Stux Gallery is pleased to present Happy Flies Kissing Beautiful Face, an exhibition of works in black and white. These new and historical objects from an eclectic range of artists form a focused discussion of the visual, physical and psychological implications of the deprivation of color, and present insights on the relationships between language, perception and light.
When the luxury of color (and sometimes grey tones) is unavailable, artists are forced to accommodate the raw, schizoid juxtaposition of black and white – a simple binary relationship with light and the most dramatic contrast available to the eye. The sharp clarity marks boundaries and perceptual connotations that simplify the artist’s expressive options, compelling them to -- as seen in the paintings of Matsutani, Busby and Tambellini -- mobilize texture, materiality, and composition to orchestrate visual impact and awaken palettes in our imagination. Minchev elucidates the gap between perception and pre-existing understanding in his black "Blown Skull", and once again in a purely white incarnation. The absence of tonal nuances triggers a sense of devastation and urgency that subsequently results in refined negotiations for ambiguity and narrative control. “Shades”, writes Alexander Pope, “sweetly recommends the light”, and the sunless blackness that enshrouds Nancy Spero’s black painting emanates a sparse, ardent luminosity.
Black on white is, curiously, the default color choice for written language across cultures and throughout history. Shrigley and Edzgveradze’s captioned, concise freehand drawings are playful and pensive, providing an instructed visual experience that confronts the differences between reading and seeing. Works by Osmo Rauhala, Richard Humann and Barbara Rosenthal initiate dialogues between drawing and writing, symbols and images, language and thought. The discipline and succinctness of black and white amplify the force of Schneeman and Hatry’s commentary on sexual politics, and lend a sense of energetic rawness to Carl Fudge’s woodcuts.
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