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Paint it Black

Curated Phong Bui

June 30 - July 29, 2005

oil painting by Don Voisine
artwork by Robert Storr
OIl painting by Joan Waltemath
oil painting by philip pearlstein
OIl painting by elisa gerber
OIl painting by Norman Bluhm
oil painting by Nicolas Carone
Oil painting by Philip Guston
Oil painting by Bill Jensen

Press Release

Paint It With Black

Curated by Phong Bui

June 30 – July 29, 2005

Summer hours:  Monday – Friday, 10 AM – 6 PM

Opening reception: Thursday, June 30, 6 – 8 PM

The Betty Cuningham Gallery is pleased to present the group exhibition Paint It With Black, curated by Phong Bui, the publisher of The Brooklyn Rail.  Paint It With Black, which opens on Thursday, June 30th, includes a selection of paintings by thirteen artists: Forrest Bess, Bill Jensen, Terry Winters, Thomas Nozkowski, Elisa Gerber, Chris Martin, Nicolas Carone, Norman Bluhm, Philip Guston, Helmut Federle, Don Voisine, Joan Waltemath and Robert Storr.  The exhibition will offer alternative applications of black as a color depicting attitudes and moods pertaining to the inner depths that often defy easy readability.  In a statement prepared for the show, Phone Bui writes:

Forrest Bess, Bill Jensen, Thomas Nozkowski, Terry Winters, Chris Martin and Elisa Gerber all search for resonant symbols that employ the idiosyncrasies of their own discoveries, while revealing universal means. Whether access to the imagery is derived from an acute sensitivity to dreams, or through the artists’ process based on the intuitive apprehensions from which the form is built, what emerges in their surfaces is the organic agitation of microcosmic intimacy and the emotional richness of their hard won images.


…In the paintings of Philip Guston, Nicolas Carone, and Norman Bluhm, one finds their all-over gestures hovering over biomorphic forms while creating distinctive spatial tensions.  The surfaces are tough and the forms are densely packed, yet lyrical and quasi-figurative in a way that is alluring in spite of their expressionistic pathos.

            …The more austere work of Helmut Federle, Don Voisine, Joan Waltemath and Robert Storr explores the disparity between reductive form and the subtle demarcation of the asymmetrical grid. As a result, their surfaces are uniformly painted, though coolly negating any dramatic interpretations.

            …By centralizing black as a mediating agent, each of the painters in “Paint It With Black” reveals his or her emotional response and formal invention on their painted surfaces. They broaden the meaning of black as a color of negation, giving it a richer and more various emotional range.

Paint It With Black will be on view from June 30 – July 29, 2005.

Note: Gallery will be closed August 1 – 14, and open by appointment August 15 – September 5

Click below for full press release.