Marking a new wrinkle in the artist’s already boundless body of work, artist Gunther Uecker has brought forth a new selection of pieces on view currently at Lévy Gorvy recently inaugurated Paris exhibition space. The show features a range of new pieces, a dramatic development in the artist’s seven-decade practice, radiant paintings that vibrate with the energy of their creation, embodying fluidity and light.
The show’s titular works, six sizable canvases at over nine feet tall, rely on a simple, arcing motif, a gentle curve embellished by a rich, oceanic blue that give each piece a meditative, gentle movement, recalling the movement of waves in both color and gentle strokes. These works are matched by a series of scaled-down watercolors on paper, emphasizing the same gentle curve in a broader range of colors. The show follows a concept of natural phenomena and the physical act of visual experience, tracing each of these color pairings and forms through the artist’s selection and variation. Stroke weight and brush size lend a similar sense of changing forces to the show, as if the artist’s hand followed the movement of water from work to work. The pieces are lent a powerful potency by the gallery’s impressive skylights, allowing the works an interaction with natural light that drives home their interrelation with the forces of the world around us, and our participation through observation and action.
Collectively, the works on view find the artist mapping the world within himself as he absorbs and translates the ever-changing experience of life around us. Rather than Uecker’s regularly seen assemblages of nails on canvas, the reliance on a simple, natural energy is a striking and welcome departure, a possible attempt at healing and reflection in the midst of the past year’s turbulent and troubling landscape. Here, staring out at the sea and finding a moment for personal rebirth, Uecker’s works seem to breathe deeply and methodically, collected together as a physical embodiment of a moment of meditative calm.
The show closes January 23rd.
– C. Rhinehart
Gunther Uecker: Lichtbodies [Exhibition Site]