Exhibition Dates: January 14th-February 14th, 2015
Garis & Hahn is pleased to present “Apparent Order“, a group exhibition featuring Eve Bailey, Diane Carr, Karen Margolis, Michael Maxwell, Samuel Stabler and Lachlan Thom whose works are examined through the lens of the Chinese concept of “Li”, in which harmony and aesthetic balance is achieved, despite a lack of order or visual symmetry.
The natural world is filled with an abundance of examples of the concept of Li, from cloud formations and the growth of bark on a tree, to the striations of colors found in rock formations, this organic sense of order despite disorder has inspired artists for generations to attempt capturing the uncontrived perfection of the natural order, from the gardens of Versailles to the splatter dappled canvases of a Pollock painting.
This embodiment of a natural state to guide art production is evident in Maxwell’s paintings, which utilize the concept of Li not only in his approach to studio painting and composition, but the raw materials he uses–including natural pigments, quartz, clay, et al. The result is works that eschew a fore, middle and back-ground in favor of a perspective of imperfect and mutating patterns; a flow that mimics the pleasure and intrigue with which one may gaze at at a glistening lake during sunset or a crackling campfire at night.
Karen Margolis is also a strong example of this freeform, organic approach, whose work has long examined the balance between the perfect and imperfect. Inspired by the Zen Buddhist notion of the Enso, the embodiment of infinity and perfection, Margolis uses circles and intricate systems connecting these solitary marks to create wild formations in sculpture and on paper; works that seem to have sprung up as a cluster of toadstools or a map of connecting electronic impulses within the brain. Seemingly incoherent and in disarray, the overall balance of each piece achieves organic asymmetry despite being grounded in the most symmetrical of all marks, the circle.
The sense of fitting “just so”, as Maxwell articulates in a text the artist has written on Li, can be further attuned in the intricate cut-outs of Samuel Stabler, which dissect found imagery along their purest linear formations; the anthropomorphic and interactive sculptures of Eve Bailey; and the nature inspired imagery found in the paintings of both Diane Carr and Lachlan Thom. Apparent Order presents these contemporary artists who embrace a kinetic flow and notions of energy, growth and spontaneity in their work that diverges from the more Western, Newtonian understanding of the underlying mechanics of nature.
Garis & Hahn
New York, NY 10002
Tuesday – Saturday, 11-7, or by appointment