McKenzie Fine Art is pleased to announce an exhibition of recent paintings by Jason Karolak. This will be the artist’s first solo showing with the gallery. The exhibition opens Friday, February 8th with a reception for the artist from 6 to 8 p.m. and concludes on Sunday, March 17th, 2013.
Jason Karolakmakes abstract oil paintings that depict vibrantly coloredlinear structures.He worksprimarily in twoscalesand employs a different approach to visual space based on thesize of the canvas. In his large paintings,isolated dimensionalforms float in the center of black voids. The smaller paintingsrepresenta more shallow space and suggest all-over patterns. In both cases, he approachesthe process of image making as a language that builds on itself.Karolak uses livelylinear elements, striking combinations of fluorescent hues, and the layered evidence of each painting’s creationto suggestdynamic expansion.
Drawing and color fundamentally guide Karolak towards a completed work. Heseeks to extendthe sense of immediacy found in his sketches and works on paper onto the painted canvas. Rather than composing a painting, he constructs it over timethrough a process that involvesthe interaction of marks, colors, and the resolution of an emerging structure.In Karolak’slarge canvases, the centrally placed structures resemble impossible wireframe models: loose forms made of smaller geometric elements that overlap repeatedly and appear simultaneously rigid and fleeting.For the artist, the size of these paintings--approximately 90 x 80 inches--and the illusion of dimensional form relate to the human body in real space.The tension between structural necessity and ideal form is continually renewed as these mysterious armatures hover and glow in the inky darkness.
Instead of hinting at depictions of spatial form, Karolak’s smaller paintings tend to contain flattened patterns that fill the canvas edge-to-edge. Though constructed through the same process of color and mark selection, they eschew the distinct figure/ground relationship expressed in the larger works. In this small scale, the marks interlock or align tightly side-by-side in more broadly colorful, syncopating patterns or meandering linear compositions
Though the materials and languages of painting are important to Karolak, he does not think of their refinement as hisultimate goal:
I am more interested in the porosity of abstract painting, in its ability to gather and absorb. So the geometric and the structural are relaxed by the organic and the ephemeral. The architectonic framework becomes open, transparent, and lightweight. And the still image becomes active with the potential of time, growth, and change. I want the forms in my paintings to work both graphically and dimensionally, to expand and contract.