New York – Ross Bleckner at Mary Boone Through April 26th, 2014

April 21st, 2014

Ross Bleckner, via Art Observed
Ross Bleckner, via Art Observed

Painter Ross Bleckner has returned to New York this spring, with an exhibition of new paintings at Mary Boone Gallery, featuring several continuations of past series of works, while branching off in new directions.  It’s been some time since the last solo exhibition of works by Ross Bleckner in New York, nearly four years to be exact, and the artist seems to have been biding his time, putting together a strong selection of works.

Ross Bleckner, ALP30 (2013), via Mary Boone
Ross Bleckner, ALP30 (2013), via Mary Boone

Long interested in serial patterns and structures, Bleckner’s work owes itself in part to the artist’s past studies with Sol LeWitt, using repeated phrases and multiple studies of a single form to give the work its uniquely surreal atmosphere.  Investigating the movements and positions of animals and objects, Bleckner uses his pieces as prolonged studies in return and perspective.

Ross Bleckner, via Art Observed
Ross Bleckner, via Art Observed

At Mary Boone, Bleckner uses this technique in a series of abstracted canvases.  The structural and the natural play off against each other in various modes and formats, from works investigating the phenomena of electromagnetic fields to those exploring the night sky in swirling, circular patterns.

Ross Bleckner, Parallel or Anti-Parallel (2013), via Mary Boone
Ross Bleckner, Parallel or Anti-Parallel (2013), via Mary Boone

In one work, Brain Rust, Bleckner delves into a pseudo-scientific image of the brain, reducing its grey matter to a series of colorful, yet fading, nodes, while Doctor (Dr. Donald Kaplan) is a more subdued, abstracted affair, swirling washes of color around a grid-work of carefully laid dots.  References to the art historical play against Bleckner’s distinctively gentle approach to his paints.  Throughout, his tone and texture moves quickly but quietly, from strong glows of color to a scratchy, almost sketched out hand.

Ross Bleckner (Installation View), via Mary Boone
Ross Bleckner (Installation View), via Mary Boone

While the context of the works on view is given as a mix of celestial and physical fascinations, one can distinctly detect a flair merely for the act of painting throughout.  Bleckner has always had something of a reputation as a painter’s painter, and his work here stands just as strongly when viewed from a purely compositional framework.  The act of painting dominates Bleckner’s works, taking its strength from the careful variations of line and form throughout.

An excellent continuation of Bleckner’s body of work, the show is on view through April 26th.

Ross Bleckner, Brain Rust (2013), via Mary Boone
Ross Bleckner, Brain Rust (2013), via Mary Boone

Ross Bleckner, Doctor (Dr. Donald Kaplan) (2013), via Mary Boone
Ross Bleckner, Doctor (Dr. Donald Kaplan) (2013), via Mary Boone

— D. Creahan

Read more:
Ross Bleckner [Artist’s Website]
Bleckner at Mary Boone [Exhibition Site]