Vija Celmins: Recent Prints

February 2, 2018 - March 17, 2018

Vija Celmins (Latvian-born American, b. 1938)
Untitled (Dark Sky 1), 2016
mezzotint on Hahnemuhle paper
22 1/2 x 19 inches (54.6 x 48.3 cm)

Senior & Shopmaker is pleased to present Vija Celmins: Recent Prints, an exhibition of etchings in which the artist explores her enduring themes of night skies and ocean surfaces. Produced over a three-year period with Celmins’ longtime collaborator, master printer Doris Simmelink, the prints, with their careful exploration of process and mark-making, are among her most masterful to date.

In its most traditional sense, printmaking is a vehicle for monochromatic image making and therefore ideally suited to Celmins’ work. Since the 1970s, her body of prints has evolved naturally from her virtuoso drawing skill and found form through diverse printmaking techniques including mezzotint, etching, and aquatint. The primary subject of Celmins’ new prints, a horizon-less night sky, is rendered in mezzotint surfaces that range from velvety blacks to filmy grays, peppered by stars so varied in shape, number, and luminosity they demand slow examination. Simultaneously expansive and intimate, Celmins’ subject matter is an armature on which to build variation. Vija Celmins: Recent Prints features a series of five night sky images that share the same plate and sheet size alongside artist’s most ambitiously-scaled print to date, Untitled (Large Night Sky). Two additional ocean surface images represent a notable technical departure: In Untitled (Ocean Drypoint), the image is entirely constructed of tiny lines rather than tonalities, and in Untitled (Ocean Mezzotint), waves are expressionist and blurred, implying movement over stillness.

Vija Celmins was born in Riga, Latvia in 1938 and immigrated to the United States with her family in 1948. She received her MFA from UCLA in 1965 and moved to New York in 1980. She has been the subject of numerous international museum exhibitions, including a solo drawing show at the Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Basel, in 2001, and a print retrospective at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2002. The Centre Pompidou, Paris, organized a drawing retrospective in 2006, which traveled to the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, in 2007. In recent years, Celmins has been the subject of solo exhibitions at the Menil Collection, Houston, Texas (2010); the Ludwig Museum, Cologne, Germany (2011); the Saint Louis Art Museum (2014); and Secession, Vienna, Austria (2015). A retrospective of the artist’s paintings, drawings, objects and printsVija Celmins: To Fix the Image in Memory will open at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art in December 2018.

Leon Polk Smith: Prints And Related Works

November 10, 2017 - January 27, 2018

Leon Polk Smith (American, 1906-1996)
Color Forms (F), 1974
33 x 23 1/4 inches

Senior & Shopmaker Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of prints and related unique works by abstract painter Leon Polk Smith. Polk Smith (1906-1996) holds a unique place in the distinguished tradition of American Geometric Abstract painting (together with such artists as Burgoyne Diller, Fritz Glarner, Al Held, and Ellsworth Kelly). Polk Smith's printmaking activity, begun in 1965, additionally resulted in close to 70 distinct images, characterized by buoyant forms floating on solid backgrounds with a vibrant and high-contrast color palette. These explorations of non-objective imagery put Polk Smith at the forefront of such art historical movements as Color Field, Minimalist, and Hard Edge painting.

Senior & Shopmaker Gallery will present a selection of early color lithographs dating from 1968 that Polk Smith created at Tamarind Lithography Workshop in Los Angeles; large-format screenprints from 1987 printed at Edition Domberger, Stuttgart; and rare, self-published silkscreens on metal from 1962. A small selection of related drawings will also be on view.

Polk Smith's work is included in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art; the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum; the Whitney Museum of American Art; and the National Gallery of Art, among others. In 1995, the Brooklyn Museum hosted a retrospective of the artist's work, Leon Polk Smith: American Painter. Earlier in 2017, Lisson Gallery organized an exhibition of Leon Polk Smith's shaped, multi-part “Constellation” series of paintings from the late 1960s and 70s, and an exhibition of drawings, Geometry in Motion: Leon Polk Smith Works on Paper, is currently on view at the Munson Williams Proctor Arts Institute in Utica, New York through December 3. 

