“Redactor” by Ryan Lewis at Mark Moore Gallery presented a series of abstract paintings. The media he used include enamel, crystalina, glass powder, pigment, cold wax, glass film, tape, and vinyl on both wood panels and canvases. While the canvases themselves lacked paint, the materials mimicked layered paint in a Jackson Pollock fashion. They felt painterly but also industrial. I attribute it to the relatively neutral color palette and you know, the harder manufactured materials used in the works. I also feel like it had a relationship to the gallery floor that made it feel more industrial because the ground was worn looking and in shades of grey.
I found getting up close to see the texture created by layers of materials rewarding, especially catching glimpses of tape tears, something resembling silver tape, and this dot patterned material I cannot identify. The rawness of edges gave off a very spontaneous and primal feel. And although chaotic and fragmented, the paintings remained a sense of calm because of the singular horizontal or slightly diagonal direction the “strokes” tended to move in. Certain areas of the paintings had some transparency which I found really delicate in contrast to the aggressive strokes. Despite all the disjointed and jagged elements involved, the paintings felt unified.
The gestures of these paintings actually reminded of Margaret’s work, although different in many ways. One of my take-aways from the show was seeing the use of unconventional materials. Painting is not limited to paint and it’s all good. It’s encouraging for me to explore a wide range of materials in the future. As someone interested in using wood as canvas, it was also nice to see how somebody else decided to treat that surface. It’s also just fun to look at abstract work when I usually prefer figurative.
I enjoyed the show and it will be up till November 16 for anyone who’s interested in going. I also really liked Kim Rugg’s exhibition that’s also currently showing at the Mark Moore Gallery. They’re not paintings but I think they’re really neat. She reorganizes newspaper articles and maps. It’s cool stuff.