[Image at top: Joan Witek, Untitled (P-156), 2011, oil stick on canvas, 24 x 24 inches. Courtesy of Outlet Fine Art, Brooklyn.]
The difference, of course, is that an art show imparts to the viewer the experience of the artist herself rather than that of some third-party biographical subject; no intermediary in the form of director or writer is required. What a painter and a director (or screenwriter) share, I think, is the aim of inducing the viewer to feel the strain of enforced rumination – the moviegoer by sitting attentively and inquisitively through the film, the gallery-crawler by trying to discern the paintings’ minutely distinguishing features. Certainly that is what Joan Witek’s oblongs (image posted at top) and Sean Scully’s blocks, Robert Ryman’s whites and Ad Reinhardt's blacks, challenge me to do. As Witek suggested during her opening at Outlet in Ridgewood on Friday: Sameness makes you look harder. I emerge from such shows as I did from The Wolf of Wall Street and Camille Claudel 1915: exhausted but edified.
|Leonardo DiCaprio, The Wolf of Wall Street.|
"Sean Scully: Day and Night," Cheim & Read, Chelsea, New York, NY. Through Juanuary 11, 2014.
"Robert Ryman: Recent Paintings," Pace, New York, NY. Through October 26, 2013.
"Ad Reinhardt," Zwirner, New York, NY. Through December 18, 2013.
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