Multidisciplinary artist Jean Jullien, previously featured for his large bird-shaped bar creation, is currently showing his newest collection of work, La Plage, at London’s Beach Gallery until September 29. This collection of images represents Jullien’s conceptual perspective of beach life. The images are simple, with clean shapes and lines, but are telling of a cheeky narrative. These humorous summertime illustrations indicate the sense of unrealized desire, frustration, and absurdity that can occur when you’re seaside. The prints began as illustrations using a brush and paper before Jullien digitally processed them to enhance the colors. An important part of this work for Jullien is his deliberate reduction of black outlines. Jullien explains that the figures he has lined in black tell a story or gag, while the ones without lines indicate something a bit more subtle.
Of the series, Jullien tells Cool Hunting, “I love the beach for how minimal it is; sand, sea, sky and skin. It’s very soft and yet very colorful, so it was important for me to try to explore that graphically…When you think about it, it’s a pretty odd environment in terms of social boundaries,” he observes. “Yet everyone is as free as a bird…I draw a lot on the beach, I love how naked it all gets,”
Margaret Nomentana’s nonrepresentational art demonstrates a fascinating balance between emotionality and restraint. Often working in a spontaneous manner, and sometimes working on several paintings simultaneously, her imagery reflects moments of clarity, caught in the act of vision and revision. Whether it’s collage or acrylic painting, her gestures evoke “abstract landscapes of the mind” or terse conversations with color and movement.
Of her own artistic desires, Nomentana states, “My strong minimalist impulse is tempered with a dry sense of humor, irony, and in spite of everything, a powerful sense of hope. Alma Thomas is my hero.”
Wyatt Kahn’s wall sculptures are built from a series of stretcher panels and raw canvas beautifully pieced together to make one collaged structure. The crevices and peeking back wall help create compositional depth, captivating the eye, revealing clean and simple, yet geometrically intricate work, which is devoted to the complex juxtaposition of space more so than color.
Of Kahn’s art, Sam Cornish writes, “Broadly the type of illusion Kahn employs is one that comes after the reduction of minimalist painting. The flat, object quality of each part is in one sense simply accepted. There is no hint of the surface being broken, of a window open to an atmospheric or light filled space beyond (however shallow).”
San Francisco-based artist Michelle Fleck creates slightly minimalistic acrylic paintings that deal with the “relationship between man and the landscape”. In the paintings, decaying natural environments are sullied by the trappings of construction work and neglect. What’s great about these, in addition to Fleck’s nice illustrative sense of texture, is the artist’s intelligent handling of her subject matter. It’s so common, whenever drawing on environmental themes, to be heavy-handed. To sort of say, “I’m talking about the environment now, and it’s very important so look at what I’m doing.” Instead of taking that route, Fleck just paints what she sees (of course taking care to include pointed compositions and visual appeal). Some situations don’t need extensive commentary, just a skilled storyteller to show you just enough of what you need to know.
Berlin based artist Mariana Vassileva creates a really wide variety of sculpture. Some of the artist’s work references various forms of human anatomy while others are broad, dubious abstractions. The common denominator here is Vassileva’s meditative influence. Each work is quietly meaningful. Not many of the artist’s works hit you over the head with huge scale or overtly shocking subject matter. But that’s not to say that the sculptures are watered down in any way. Each piece hits it’s mark through subtle repetition and minimalism. (via)
From far away, Anthony Sneed’s unique brand of Minimalism instantly calls to mind the reductive elegance of Dan Flavin–or the boisterous, hypercolor modernism of Sol Lewitt’s recent work. However, on closer inspection, Sneed’s seeming hard edged “paintings” reveal themselves to be three-dimensional scultpural works; Modern tromp l’oeils of sorts. Sneed’s work amalgamates the conceptual framework of the Minimalist tradition with Op Art’s investigation of the relationship between illusion and picture plane, movement and depth, reality and perception. In this sense, Sneed’s work calls to mind Tony Smith’s geometrical modules, in his capacity to create drama through simplicity, scale, and revealing what is not there.
Collage artist Maksim Hem aptly titled this quiet series of works “Untitled Colours.” The name lends itself to the idea of objects overlooked, because they don’t scream and shout to get your attention. Hem’s restraint does not imply a lack of feeling but rather an attention to detail that is unnecessary to decorate. It’s like watching the Discovery Channel over Bravo–the life and times of baby cheetahs are just such a welcome change of pace.