David Kordansky Gallery

  • Markus Amm
September 23 — November 12, 2011

  • Installation view
  • Installation view
  • Installation view
  • Installation view
  • Untitled, 2011, acrylic spray paint, acrylic, and gesso on canvas, 106.5 x 65 inches (270.51 x 165.1 cm), 2 parts, each: 53.25 x 65 inches (135.25 x 165.1 cm)
  • Untitled, 2011, (detail) acrylic spray paint, acrylic, and gesso on canvas, 106.5 x 65 inches (270.51 x 165.1 cm), 2 parts, each: 53.25 x 65 inches (135.25 x 165.1 cm)
  • Untitled, 2011, acrylic spray paint, and gesso on canvas, 61.42 x 49.61 inches (156 x 126 cm)
  • Untitled, 2011, (detail) acrylic spray paint, and gesso on canvas, 61.42 x 49.61 inches (156 x 126 cm)
  • Untitled, 2011, oil on canvas, 39.5 x 63 inches, (100.33 x 160 cm), 2 parts, each: 39.5 x 31.5 inches (100.33 x 80 cm)
  • Untitled, 2011, (detail) oil on canvas, 39.5 x 63 inches, (100.33 x 160 cm), 2 parts, each: 39.5 x 31.5 inches (100.33 x 80 cm)
  • Untitled, 2011, acrylic spray paint, and gesso on canvas, 61.42 x 49.61 inches (156 x 126 cm)
  • Untitled, 2011, (detail) acrylic spray paint, and gesso on canvas, 61.42 x 49.61 inches (156 x 126 cm)
  • Untitled, 2011, acrylic paint, acrylic spray paint, and gesso on canvas, 76.97 x 61.22 inches (195.5 x 155.5 cm)
  • Untitled, 2011, (detail) acrylic paint, acrylic spray paint, and gesso on canvas, 76.97 x 61.22 inches (195.5 x 155.5 cm)
  • Untitled, 2011, acrylic, acrylic spray paint and gesso on canvas, 35.5 x 55.26 inches (90.2 x 140.36 cm), 2 parts, each: 35.5 x 27.63 inches (90.2 x 70.18 cm)
  • Untitled, 2011, (detail) acrylic, acrylic spray paint and gesso on canvas, 35.5 x 55.26 inches (90.2 x 140.36 cm), 2 parts, each: 35.5 x 27.63 inches (90.2 x 70.18 cm)
  • Untitled, 2011, acrylic spray paint, and gesso on canvas, 76.88 x 61 inches (195.28 x 154.94 cm)
  • Untitled, 2011, (detail) acrylic spray paint, and gesso on canvas, 76.88 x 61 inches (195.28 x 154.94 cm)
  • Untitled, 2011, acrylic spray paint and gesso on canvas, 98.62 x 61.31 inches, (250.49 x 155.73 cm), 2 parts, each: 49.31 x 61.31 inches (125.25 x 155.73 cm)
  • Untitled, 2011, (detail) acrylic spray paint and gesso on canvas, 98.62 x 61.31 inches, (250.49 x 155.73 cm), 2 parts, each: 49.31 x 61.31 inches (125.25 x 155.73 cm)
  • Untitled, 2011, acrylic spray paint, and gesso on canvas, 71 x 53.15 inches (180.34 x 135 cm)
  • Untitled, 2011, (detail) acrylic spray paint, and gesso on canvas, 71 x 53.15 inches (180.34 x 135 cm)
  • Untitled, 2011, acrylic spray paint and gesso on canvas, 71 x 53.15 inches (180.34 x 135 cm)
  • Untitled, 2011, (detail) acrylic spray paint and gesso on canvas, 71 x 53.15 inches (180.34 x 135 cm)
  • Untitled, 2011, gesso and acrylic spray paint on canvas, 106.38 x 65 inches (270.2 x 165.1 cm), 2 parts, each: 53.19 x 65 inches (135.1 x 165.1 cm)
  • Untitled, 2011, (detail) gesso and acrylic spray paint on canvas, 106.38 x 65 inches (270.2 x 165.1 cm), 2 parts, each: 53.19 x 65 inches (135.1 x 165.1 cm)
  • Untitled, 2011, acrylic spray paint and gesso on canvas, 39.5 x 51.44 inches, (100.33 x 130.66 cm), 2 parts, left: 23.63 x 19.88 inches (60.02 x 50.5 cm) right: 39.5 x 31.56 inches (100.33 x 80.16 cm)
  • Untitled, 2011, (detail) acrylic spray paint and gesso on canvas, 39.5 x 51.44 inches, (100.33 x 130.66 cm), 2 parts, left: 23.63 x 19.88 inches (60.02 x 50.5 cm) right: 39.5 x 31.56 inches (100.33 x 80.16 cm)
  • Untitled, 2011, gesso on linen stretched on board, 65.06 x 53.19 inches (165.25 x 135.1 cm)
  • Untitled, 2011, (detail) gesso on linen stretched on board, 65.06 x 53.19 inches (165.25 x 135.1 cm)
  • Untitled, 2011, gesso and oil on wooden board, 12.75 x 9.88 inches (32.38 x 25.1 cm)
  • Untitled, 2011, gesso and oil on wooden board, 12.75 x 9.88 inches (32.38 x 25.1 cm)
  • Untitled, 2011, gesso and oil on wooden board, 12.75 x 9.88 inches (32.38 x 25.1 cm)
  • Untitled, 2011, gesso and oil on wooden board, 12.75 x 9.88 inches (32.38 x 25.1 cm)
  • Untitled, 2011, gesso and oil on linen stretched on wooden board / gesso board, 13.88 x 11.88 inches (35.26 x 30.18 cm)
  • Untitled, 2011, gesso and oil paint on canvas stretched on board, 28.13 x 24.13 inches (71.45 x 61.29 cm)
  • Untitled, 2011, gesso and oil paint on canvas stretched on board, 28.13 x 24.13 inches (71.45 x 61.29 cm)
  • Untitled, 2011, gesso and oil on wooden board, 11.81 x 9.81 inches (30 x 24.92 cm)

