Joyce Robins: Paint & Clay at THEODORE:Art


There is something other worldly, yet strangely familiar about the works of Joyce Robins that were recently on view at THEODORE:Art in Brooklyn. In talking about the work, I’m referring to the pieces of ceramic and not the few, but equally terrific works on canvas that were also on view. It is the tangible, delicate muscularity of the the clay works that sets them apart from the paintings. These “paintings on ceramic” put me under Robins’ spell.


Facing: Joyce Robins, Big View, 1974, Oil on canvas, 50″ x 70″

I’m not often drawn to works of pottery, but these pieces have a pull. They draw you closer. Exquisitely crafted, modern, biomorphic, light yet, solid. Delicate, fleeting and fragile, but strong and immortal in the way one wishes everything of beauty could be. These are not fleeting objects. They are for the ages. The photos that I took of the works do not do them justice. Please take some time to check out more of Joyce Robins’ work on the THEODORE:Art website and Joyce’s website as well. There’s also a great interview with Joyce in the Brooklyn Rail. These photos just scratch the surface of Joyce’s marvelous work.


Joyce Robins, Gray Rectangle, 2014, Clay, Glaze, Paint, 11.5″ x 7.5″


Joyce Robins, Blue Rectangle, 2002, Clay, Glaze, Paint, 9.75″ x 12″


Joyce Robins various works from L to R


Joyce Robins, Maroon Circle, 2000, Clay, Glaze, Paint, 15.5″ diameter


Joyce Robins


Joyce Robins (detail)

Mike Henderson: Traces of Places at Haines Gallery, San Francisco

Photo Courtesy of Haines Gallery

Photo Courtesy of Haines Gallery


There’s something exhilarating about Mike Henderson’s new works at Haines Gallery in San Francisco. I love these paintings. They are totemic and tactile; sacred objects almost. They command reflection. It is something about the manipulation of paint and the element of surface and beneath surface that gives these objects a certain breathing magic, like that sense of discovery one has when one opens a box long closed. There is that rush of air from another time that expands and envelopes you and you look and greet history with fresh eyes. These paintings feel like that. They are distinctly modern, but it is hard to place them in an age. They feel nostalgic and foreign and yet strangely familiar. Like excavations of memory, or one’s own history peeled back revealing all the many layers that form the whole.

For more information about Mike Henderson and Haines Gallery please visit their website and check out their Facebook page.

There’s also some really terrific video on Mike on KQED.

Photo Courtesy of Haines Gallery

Photo Courtesy of Haines Gallery


Mike Henderson Dance Deets 2014, Oil on Canvas, 62″ x 51″


Photo Courtesy of Haines Gallery


Mike Henderson New Wilderness 2014, Oil on Canvas, 72″ x 60″


New Wilderness (Detail)


Mike Henderson Gothic Grace 2013, Oil on Canvas, 64″ x 32″


Mike Henderson Between the Cliffs 2013, Oil on Canvas, 24″ 18″



Mike Henderson The HIgh Road 2009, Oil on Canvas, 46″ x 36″

Photo Courtesy of Haines Gallery

Photo Courtesy of Haines Gallery


Mike Henderson The Act of Seeing 2014, Oil on Canvas, 38″ 16″


The Act of Seeing (Detail)


Gene Mann at Andrew Edlin Gallery

Every now and again a show comes along that just stays with you, and Gene Mann’s show at Andrew Edlin Gallery is one of them. I’ve been thinking about these works since I saw them over a month ago. IMG_2687

Gene Mann lives in Switzerland near Geneva but was born in France. The show at Andrew Edlin Gallery is her first New York solo exhibition. The works at Edlin are sensually textural; a blend of drawing and collage. The pieces are most definitely figurative collage works, but they have an expressive, painterly feel to them and a movement that is both chaotically childlike and simultaneously  haunting. There’s something about the way the materials are manipulated and how the elements bleed into and over one another; like thoughts and stolen moments. Dreams and memory. The collection of elements are torn and pieced and drawn upon and torn again before coming together to form their rich dreamlike narrative quality, and these stories linger.








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Evidence of Absence at Ziehersmith Inc.


Evidence of Absence at Ziehersmith Inc. was another great show I saw last month in New York. The works of Ryan Mrozowski and Adam Winner were particular standouts.


