Sunday, April 8, 2012

Joan Grubin and Josette Urso, Location / Dislocation: Re-Imagining Space @ New York Institute of Technology Gallery 61

As a photographer, I am a little bit of a sucker for painting, especially abstract painting. There is something so fundamental in the practice, a purity that relies on the ability to create something interesting from line, shape, texture and color without having to relying on recognizable things with inherit meaning to create content. When successful and not amateurish or dull, abstract painting is a wonderful thing. I think at her best Josette Urso hits that sweet spot, with her heavy surface of paint combined with the lightest of palettes, which seems to be constantly fading away into a gray-white sea of textured space. But alas, I am a photographer at heart and find myself inevitably drawn to the paintings where hints of cityscapes peek out from the abstraction as if you’re seeing the city through a steady downpour of snow. Joan Grubin shares the space most prominently with large paper pieces where thin strips of paper stretch the length of the wall creating a 3-dimentional line drawing that brings to mind an oversized slot car track.

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