After having pursued collage for twenty years, Mario Naves has shifted to painting directly on canvas and panel with acrylics and oils.
Naves’s improvisatory process remains unchanged, as does the underlying structural logic of his pictures. What is markedly different is the degree of surface finish, vibrant tonal palette and quirky equipoise of his spare geometric compositions.
Each image is arrived at through the layering of shapes, lines and colors. Pictorial relationships, once stated, are subsequently altered, negated, tweaked and redefined. Flux is an inherent component of Naves’s process—the paintings are worked on for weeks and sometimes months.
The resulting pieces are simultaneously clarified and open-ended, earnestly felt and welcoming of caprice. They evince Naves’s ongoing dialogue with world art, particularly Indian and Persian miniatures and 16th-century Netherlandish painting.
Mario Naves is an artist, critic and teacher. He is a member of the faculties at Hofstra University, Pratt Institute and Brooklyn College. He is the recipient of many prizes and awards, most recently a Pollock-Krasner Grant in 2011. Naves’s art has been written about in The New York Times, Art in America, The Village Voice, The New York Sun, ArtCritical, Time Out New York and other venues. His writing has been published in The New York Observer, City Arts, The New Criterion, Slate and The Wall Street Journal.
Naves lives and works in New York City. This is his sixth one-person exhibition at Elizabeth Harris Gallery.