A few weeks ago I saw “Coming and Going,” Julian Kreimer’s absorbing exhibition at WEEKNIGHTS, a small gallery Jen Hitchings opened in Bushwick back in August and, according to her website, is soon “transitioning into a slightly newer gallery, with more space and a new staff.”
The following week, while teaching at Purchase College (where Kreimer, an assistant professor of Painting and Drawing/Art Theory and Criticism, is on sabbatic leave) I misplaced the notebook outlining all my upcoming posts. Mentally adrift without my roadmap (if you found it, please return asap), I didn’t get the post up before the show came down, but nonetheless I want to share images of Kreimer’s exhibition, which included both observed imagery and abstraction.
began as an exercise in color, not initially intended to become their own body of work, but as time went on, they started taking on aesthetic and technical qualities that the observational work, made on location, had been built upon. The paintings began informing each other, many times unknowingly at first. The muted color palette and linearity of mushrooms laid out to dry on a table can make their way into works consisting of large seemingly haphazard brushstrokes, layered and scraped away. The accuracy of color placement and representation of light in the observational paintings inform the abstractions, allowing both to exist as windows into environments either recognizable or contemplative.
I wonder, in our age of interdisciplinary practice, why more painters aren’t freely including both mimetic and non-objective paintings in their exhibitions. When so many painters express an interest in the “terrain between abstraction and representation,” why do so few dare to paint in both modes? Does Kreimer’s exhibition signal that the days of rigorous seriality and artist branding are finally over?
“Julian Kreimer: Coming and Going,” WEEKNIGHTS, Bushwick, Brooklyn, NY. February 9 – February 17, 2013. All images courtesy of WEEKNIGHTS.
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