DRISCOLL BABCOCK GALLERIES presents ASPECTS OF GRAY, a selection of contemporary achromatic works by six artists – Abe Ajay, Harriet Bart, Wafaa Bilal, Ross Bleckner, Marylyn Dintenfass, and Jenny Morgan. Each work exists on a sliding scale from luminous to opaque, while together these selections encompass the myriad aspects of gray.
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Abe Ajay’s WHITE RELIEF #6(LE)78 presents a bone-white landscape, the embodiment of all colors of the spectrum. Its alternately architectural and archeological surface is the interplay of control and accident - an integration of precise marks and the fortuitous variables that arise from surface pits during its creation and new shadows with every installation.
Harriet Bart explores the alchemy of the word and the iconography of text, often in monochrome or in the colors of objects as they were found. In WITHOUT WORDS, Bart utilizes disjointed vinyl lettering on lead fields, speaking to us through erasure. In these visual poems of presence and absence, the fleeting almost-words are a monochromatic mirror of memory, time, and loss.
Wafaa Bilal’s LOVELY PINK statues were created in the wake of the continuing destruction of Iraq’s cultural heritage by oil-industry greed and the ravages of war. Shining with the slickness of petroleum-based enamel paint, miniaturized figures of the most recognizable sculptures in Western history drip with a black sheen in reference to the darkness and casualities of war.
Ross Bleckner, a native of New York City, distills its industrial aesthetic in UNTITLED, 1981. At once frenetic and stoic, the smudged white lines on a black field recall subway grates shining in the rain, crosswalks at the edges of our vision, or even the skyline in a hazy dawn when color is still leached from the cityscape.
Marylyn Dintenfass has innovated and perfected the process of using ultra violet light to create etching plates, capturing the direct gesture of her hand. Dintenfass was inspired by several pieces of music to create a suite of FIVE BLACK KEYS prints, an extraordinarily rich and organic illumination of darkness and light.
Jenny Morgan often uses vibrant color as one of her many modes of abstraction, yet here she explores shades of gray as a manner of seeing her subjects anew. In CRESCENT, she shifts the focus from the nude body to the piercing eye in her model’s blurred face, crowned by a cat draped on her head – an X-rayed feline halo. Here Morgan subverts her own motif of the pigmented aura, ensnaring the power of pure light and dark.