Reverberations: Contemporary Abstractions by Adel Gorgy, Miyako Aoki, and Marsha Solomon - Review by Mary Gregory
Reverberations: Contemporary Abstractions on view at Able Fine Art NY Gallery in Seoul presents the work of three accomplished international artists. Adel Gorgy, Miyako Aoki and Marsha Solomon are masters of abstraction, yet each possesses a unique vision and voice. When seen together, it is clear that the voices speak to one another. There is a sense of accord, through the shared language of non-representational art. A musical note, a drop of water, a memory - all of these are sources and expressions of reverberations. Reverberations can be direct and clearly traced or may dwell in the realm of mystery.
These three artists, working separately, have created distinct bodies of work that reverberate in unexpected ways. Adel Gorgy, from New York, creates intricate contemporary abstractions that intentionally blur the boundaries between photography and painting. Miyako Aoki works aluminum surfaces in dense but bright colors that transform the metal into an elegantly minimalistic painted surface. Marsha Solomon's ethereal acrylic paintings infuse her canvases with color and texture, but also with a sense of harmony and repose.
Adel Gorgy's vibrant and complex photographic works are the outcome of an intensive process in which he abstracts sometimes hundreds of different images he takes of earlier works of art. The resulting compositions redefine the possibilities of photography. They may carry echoes—in color, line or sensitivity—of familiar works, but present a completely new and original work of art that has never been seen before. Through his art, Gorgy evokes emotions, provokes thoughts and creates new visions.
Adel Gorgy, Echoes of de Kooning, 2013, Archival Pigment Ink on Canvas 30 x 40 in. (75 x 100 cm.)
Echoes of de Kooning a lyrical, yet complicated work, exemplifies both the process and the outcome. In it, brushstrokes and lines of de Kooning are like found objects. They are isolated, reconfigured and recontextualized. Colors are changed, shapes are repeated or omitted. Gorgy's decisions are like the gestures of painters. They are individual, distinct, and indicative of an artist who has arrived. The resulting compositions, as in Traces of Pollock #3, an arresting work in which vivid patches of primary colors float on an almost black ground, are wholly new and original. The conceptual basis of Gorgy's work is equal and in harmony with the visual outcome. Each is fascinating. Both are important and ground-breaking.
Adel Gorgy, Traces of Pollock #3, 2013, Archival Pigment Ink on Canvas 30 x 40 in. (75 x 100 cm.)
Miyako Aoki's work seeks to find and express the essence of her materials. She has respect and reverence for both the aluminum surface and for the paint. As she works, she layers, scrapes, adds and removes until she finds the point of harmony, where the truth she has been seeking resides.
Miyako Aoki, Resonance, 2013, Mixed Media on Aluminum
Miyako Aoki, Resonance, 2013, Mixed Media on Aluminum
A pale blue field marked by inky indigo outlines capture the work the artist puts into each piece. Aoki's efforts are documented. You can see the way she has dragged and scraped the paint. They are action paintings in which the action is still visible. The largely monochromatic tones facilitate the reading of the work. Layers are superimposed, yet allow glimpses of what came before. Aoki's paintings are rich with color and texture, yet simple and refined.
Marsha Solomon’s large, color-field abstractions are inspired by the early abstract expressionists. Her work has often been likened to Helen Frankenthaler’s while also displaying echoes of the bold brushwork of Motherwell and the saturated tonality of Morris Louis. Yet, Solomon, while gently referencing that era, uses her own intense colors and signature brushwork to present a fresh, innovative vision and bold statements about the fundamental forms of art.
Marsha Solomon, Composition in Blue, Yellow and Black, Acrylic on Canvas, 105 x 125 cm.
In Composition in Blue, Yellow and Black, bold shapes gently merge. Solomon controls the paint, allowing soft passages to follow crescendos, when and as she wants. Striking colors collide or simply flow into whispering harmonies, as she directs them onto unprimed canvas. Celebration of Duality, a lively composition in complementary colors, exhibits Solomon's careful, meditative approach. Soft areas of washed color are surrounded by strong, thick brushstrokes. Both spontaneity and deliberation are present in her paintings which invite the viewer to bring his or her own experience, emotion and insight to the work. Though beautiful to start with, as with many forms of spiritually infused works of art, the more time spent in the presence of Solomon's paintings, the greater the reward.
Marsha Solomon, Celebration of Duality, Acrylic on Paper, 22 x 30 in (55 x )
To find three artists creating new, innovative, yet visually compelling work is difficult. To find three whose work is harmonious and to create an exhibition in which they create such lyrical echoes is rare, indeed. Reverberations at Able Fine Art NY Gallery in Seoul offers an extraordinary chance to discover the work of three important contemporary international artists - Adel Gorgy, Miyako Aoki, and Marsha Solomon – while at the same time being surrounded by abstractions filled with great beauty and deep spirit.
Mary Gregory is a New York art critic, art historian and novelist.
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