Thursday, October 9, 2014

James Bishop at David Zwirner Gallery

From September 6th through October 25th, David Zwirner Gallery is presenting an exhibition of paintings by James Bishop. The exhibition contains some of his work from the 1960s to the early 1980s. It is on view at second floor of 537 West 20th Street location. James Bishop, while still keeping traditions of post-war abstraction, has created his own visual that captures viewer with its subtle colors and the light that is captured within. His immensely large paintings gathered together in one room as each painting glows from within. Drawn by the light, the viewers are invited to look closer and examine all of its layers and transparent nature of its paint.

James Bishop, Untitled [Stone], 1969, Oil on canvas, 196 x 196 cm, Purchased 1973, National Gallery of Australia.

His use of vertical and horizon lines divide up his delicate space into a window. He creates delicate layers to carry light on its own, and when all the layers come together, Bishop creates this frames within the painting that lets the under layers to shine through. In some of his paintings, he uses linear quality to create abstraction of architectural element. He interweaves painting and drawing to create a quiet corner of his world. Bishop’s works not only explores the linear quality and a flat form, but also his use of layering creates ambiguities of material opacity and transparency. Bishop has created unique language within the post-war abstraction era. He has mastered his craftsmanship of his medium and created subtle, light-capturing window to his world.

1 comment:

  1. I like how you are able to analyze the methods and techniques that Bishop uses. The only thing I would suggest is that maybe, you should put Bishop's work more specifically in your review within the context of postwar abstraction. What is he doing differently compositionally? I realize that transparency and light and architectural linearity is part of his arsenal, but what might set him apart from Robert Ryman or Agnes Martin, for example, just to name two artists that came to mind when I saw Bishop's paintings. Or better yet - what makes his work so relevant to the Chelsea art scene when the abstraction i saw at other galleries in the area were much different - they were fresher, brighter, neon-like, alluded to technology, etc? sorry - this is rather a big question to have to ask you to answer. I just happened to think this when I looked at the paintings. Don't get me wrong - I enjoyed them very much because of what you said of "capturing the light within" - something the post abstract expressionists achieved with less grandeur and pompousness as Rothko's or Pollock's.