MONOCHROME

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.

TroySimmons_Evolve_2016_JanKossen
Troy Simmons. Evolve, 2016. Concrete, aluminum, acrylic. 60x36x18 inches

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.

HannahQuinlivan_It started with a spark, 2017. 35x46x7in_88x116x18cm. LED light and anodised aluminium.
Hannah Quinlivan. It Started with a Spark, 2017. LED light and anodized aluminum. 60x36x18 inches

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.

For press inquiries or general information, please contact the gallery office at admin@jankossen.com or call at 631-903-5564.

The Ethereal Stone

Presenting a dichotomy of weight and ethereality, the work of Schmitz-Schmelzer and Kränzlein transforms foundational building materials into delicate defiances of gravity. Employing wood and stone, the artists offer an extraordinary translation of cumbersome mass into ethereal buoyancy.

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Drawing inspiration from nature and ancient culture’s most elemental forms, Harald Schmitz-Schmelzer’s creations function as a contemporary manifestation of commonalities echoed universally throughout the ages. Through a technique evolved over years of experimentation, pigmented resin is poured in parallel or vertical layers onto a plywood-capped base of raw tropical wood. Marriage of the foundation’s natural variegations to the set resin’s now crystalline surface produces a Minimalist amalgamation of lacquered and matte, transparent and opaque, levity and weight.

Rejecting the common comparison to “3-D color stripes”, the artist cites diversity of chromaticity and translucency in his assertion of each layer’s existence as a sovereign entity. Undulating widths and hues lend a singular vitality to each layer, infinitely distancing Schmitz-Schmelzer’s creations from the monotony of homogenous stripes. In light of such variations, a likening to the sedimentation of geological formations serves as a more appropriate comparison.

The labor intensive process of Dieter Kränzlein belies the clarity and simplicity of his finished work. Carved from metamorphic and sedimentary rock, such as marble and limestone, Kränzlein’s sculptures are characterized by a remarkable lightness, a testament to the artist’s valorous conquest over the medium’s severity. Sourcing stone from steinbruchen (quarries) in the German town of Moos, Kränzlein exploits the material’s natural features by responding to its myriad of inherent imperfections. The result is a dynamic synthesis of organic and geometric forms, some possessing the crystalline delicacy of a snowflake, others the horizontal and vertical geometry of a grid.

Through repetition and variation of carving method, imperfections are transformed into compelling patterns and structures, responsible for granting each work its own unique rhythm. Multifaceted surfaces encourage the viewer to interact with the sculpture from different angles, to perceive new dimensions contingent on one’s position in relation to the work.