Monochrome, a curated group exhibition showcasing selected artists from JanKossen Contemporary’s international program, will be on view from May 31 – July 14, 2018 with an opening reception from 6-8pm on May 31, 2018. The exhibition will feature artworks by Troy Simmons (USA), Dieter Kränzlein (Germany), Antonio Marra (Italy), Park Byung-Hoon (South Korean/France), Alex Rane (USA/Italy), Hannah Quinlivan (Australia), and Ye Jin-Young (South Korea) which explore the concept of monochromatic abstract art. An online catalogue will accompany the exhibition.
Monochromatic art has expanded since its inception in the early 20th century painting. The exploration of value and tonal changes are used to convey a wide variety of emotions and meaning today. Beginning in Moscow with Russian Suprematist artist Kazimir Malevich with his Black Square on a White Field (1915), monochromatic art works have seen a rapid growth, particularly in New York with the likes of abstract expressionists such as Ad Reinhardt in the 50s, to minimalism with artists such as Agnes Martin and Frank Stella in the 60s. Monochrome continues this tradition and pushes the boundaries of not only the physical materials used, but the range of emotions that they are able to express.
The abstraction of form, however, does not equal a simplification of thought. By removing the chromatic range of an object, the artist encourages the viewer to fully absorb the subtle nuances in surface texture and shade, as seen in Troy Simmons’ mixed media works, as well as Alex Rane and Dieter Kränzlein’s marble sculptures. Even comparing two monochromatic abstracted sculptures, the viewer is presented with two radically different works, from the geometric abstractions of Kränzlein to the surreal abstracted figures of Alex Rane. Without the distraction of colors, viewers are also able to see the subtle surface quality as well as the artists’ application and control of materials. Although nostalgic of Frank Stella’s vibrantly colored geometric works, Antonio Marra further enhances the experience of abstraction by injecting a shock of unexpected color in an otherwise monochromatic piece.
Black and white are not true colors, but shades meant to distinguish tonal value. Traditionally these shades were made by using paint. However, even this aspect is expanded in “Monochrome” group show. Instead of mixing paints, Hannah Quinlivan employs LEDs to create shades generating through the interaction between lights and shadows. Troy Simmons and Ye Jin-young put a stronger emphasis on what can be seen from the expressive, energetic shapes to the delicate, hand-pulled clay petals.
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