Senior & Shopmaker is the representative for Polk Smith's editioned works from the Leon Polk Smith Foundation.  Established by the artist himself, the foundation has actively sought to preserve and promote Polk Smith's art and legacy since his death at the age of ninety in 1996. 

For further information, please contact gallery@seniorandshopmaker.com.

Edda Renouf: Structures and Fields, Drawings 2011-2017

September 13 - November 4, 2017

Edda Renouf (American, b. 1943)
Open Field-2, from Open Field Series, 2017
Incised lines, ink, graphite, and yellow pastel chalk on Arches paper
15 x 15 inches

Senior & Shopmaker Gallery is pleased to announce Edda Renouf: Structures and Fields, Drawings 2011-2017, the artist’s second exhibition at the gallery since 2013.  The exhibition is comprised of four distinct bodies of drawings created over a six-year period, which, despite different techniques and imagery, are linked by the artist’s thematic concerns and interest in revealing the properties inherent in her materials. Born in Mexico City in 1943 and educated in New York, Renouf, an American, has lived in Paris since 1992.

A painter of subtle, layered, abstract canvases, Renouf is also a quintessential and deeply intuitive graphic artist, approaching paper as a sculptor handles plaster or marble, teasing out materiality by rubbing, scoring, and incising its surface. These interventions may take place either before and after the artist draws on the sheet with ink, graphite, and oil or chalk pastel. The paper support thereby becomes an integral element in a dynamic interplay between process, material, and image.

While Renouf’s vocabulary is emphatically reductive, the new drawings suggest psychological and/or topographic spaces, and engage the viewer in a visual journey generated by the rhythms of an evolving body of work made over time. The focus of the Changed Structure series is the purest essence of the paper itself, which Renouf scores to create networks of incised lines whose raised edges cast minute shadows across the surface. Delicate nets of black ink or graphite dots tattoo the surface. In the second group of drawings, a ladder motif appears in different variations against the ground of the paper, an unmistakable metaphor for an aspirational journey heavenwards towards light and the immaterial. Black ink and white oil pastel tether these ladders to their metaphysical locations, weighting them against the barely visible texture of the cotton rag paper.

The exhibition crescendos in the drawings from the Light Field series of 2016-2017 in which a sunlight yellow oil pastel that fills Renouf’s finely drawn geometric forms appears like a bolt of light entering a room. This bright yellow is sometimes juxtaposed with a dense white oil pastel that forms a contrasting counterweight. Each drawing in the series explores the logic of an internal architecture of floating solid or empty shapes, as in Light Passage, 2017, the most ebullient with its four bands of syncopated bright color. The series shows Renouf ‘s hand at its most assertive and insistent in consigning light to paper.

The show concludes with very recent chalk pastel drawings titled Open Field in which Renouf rubs the dusty, earth-based pigment over the entire sheet, revealing the texture of the paper before incising it with lines. The surface is subjected to erasure in certain areas, creating an overall sense of a weathered and ancient frescoed wall. Suffused with a gentler, more nuanced light, these drawings represent a return to landscape with their linear structures suggestive of horizons and enclosures, the end of a journey or perhaps the beginning.

This year, Edda Renouf's work was included in the group exhibitions, The American Dream: Pop to the Present, organized by the British Museum, London, and 500 Years of Drawing, Bowdoin College Art Museum, Brunswick, Maine. Edda Renouf- Visible Sounds, a solo exhibition of recent paintings and drawings, was presented at Annely Juda Fine Art, London in spring 2017. The artist’s work is found in numerous public collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Art; the Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York; the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; the Art Institute of Chicago; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the Centre Pompidou in Paris; the British Museum in London; and the Australian National Gallery in Canberra, among many others.

For further information, please contact gallery@seniorandshopmaker.com.

Hans Hinterreiter: Constructivist Compositions, 1932-1982

 Hans Hinterreiter (Swiss, 1902 - 1989)  Opus 68  1958 tempera on paper 9 1/2 x 13 1/4 inches (24.1 x 33.7 cm)

Hans Hinterreiter (Swiss, 1902 - 1989)
Opus 68
tempera on paper
9 1/2 x 13 1/4 inches (24.1 x 33.7 cm)

Senior & Shopmaker is pleased to present a survey of paintings on paper by the Swiss abstract artist Hans Hinterreiter. Featuring works painted between 1932 and 1982, this presentation marks the artist’s first one-person exhibition in New York in more than 25 years.

