Robin Mitchell : Paintings
Dan McCleary: New Flower Paintings and Prints
October 17 - November 21, 2009
Reception: Saturday, October 17, 4-6pm
Exhibition Information | Robin Mitchell | Dan McCleary
Robin Mitchell’s second solo exhibition at Craig Krull Gallery will open on Saturday, October 17th. Obsessive, detailed and intimate, the richly colorful marks of Mitchell’s intricately layered paintings suggest plant forms or other microscopic shapes laid out in symmetrical patterns. As Constance Mallinson observed in Art in America, “…the shapes are archetypal and recall forms from Egyptian hieroglyphics and stylized decorative borders, Eastern mandalas, early modernist abstraction or popular 50s design motifs.” Her paintings, while highly introspective, demonstrate her spiritual associations between the natural world and human nature. Mitchell states that she is concerned with “how the mark in its abstract nature is able to communicate an image and transcend beyond to suggest themes both tangible and intangible.” The works in this exhibition are a conceptual extension of Mitchell’s previous body of work, entitled, Code Paintings. As she would have us remember, a code is a rule for converting information into another form of expression, and codes are particularly useful where ordinary language is difficult. As Mallinson concludes, “Mitchell’s heightened sense of the spirit and rhythms in nature is heir to Arthur Dove’s and Charles Burchfield’s investigations of a life force beyond mere appearances and their extension of Romantic nature philosophy into the 20th century.”
Concurrently, the gallery is pleased to announce its first solo exhibition of the work of Dan McCleary. A native of Southern California, McCleary notes that L.A. “feels weightless and devoid of formal rituals. It has no center. Its inhabitants find their own center through daily rituals like driving, shopping, eating out and seeing movies.” McCleary’s paintings begin with simple, seemingly banal moments like ordering coffee and sitting alone at a Formica table with a foam cup, and a red plastic stir-stick. The structure of his scenes however, is as carefully composed as a Vermeer, with what Christopher Knight identifies as, “a clear-eyed sense of gravity that recalls the likes of Piero della Francesca.” McCleary’s paintings deal with restraint. As he says, “I don’t like to show too much. I can’t stand for things to be explicit. It’s so much better when they are reserved.” McCleary’s flower paintings, the subject of this exhibition, are equally reductive in style and possess the directness of a Manet. The simple, clear vases sit on backgrounds void of everything but a small shadow. This exhibition also includes black and white etchings of flowers made at a studio in Oaxaca.