Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Jason Karolak @ McKenzie Fine Art Inc.

A large percentage of all shows happening right now in Brooklyn are group shows of line-based abstract paintings. Being a photographer, I find there is a certain level of understanding of painting that escapes me, and that can be good. I get to enjoy stuff without being weighed down with a thorough understanding of the historical context or an intimate knowledge of painterly technique. So I find myself just responding to color and whatever random connections the abstractions bring to mind. With that said, I really liked Karolak’s show at McKenzie Fine Art. It did remind me a lot of other shows across the river, but with Karolak’s scale and level of execution, you could easily convince me he inspired the countless other shows I’ve seen of graphic abstraction. The bigger pieces seemed to have some simple but enjoyable play with color theory; reds were laid on purples, which were laid on magentas, which were laid on blues. I did see the show with a painter friend who pointed out that the work reminded him of a handful of older painters, but in my ignorance, I dug on the bright Trapper-Keeper palate.

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