On 22 March 2012, Mary Boone Gallery will open at its Fifth Avenue location an exhibition
curated by Klaus Kertess of varied works by SUSAN HARTNETT, RALPH HUMPHREY,
MARILYN LERNER, and DONA NELSON.
Susan Hartnett’s charcoal and pastel drawings depict nature observed in the rural
American North or urban parks. The works are representational, yet the deftly pared visual
information makes them border on the abstract.Hartnett shows the grandeur and
consequence of small details -- a bent grass, the backlight of snow, the color and ebb of
an Autumn leaf.
Ralph Humphrey’s works from the 1970s and 1980s continue to startle. Humphrey began
his career in the early 1960s making distinctive reductive paintings. By the time he died in
1990, his constructions of wood and modeling paste had turned Minimalism on end with
their playful, complex geometries, accreted surfaces, and intense saturated colors.
Marilyn Lerner makes abstract geometric paintings on wood. She imparts that the
vocabulary of geometry is infinite and translatable in every culture, and that both color
and nuance of surface are integral parts of the dialogue. Her work is informed and inspired
by a long-standing interest in Asian art and music, from the paintings of the Jain
Cosmologies to Javanese gamelan music.
Dona Nelson plays with the physical space of painting, situating her large abstract works
both on the wall and as freestanding panels worked on both sides. The materials of each
painting become pictorial elements, as the grid of a stretcher is emphasized with paint, or
dyed fabric unfurls across the potent surface and creeps around the canvas edge.