Friday, February 15, 2013

Joshua Neustein, Jacob El Hanani, Roland Flexner at Steven Zevitas

Joshua Neustein, Jacob El Hanani, Roland Flexner at Steven Zevitas steven zevitas gallery
Joshua Neustein, Jacob El Hanani, Roland Flexner 

StrokeTraceBlow 
February 7th - March 9th, 2013


Reception: Friday, March 1st, 5:30 pm
Steven Zevitas Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of three mature artists who have influenced the direction of drawing and contributed to the acceleration of the discourse surrounding drawing over the past decade. They have each founded notable points of interest or milestones for emerging artists.
The show’s title, StrokeTraceBlow, describes the physical activities, the methods of these artists’ studio practice. Joshua Neustein (pronounced noy-sh-tine), Jacob El Hanani and Roland Flexner have developed highly personal bodies of work, but share a discourse. There is a critical link between the facture of their work and its content; or, put differently, each produces work whose “meaning” is immanent and derives largely from the way in which it was created.
Neustein’s Carbon Copy Drawings address a number of issues, but carry a particular resonance right now in how they bridge the gap between two and three- dimensional practice. The incised, torn, and folded markings are not on but in the surface, creating a new relationship between figure and ground. Carbon black surfaces trace markings from one surface and transmit them to another, mapping a network of provisional forms. The cut, gouged and reversed grease sheets iterate drawing in an expanded field. As Barry Schwabasky wrote:
“The “Carbon Copy Drawings” can be seen as a remarkably sustained and far reaching investigation of the nature of gesture in its most controlled, intimate, at times almost microscopic scale...based on his own experience as an artist of heroic scale, Neustein’s little works demonstrate that diminutive gesture can point with clarity and force far beyond the immediate situation of its making, to the weightiest and most urgently public questions.”
click on image for preview of exhibition
Neustein’s prolific career embraces a range of media, including environmental installations, that was first exhibited in this country at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts in a show called Earth Air Fire Water. Neustein’s notable exhibitions include solo shows at UNTITLED in New York 2012, The Israel Museum in Jerusalem 2012, Land Art at L.A.MOCA 2012 and Haus Der Kunst in Munich, Germany 2013, the Metropolitan Museum of Art 2011, the Royal Museum in Ontario, Canada 2009, the Albright Knox Gallery in Buffalo, NY 1992, and the Rose Art Museum in Waltham, MA 1998. “The Possessed Library,” a building sized project, was featured at the Venice Biennale in 1995.
El Hanani makes extraordinarily intricate works on paper, built up from thousands of constituent ink strokes, and he is a pioneer of the now widespread phenomena of obsessive mark making and labor-intensive imagery. As of late, a new lyrical energy has entered El Hanani’s work. While the images he produces are still resolutely abstract, the artist has expanded his vocabulary of forms and allowed subtle references to the landscape to emerge. In an interview the artist remarked

“We cannot achieve everything. If I am known as the artist who brought drawing to its most minute element, I’ll be happy.”
El Hanani has been exhibiting internationally since the mid-1970s, including solo exhibitions at Nicole Klagsbrun in New York, Gallery Joe in Philadelphia, and Mark Moore Gallery in Los Angeles. His work is in more than two-dozen museum collections, including those of The Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; The Art Institute of Chicago; and The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
Flexner is involved, not so much with process, as with the technique of frottage in the tradition of surrealism. He brings forward the artistic visual culture of French Tachisme. The images suggest dreamlike, or manic lunar landscapes. Flexner’s works blur the line between illusionistic landscape and pure abstraction. Working with ink, he uses his breath, chance and gravity as his primary tools. Shane McAdams describes his methods:
“Flexner’s affinity for the finer qualities of sumi ink took him to Kyoto, Japan to study... “Prolonged interaction” here is relative, and “afterplay” is more precise than foreplay. While still wet on the surface of the paper, Flexner reworks each piece. The window of opportunity is narrow as the ink dries in minutes.”
Flexner’s recent exhibitions include shows at D’Amelio Gallery in New York, Galerie Nathalie Obadia in Paris, and Galeria Massimo Carlo in Milan. Flexner’s work was included in the 2010 Whitney Biennial and will be featured in an upcoming exhibition at the Shanghai Contemporary Art Museum.
For additional information, please contact Steven Zevitas at 617.778.5265 (ext. 22). Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 11AM – 5 PM.

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