David Kordansky Gallery is pleased to announce “like the land loves the sea,” an exhibition of new work by Mary Weatherford. The show, which will take place across three of the gallery’s exhibition spaces, will open on March 10 and remain on view through May 6, 2017. An opening reception will be held on Friday, March 10 from 6:00pm until 8:00pm.
Mary Weatherford has become increasingly recognized as one of the leading painters of her generation, as well as one of the most astute and daring practitioners taking on the legacies of American abstraction. As she explores and expands the medium’s possibilities, she honors its history by seizing opportunities to break with tradition at every turn. Her notable incorporation of sculptural elements–including the neon tubes that have been a constant presence in her work over the last five years–as well as her fearless and physically embodied approach to painterly gesture, have allowed her to envision abstraction as a both a formal language and a poetic, highly personal mode of engagement with the world outside the studio.
Image: Mary Weatherford, Sand Fire, 2017, (detail) Flashe and neon on linen, 117 x 104 inches (297.2 x 264.2 cm)
This exhibition features some of Weatherford’s largest paintings to date, including three mural-sized canvases installed together in one of the gallery’s two main spaces. In the other, she will present a series of large-scale vertical paintings, each of which is generally defined by a single dominant hue. Both typologies contain gestures, color combinations, paint handling, and compositional moves that constitute advances in the artist’s practice and distinguish the paintings from previous bodies of work.
While the scale of the paintings alone connotes a broadened sense of scope, Weatherford’s brushstrokes have also increased in size, so that they imply the presence of the entire body rather than just that of the hand. The forms that result therefore take on a new monumentality, occupying and defining the space of the paintings as if they were bodies themselves. This is in keeping with Weatherford’s approach to mark-making; gestures bristling with speed and immediacy are the final articulations of a process that begins with the negotiation of psychological moods, pointed art historical reflection, and even meditation on current world events. As such, they are entrusted with carrying the fullest possible array of sensory and intellectual experiences.
For these reasons, the notion of scale in the new works refers not only to the quantitative space in which marks are inscribed, but to a qualitative sense of movement. Gestures become vehicles for the application of expansive swaths of color. Weatherford also experiments with arrangements and ordering of hues, employing lighter colors to sculpt darker ones. While this is a common strategy when using oil paints, Weatherford uses the vinyl-based Flashe medium; since its weight and viscosity can be altered with water, darker tones are usually applied after lighter ones. But here this structure is often reversed, with pale, transparent colors sitting on top of solid dark ones, and aura-like washes creating an uncanny sense of depth through the layering of luminosity. These effects are enhanced by Weatherford’s recent use of metallic paints, which reflect light in unpredictable ways, and further communicate movement and the shifting nature of ambient conditions.
What: Opening reception
Where: David Kordansky Gallery, 5130 W. Edgewood Pl., LA, 90019
Where: March 10, 2017, 6:00pm – 8:00pm