For immediate release

 

Opening reception: Friday, September 23, 6:00–9:00pm

 

David Kordansky Gallery is pleased to announce an exhibition of new work by Markus Amm. The show includes small-, medium-, and large-scale works that fall into two broad categories: acrylic-and-gesso paintings on canvas, and oil paintings on gesso board.

 

Amm utilizes the constituent elements of painting as the foundations for works that reassess the legacy of geometric abstraction. He assigns content-based value to what might be mistaken as purely formal practice, and shows how even the most basic, platonic shapes can be mined for connections to a complex contemporary world. In some cases, this means revisiting preconceived ideas about the relationship between image, material and support; in others, he shows how the conceptual envelopes in which painting is seen readily influence its composition. Even the geometry and color choices associated with the white cube, after all, are formal parameters that can be honored or disregarded according to aesthetic preferences and intention.

 

In medium- and large-scale paintings on canvas, Amm uses layers of gesso to create fields of varying degrees of opacity. As a result, some of the works begin with a flat white ground, while others reveal the color and texture of their canvas supports. These monochromatic fields are divided by sharp lines; their brief moments of color separate the compositions into interlocking forms, provoking readings in which shapes fit into, surround, complete, or sit on top of each other. The lyrical quality of the work belies the fact that Amm applies the lines by using tape and acrylic spray paint. Relative speeds of painting and looking are played against one another, and the eye slows down in places where it is accustomed to speeding up.

 

This kind of playfulness can be found throughout the exhibition, and is itself an inversion of commonplace approaches to the austerity often associated with Amm’s brand of abstraction. Painterly issues like the tension between foreground and background take on new metaphorical valences, as they can be read not only within each delimited picture plane, but more widely as a critique of the way in which the picture plane is perceived as an idea. In the oil-on-gesso-board works, for instance, seemingly monochromatic fields are built up and sanded down over a period of time. However, the edges of these fields often do not extend to the edges of the canvas, creating the illusion of shadow compositions just beyond what is visible. This lends the work an immersive quality that is both optical and phenomenological, indicative of the conceptual eye and the physical body as interlocking functions that define our experience of space.

 

Amm approaches the language of abstraction as an attitude, a series of intersecting tendencies whose far-reaching cultural influence appears in a broad array of registers: the aestheticization of the urban environment; the symbolic potential of geometry as recognized in street signs, flags, and logos; and the role of surface textures and materiality as indicators of handmade versus industrial modes of production. As such, his paintings emphasize that there is no such thing as pure abstraction.

 

In 2010 Markus Amm was the subject of a solo exhibition at the Kunstmuseum Stuttgart, Germany. His work will be or has been featured in numerous group exhibitions, including an upcoming show at Märkisches Museum Witten, Germany (curated by Oliver Zybock); konkret.analytisch.radikal.oder so, Overbeck-Gesellschaft, Lübeck, Germany; A Twilight Art, Harris Lieberman, New York; The Language of Vision, Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art, Middlesbrough, England; Neuer Konstruktivismus, Bielefelder Kunstverein, Museum Waldhof, Bielefeld, Germany; Stuff: International Contemporary Art from the Collection of Burt Aaron, Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit; Very Abstract and Hyper Figurative, Thomas Dane Gallery, London (curated by Jens Hoffmann);Dereconstruction, Gladstone Gallery, New York (curated by Matthew Higgs); andFormalismus, Kunstverein Hamburg, Germany.