Layers, coating, and covering—all seem to evoke hidden strata, stories untold, passages of time and fleeting moments. Material that is methodically accumulated, laid down, built up or quartered off brings an order and rhythm to chaos. Stratigraphic features artists who build paintings systematically, resulting in sculptural or graphic constructions.
In his multi-media works, Brian Caraway elicits a sensational visual reaction. “With the use of color and line I attempt to create a dance between the eye and the brain.” This pursuit is most striking in I Am Not Afraid—a composition of deeply saturated yellow with thin blue and red vertical lines that seems to achieve an inner hum. Through his orderly use of unconventional materials such as powdered pigment, vinyl stick-ons, fluorescent light bulbs, and neon pigment, each work becomes a true confluence of systems.
Omar Chacón, Jr. creates multi-layered paintings whereby long drips or strands of acrylic are adhered onto smooth surfaces. Each work buzzes with taffy-colored palettes that are reminiscent of the intricate patterns and weavings found in traditional folk art from Chacón’s native South America. (The artist was born in Bogotá, Colombia.) There is a sense of controlled chaos and celebration within colorful hues arranged in a tangled medley.
Macyn Bolt’s monochromatic paintings follow both a geometric and architectural schemata. In his Interlude series, patches of inky acrylic advance away from their pigmented nature towards subtle shifts in space and texture. The Red Pivot series roots itself in tectonic plates of cherry blossom reds. To participate in one of Bolt’s works is to become vulnerable to the in-between moments—to the pauses, turns, and variations in our own consciousness. Each work’s slower pace allows the viewer to gradually become acquainted within playing fields of color and shape, where color tonalities are at once hidden and discovered like whispers in the night.
Danielle Mysliwiec’s confounding oil paintings present themselves as woven surfaces that are at once fantastical, domestic and haunting. Each work’s delicate weave-like structure, resembling a spider-web, doily or a dream-catcher, seems simultaneously secure and subject to much change. Mysliwiec’s non-traditional use of oil paint produces luscious surfaces filled with intricacy, depth and associative references. In Breach, the star-shaped design hearkens to both folk art and the textile weavings of Anni Albers. The angular ring in Moat suggests another scale, one that could encompass a fortress. Because of the reduced palette and active texture of each painting, the exterior world becomes incorporated so that light and shadow change the experience for the viewer every time.
In his sculptural paintings, David Allan Peters envisions microcosms of places unknown, as each work resembles a three-dimensional topographical map. By carving into sedimentary layers of bright acrylic paint, Peters emphasizes the process of each work. In Untitled #5 2010, the immense amount of carving results in a galactic vortex of dynamic color pods. In others, the remnants of boldly colored paint set against stark white backgrounds are reminiscent of natural rock formations worn with time. In raised mounds and depressed pools of pigments, we look in the fossil-like contours for stories of the past. These minimal landscapes are at once so familiar, but also as foreign as distant, floating worlds.
About the Artists
The artists in Stratigraphic are from both coasts of United States. Macyn Bolt and Omar Chacón, Jr. are from New York. Bolt received his MFA from Syracuse University and has exhibited in galleries and museums nationally since the mid-1980’s, including in New York, Chicago, Houston and Miami. This is his third exhibition with Chandra Cerrito Contemporary. Chacón received his MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute in 2004, and has since had exhibitions throughout the United States as well as in Italy and Mexico. This is his fifth exhibition with Chandra Cerrito. Danielle Mysliwiec, currently in Washington, DC, received her MFA from Hunter College in 2004 and has exhibited internationally, including in New York, Madrid and Vancouver. Stratigraphic is her first exhibition with Chandra Cerrito Contemporary.
Representing the Bay Area, Brian Caraway received his MFA from Mills College in 2009 and has been showing extensively in this region as well as in New York and Portland. This is his second exhibition with Chandra Cerrito Contemporary. Los Angeles artist David Allan Peters received his MFA from Claremont Graduate University in 2004 and has exhibited throughout California as well as in New York, Atlanta and Italy. His work has been featured in five other exhibitions curated by Chandra Cerrito.