Van Doren Waxter is pleased to present Shifting Planes: Held, Kelly, McLaughlin, a three-person exhibition featuring paintings by Al Held and John McLaughlin and a painting and a wall relief by Ellsworth Kelly. The exhibition will be on view from October 2nd to December 20th, 2013.
Shifting Planes highlights three artists who have all invented conceptual spaces that do not aim to reference any real place, through varying means. These planes are either linear or blocked out using fields of color and often create the illusion of shifting perspectives. The forms present in these works simultaneously give the notion of movement and stillness and bring attention to their construction.
Held’s painting North-northwest (1973) depicts overlapping three-dimensional geometric shapes outlined in black against a white ground. The number of forms within the field creates a dynamic composition and allows the various shapes to interact with one another. Illusionistic and optical Held’s black and white works from the late 1960s and early 1970s investigate the way in which he confabulates space with mathematical intuition. The geometric forms at once project forward and recede into the background.
The parallelogram form of Kelly’s White Brown (1968) creates a sense of direction and brings one’s attention to the proportion of the piece. This work was included in the artist’s seminal 1968 exhibition at Sidney Janis Gallery where his shaped canvas works were exhibited for the first time. Using the specific shape of the canvas and flat fields of color, Kelly is able to create chromatic works that produce a certain tension between color and form. The colors of White Brown highlight the physicality of this piece through the impression of light and shadow. Kelly’s wall relief, Cul de Sac Relief (1984), applies his signature curve to three-dimensional space.
McLaughlin juxtaposes fields of color to play with proportion, visual space, and the animated effect resulting from pairing certain colors. Employing a refined restriction to these modestly scaled works, he shows a strong sense of control over the painted space. Utilizing his signature hard-edge classicist style, and applying both Eastern and Western aesthetic philosophies and practices, McLaughlin calls attention to the deliberate and cerebral arrangement of color.