Saturday, June 27, 2009

Chuck Webster, PLUS Charles Thomas O'Neil

Chuck Webster, Glyph From An Italian Fireplace, 2007.

Color and Form: The Language of Abstract Art, curated by Hellmut Wohl, at The Berkshire Museum, Pittsfield MA. It's Chuck Webster and Charles Thomas O'Neil, with a small selection of older work from the museum's collection.

Chuck Webster is one of the artists included in Bob Nickas' upcoming Painting Abstraction. WHO ELSE??

Chuck Webster
Cactus, 2004 above To Paul Klee (Workshop), 2007.

Lazy Bridge For Luca Signorelli, 2007 above Fragment, 2008.

Heartbeat, 2007 and RAAH, 2004


Charles Thomas O'Neil

Charles Thomas O'Neil
Charles Thomas O'Neil


Anonymous said...

I think it's charming (and I don't mean to be condescending) how the museum website addresses the wholly uninitiated in explaining abstraction. It helps to freshen one's perspective.
If I'm not mistaken, it also completely ignores the modern/postmodern rift (to use a clumsy but convenient term) which may or may not be as big or as universal a rift as some think.
I guess it comes down to the level of the artist, and how he or she dialogues with the past.

Many of these paintings of course confirm the subtrend of - what to call it? - modest abstraction? referring back to early 20thc C but with a contemporary sense of speed and high/low fluidity (cartoony yet with a dash of Arthur Dove/Forest Bess -- who we've mentioned over on eageag)

And isn't it fitting that Georgia O'Keefe is on the radar with last year's Circling Round Abstraction at the Minneapolis Institute, and next year's Early Abstractions at the Phillips Collection.

Martin said...

you are right, about the museum's audience. most of the museum is currently a frog exhibit, with snakes and turtles in the basement... it's a place to bring kids... i played with starfish and horseshoe crabs.

hellmut wohl's statement, posted at the exhibition:

"the language of abstract art is based on three premises that apply to all art, but are purified and stripped down to their essentials in abstract art. first, color and form operate independently of the subjects they may represent. second, the interrelationship of colors and forms is intended to elicit an emotional response in the viewer. third, a picture is a flat surface covered with colors and forms in a certain order. painbters call it the picture plane.

in a given composition colors and shapes may support, counteract, respond, or compete with each other. from this visual counterpoint the artist constructs a network of attractions, segregations, and connections. the challenge of the abstract artist is to create an expressive pictorial space while maintaining the picture plane's two-dimensionality. it is a rigorous, demanding discipline."

there is a georgia o'keefe and arthur dove show at the clark (in williamstown) which i will see this summer.