Ryan Mrozowski Dark blue, White, Yellow, White, 2014, Vinyl on Wood, 16 1/2″ x 13 3/4″


Ryan Mrozowski Dark blue, White, Yellow, White (Detail)


Ryan Mrozowski Polychrome #3, 2013, Vinyl and Acrylic on Wood, 15 1/8″ x 11 5/8″


Ryan Mrozowski White, Pink, Grey , 2014, Vinyl on Wood, 20 1/2″ x 15.5″


Ryan Mrozowski White, Pink, Grey (Detail)


Ryan Mrozowski Dark Blue, Red, Maroon, Green I, II, III, 2014, Vinyl on Wood


Ryan Mrozowski Dark Blue, Red, Maroon, Green III


Ryan Mrozowski Red, Blue, Pink, White, 2014, Vinyl on Wood, 18 3/4″ x 15″


Adam Winner Untitled , 2014, Oil on linen, 20 1/4″ x 16 1/8″


Adam Winner, Untitled, 2014, Oil on Linen, 20 1/4″ x 16″

Steven Baris at DM Contemporary

Another highlight on my recent gallery rounds in New York was the terrific exhibition from Steven Baris at DM Contemporary.


Steven Baris (from left) Geometries of Flow E6 Geometries of Flow E4

I became familiar with Steven’s work through Facebook, but photographs did not prepare me for the subtleties of the work. They are strong striking compositions, yes, but it was the trace marks that drew me in. The works with their vibrant color feel very alive, but the ghostly  marks in the paint speaks of other histories. The great blocks of color allude to a type of abstract landscape. They seem like vast lonely plains of color with deserted buildings, and yet the trace marks ground the paintings in the human somehow. The marks give the works a past even though they are most certainly grounded in a graphic present. I am particularly in love with the framed Oil on Mylar works. We are still taking about Geometries of Flow D13. I was unable to take a good picture of it because of the sunlight spilling from an adjacent window, but that particular work on Mylar stood out. You can see that piece and learn more about Steven’s work on the DM Contemporary website and on Steven’s site as well.


Steven Baris Geometries of Flow E4, 2014, Oil on Canvas, 50″ x 50″


Steven Baris Geometries of Flow E4 (Detail)


Steven Baris Geometries of Flow E6 ,2014, Oil on Canvas, 48″ x 48″


Steven Baris (From left) Geometries of Flow D10 & Geometries of Flow E5


Steven Baris Geometries of Flow D10, 2013, Oil on Mylar, 31″ x 31″ Framed


Steven Baris (From left) Geometries of Flow D12 & Geometries of Flow D11


Steven Baris Geometries of Flow E3, 2013, 79″ x 79″ 

Pius Fox at Pablo’s Birthday


I got a chance to see the exquisite works of Berlin based Pius Fox at Pablo’s Birthday on the lower east side recently. To say this show is a gem is an understatement. I was positively vibrating when I stepped back out onto the street after viewing this show. The works are, on the whole, quite small. Many are just around 9″ x 7″ and yet they pack quite a punch. They have a certain contained gravity as if tiny abstract worlds had been compressed into the picture plane. They draw you in like tiny windows daring the viewer to come closer, and then they capture you. These works reminded me of the concentrated power of the small cigar box lids of Richard Diebenkorn. They have that same focused energy. Light, but powerful. Like if you cut one open it would engulf the room.



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Natalie Edgar – Abstract Journey at Woodward Gallery

I had the recent good fortune of seeing Natalie Edgar’s show Abstract Journey at Woodward Gallery in New York. Woodward Gallery was my first stop on a 2-day round of gallery visits in the city. Natalie’s show set the bar very high. You could feel the shimmering color vibrating all the way out on the street. The works have a delicate muscularity. The paintings feel lighter than air, but the expressive brush work grounds them. They are at once buoyant and anchored. I could hardly stop myself from leaping into them.


Island of Hydra, 2010, Oil on Canvas 46″ x 56″


Letter From Uccello #1, 2012, Oil on Canvas, 42″ x 56″


Letter From Uccello #1  (Detail)


Bentley with Watermark in the background


Watermark, 2012, Oil on Canvas, 46″ x 56″


Excursions, 2011, Oil on Canvas, 36″ x 42″


South Ferry, 2013, OIl on Canvas, 42″ x 55″


South Ferry (Detail)


Letter From Uccello #2, 2012, Oil on Canvas, 42″ x 56″


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