hence best to cloak said mystical yearnings and aspirant depictions of the divine in the argot of physics and mathematics. Circumspect topics and cultural discourses do shift over time as evinced by the long-overdue recognition and recent exhibitions of artists such as Hilma af Klint at the Guggenheim, Agnes Pelton at the Whitney and LACMA’s current showing of the Transcendental Painting Group (TPG). Throughout these artists’ oeuvres one intuits a conscience rejection of the temporal in favor of a focused preoccupation with the imaginative realm as a means to access the idealistic and the spiritual. The curators of The New Math propose a number of artists working today whose aims closely align with those of the transcendental painters, and who as quoted by TPG artist Raymond Jonson, seek “to carry painting beyond the appearance of the physical world… and widen the horizon of art”. Though their approaches, methods and outcomes when dealing with their plastic problems vary from a scientific balancing of the elements involved to an emotive expression of the creative urge itself, overall they share an overarching metaphysical motivation and an aspirant vision that reflects upon the cultural developments, philosophical arguments and societal divides of our time.
Siren: Reinterpreting the Temptress Song
Jun 15 - Jul 15 2023
Beginning in ancient Greece and up through the modern era, poets and painters have portrayed seemingly guileless, chimeric creatures with enchanting voices that unfortunately forebode destruction. First mentioned in Homer’s Odyssey, these hallucinatory beings were heard offstage, leaving their physical characteristics to be imagined by the reader. Later they were described as part human and part bird –and capable of playing string instruments such as the lyre. These initial descriptions envisioned sirens of both sexes but by the Middle Ages, sirens were depicted solely as female and their hybrid natures more complex to include human heads and torsos combined with wings, claws and fishtails. Increasingly, particularly in Christian iconography, sirens were seen as a symbol of irresistible temptation leading to man’s downfall and death. In the 17th century, the age of exploration, sirens were situated on exotic islands steep with rocky cliffs and lashed by high seas. Her appearance changed to that of a woman fish, mermaid-like, an evolution that her favored prey were unsuspecting mariners who Leonardo da Vinci wrote, would be first lulled to sleep by the siren’s sweet song and then murdered by them. In modern times, sirens lost their fish tails and were depicted as fully human; their fabled songs, whilst still spellbinding, simply detained travelers and made them forget their native lands—rather than lure them to a certain death. Divested of their murderous reputations, sirens were at worst talented courtesans with questionable morals. The curators of Siren: Reinterpreting the Temptress Song propose to continue this rehabilitation and evolution of the siren and suggest that all along her song was indeed irresistible –but her enchantment did not cause misfortune rather it was meant to be an impossible-to-ignore warning sign of grounding shoals and capsizing squalls. Her songs inviting respite and temporary forgetfulness can too be viewed as a salve—a psychological waystation to regroup before taking up one’s duties and travels with renewed vigor. One imagines that in our present time the siren’s song grows ever louder –like an incessant gale wind. She panics. The siren’s exotic locales have all but disappeared, her beloved seas choked with the detritus of a wasteful and selfish culture that celebrates greed and injustice. We push ourselves and others to exhaustion ---happiness a forever out of reach destination informed by a thousand self-righteous demands and entitlements while she serenades us to stay and quiet. Lastly, we fight about everything, each party insisting the other is in the wrong. “Hush” the siren sings. Rest your weary head and let things be. Curated by Carrie Skoczek and Michael Gormley