GEOMETRY OF THE COLD WAR
A Look at Richard Pousette-Dart at Pace New York
Art reveals the significant life, beauty of all forms– it uplifts, transforms it into the exalted realm of reality wherein its pure contemplative poetic being takes place– wherein art’s transcendental language of form, spirit, harmony means one universal eternal presence.
The above sentiment decorates a wall in the Pousette-Dart exhibition at Pace. A small exhibit, featuring only twelve of the artist’s paintings, was spread through half of the gallery, with many of the pieces taking up entire walls–– giving each work ample room to breathe, giving the viewer enough time and space to digest the oversized canvases. With the immense and vacant gallery space that is Pace New York, the architecture does not overwhelm or burden the minimalist works. Rather, the spacious grouping of work fits neatly in the atmosphere, with some of the larger works enveloping the viewer due to their vast yet isolated stature.
One such work that is easy to fall into is White Circle, Time, a towering square canvas whose center is a pitch-black circle surrounded by a white perimeter on a grey dappled background, radiating in spokes from the circle’s edge. Looking into the darkness of the circle, one cannot help but feel enveloped as if the darkness of the paint absorbs not only light from the brightly lit gallery, but the viewer as well. Even the smaller paintings, such as Radiance Black Square, can have an effect of washing over the viewer in a beautiful display of contrast and simplicity. While Radiance Black Square is a smaller piece, it follows the same formula as White Circle, Time in that the perimeter of the geometric shape contrasts with the surrounding colors, giving a profound depth and a certain hypnotism to the work.
The minimalist composition and achromatic color palette allows the viewer to focus on the brushstrokes and dabs, alluding to one of Pousette-Dart’s true loves, the nature of paint. The simple compositions also allow the viewer to have a meditative experience, focusing on the immensity and purity of these forms. Geometry, radiating glows, grandiose scale– such trademarks of Pousette-Dart’s later work is revealing of his Expressionist leanings in the mid-late 20th century.
It is an otherworldly experience, to take a moment out of the busy and colorful world. Too frequently, we forget to breathe and allow our minds the quietude that we crave. The exhibition invites us to step into a quiet gallery space with paintings that command a deafening silence. The collection of Pousette-Dart’s paintings at Pace is an oasis in a world of information overload. The exhibition opened 7 November 2014 and will run until 10 January 2015; if anyone is in need of a moment of calm reflection, this show is a must-see.
15 November 2014
15 November 2014