Born in Winterthur, Switzerland in 1902, Hinterreiter would go on to become a devoted practitioner of Constructivist Art. Together with Max Bill, Hans Fischli, Fritz Glarner, Camille Graeser, and Richard Paul Lohse, Hinterreiter helped to establish the Zurich Concrete artists group which became Switzerland’s principal contribution to post-war art.

As a student of architecture in 1920, Hinterreiter’s studies were soon complemented by classes in painting, art history, and piano. By 1930 he would abandon the practice of architecture to devote his full attention to painting. Influenced by the aesthetic writings and color theories of the German physicist and philosopher, Wilhelm Ostwald (1853-1932), Hinterreiter abandoned traditional figurative painting in favor of an abstract pictorial language rooted in mathematics, geometry, color theory, music, and ornamentation. In the ensuing 50 years, Hinterreiter applied his sense of design and aesthetic intuition to achieve paintings imbued with a rhythmic beauty.

Although by 1939 Hinterreiter would permanently take up residence on the Spanish island of Ibiza, in 1942 and 1947 he would exhibit with the association of modern Swiss artists known as the “Allianz” at the Kunsthaus, Zurich. However, it was not until 1973, at age 71, that the artist enjoyed his first museum retrospective at the Kunstmuseum, Winterthur. In 1988, just a year before his death, a survey of Hinterreiter’s paintings was organized by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York.

This exhibition at Senior & Shopmaker has been organized in association with the Hans Hinterreiter Foundation, Zurich. An e-catalogue with an essay by art historian Gail Harrison Roman will accompany the exhibition.

For further information, please contact gallery@seniorandshopmaker.com.

Brice Marden: Prints

March 11 - April 29, 2017

Brice Marden
Suzhou I-IV, 1998
set of 4 etchings with other media on Somerset paper
25 5/8 x 18 3/4 inches each (37.5 x 22.2 cm)
Edition of 45

Senior & Shopmaker is pleased to present Brice Marden: Prints, a selection of the artist’s graphic works spanning the years 1973 to 2001. Since the beginning of his printmaking career in the late 1960s, Marden’s physical engagement with materials along with the presence of an organizing grid or structure, even in the organic linear compositions of his later work, have been integral components.

This exhibition includes Five Plates, 1973, a series of large-scale aquatints with etching that relate to Marden’s Grove Group paintings of the early 1970s, inspired by the Greek landscape and notable for their dense and opaque monochrome surfaces. The solid geometry of Five Plates gives way by 1979 to the open grids of Tiles, a set of four etchings derived from the artist’s idea for the making of ceramic tiles.  Marden used a twig dipped in sugar solution to draw on the plates—a method that he began to explore more fully in the calligraphic, Asian-inspired imagery which developed during a major stylistic transition after a trip to the Far East in the mid-1980s. The zenith of this looser drawing style is found in Cold Mountain: Zen Study 1, 1991 from a series of six, large plate etchings characterized by meandering, intuitively drawn lines that are discretely organized into distinct vertical couplets and connected glyphs. The series title and its forms refer to writings by the celebrated poet Han Shan, known as “Cold Mountain,” who was active in China during the Tang dynasty (618–907).

In After Botticelli I, 1993, Marden adapted the serpentine lines of the Florentine Renaissance master Sandro Botticelli, celebrated for his use of line both to ornament and to convey movement. The vertical forms that appear in the etching refer to distinct columnar figures. Also dating from 1993 is Han Shan Exit (1-6), a set of six etchings marked by increasingly fluid linear compositions. Line Muses, 2001 in some ways reconnects with Marden’s early minimal work. The line work meanders uniformly across the entire picture plane with no suggestion of figures, landscape, or characters, revealing the artist’s roots in Abstract Expressionism.

Brice Marden was born in 1938 in Bronxville, New York. In 2006, the Museum of Modern Art in New York organized a major retrospective of his paintings and drawings, which later traveled to the San Francisco Museum of Art and the Hamburger Bahnhof in Berlin. Marden lives and works in New York.

For further information, please contact gallery@seniorandshopmaker.com