Landscape Revisited explores environments formed in bright color, arrayed composition and untraditional spaces, both terrestrial and imaginary. With references both overt and oblique helping to nudge the notion of landscape beyond the scope of quotidian perception, this virtual exhibition references a diversity of artists and their subjective expressions on a long hallowed tradition.
Untitled, 1979-80 is a tight and rich grid of interwoven blacks and color, evoking an almost Rorschach-like document. In spite of its long horizontal format, the painting has an energetic vortex, which draws the eye in and out. Its windows appear like apertures, gazing into many smaller worlds of abstraction and gesture. Grand in scale, the painting possesses both mystique and confidence in its execution, affirming the artist's ability and self-confidence to venture toward hitherto unexplored realms of abstract painting.
Kenneth V. Young’s Untitled, 1968 features the colorful floating orb imagery for which he was known. Kaleidoscopic concentrations of brilliant colors effloresce out to the edges of the painting, and produce a stark yet harmonious dichotomy between the unprimed canvas and the colorful acrylic
Sunapee I, 1966, is the first painting of the Sunapee subseries of the celebrated works, Irregular Polygons, 1965-1966, by Frank Stella. This extraordinary cycle of paintings was conceived as forty-four works in total, comprised of four color variants of eleven different compositions. Sunapee is the most complex composition among the Irregular Polygons, featuring four daring shapes that abut or interlock with each other.
Adolph Gottlieb’s Extremes, 1966 is an emotive and calligraphic work that suggests landscape and evokes the elemental convergence of water, earth, and energy. While maintaining key aspects of previous paintings in the Burst series, Extremes expands and furthers the series aesthetic and conceptual deliverances. This graphical composition combines the artist’s signature disk-like imagery in bright primary colors with a scrawl of gestural black lines, expanding the classic vernacular of his lauded Burst paintings into the large, horizontal format of his earlier Imaginary Landscapes. Both forms radiate with mysterious intensity: while the dense spheres of color appear as elemental and unmoving, the spattered surge of painterly strokes below crackles as if with imminent movement. By setting these disparate energies against one another, Gottlieb creates a powerful visual dichotomy that ceaselessly fluctuates between silence and noise, stillness and motion, calm and angst.
Set to the soundtrack of Chopin’s "Nocturne 21 in C minor," the prints and projection slip in and out of carnage, perhaps a reminder of the long Iranian war with Iraq (1980–88) or, more broadly, what we have complacently come to call "the war-torn Middle East." When I count, there are only you…, Farideh Lashai’s last work, updates for the viewer Goya’s take on the horrors of war and its aftermath. Her remarkable amalgam of prints, animation, and music, just as with the earlier suite of prints, still has the ability to shock us—even as the images remind us of more recent acts of inhumanity. We have seen these corpses and living skeletons too many times. Lashai, like Goya before her, provokes us to question the inhumanity, injustice, and senselessness of war.
Tom Wesselmann's Pop vision is most associated with the sensuous female figure and the reinterpretation of the classical nude. Bedroom Painting #22, 1971, is emblematic of the Bedroom Painting series and features a lady’s foot with bright pink nail polish, a luscious red rose in full bloom, and a harmonious palette of blue, white and orange. Other items that one would find on a bedside table, such as a tissue box, alarm clock, as well as a nearby light switch, complete this still life and emphasize the erotic power of the painted object.
Turkey, 1965 is a self-referential investigation into the nature and conventions of image-making, and a late iteration of Robert Rauschenberg’s dynamic 1960s series Silkscreen Paintings. The paintings in this series are among the first works of 20th Century art to both anticipate and give visual form to the post-modernist idea of appropriation and information overload. First created as a way of escaping what Rauschenberg described at the time as "the familiarity of objects and collage”, the Silkscreen Paintings were in part a reaction against, and a painterly extension of his earlier landmark series of "randomly ordered" painting-and-sculpture assemblages, the Combines.
Television or the Cat’s Cradle Supports Electronic Picture, 1988-89, by James Rosenquist, is a richly painted canvas with interlaces of figure, flora and celestial imagery that tantalize the viewer with its complexity. The painting captures the vitality of his works of the late 1980s and early 90s expanding on his explorations of themes of light, space, and relativity.