Tag Archives: abstract

Geometric Watercolors by Artist Jacob Van Loon 

Recent Colorado transplant Jacob van Loon creates geometric watercolors that seem to visually reference abstract architectural renderings. The colors in his works look as if they have bled beyond recognition of a specific site or landmark, yet still retain a strict set of dense and chaotic lines. The paintings trap specific colors in the boxes of their grid-like surface, yet also allow some to traverse throughout the work, alternating between clean and hazy sections of muted blues and bright oranges.

“By the time I have a final sketch, the layers of primer are caked up and full of valleys and ridges created by broad brush strokes,” van Loon told The Creator’s Project. “When I’m ready for color, it’s not just about pragmatically filling in the spaces, it’s about putting paint down, letting it travel in the valleys and ridges, and seeing where and how it all comes to rest.”

Last year van Loon was commissioned by the band Explosions in the Sky and Temporary Residence Ltd to create the cover art for their album The Wilderness. A video of the making of the work titled 8th and Main can be see above, and final images of the work below. Van Loon’s work will be included in the upcoming group exhibition “How High” at Left Field in San Luis Obispo, CA, and you can see more of his gridded watercolor works on his Instagram and Behance.

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“8th & Main” (2015), watercolor, acrylic, and graphite on panel, 29″ x 29″ x 2″ Client: Explosions in the Sky/Temporary Residence Ltd.

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“8th & Main” (2015), watercolor, acrylic, and graphite on panel, 29″ x 29″ x 2″ Client: Explosions in the Sky/Temporary Residence Ltd.

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“8th & Main” (2015), watercolor, acrylic, and graphite on panel, 29″ x 29″ x 2″ Client: Explosions in the Sky/Temporary Residence Ltd.

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“Pershing” (2014), watercolor, acrylic, and graphite on panel, 32″x48″

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“Pershing” (2014), watercolor, acrylic, and graphite on panel, 32″x48″

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“Haish” (2015), watercolor and graphite on wood, 22″x30″

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“Haish” (2015), watercolor and graphite on wood, 22″x30″

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Artist Samantha Keely Smith Explores Powerful Collisions of Dark and Light in Her Abstract Elemental Paintings 

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Yield, 54″ x 72″, oil and varnish on canvas, 2014.

When encountering paintings by artist Samantha Keely Smith (previously) it’s nearly impossible to escape the mystery and gravity depicted by a violent clash of abstract brush strokes. Ocean waves crash atop foreboding bodies of water, plumes of fire seem to battle clouds in the sky, and swirling storms shield distant secrets just over the horizon. Smith refers to her paintings as ‘internal landscapes,’ part of an ongoing examination of an externalized inner conflict. “My newer works try to boldly portray the struggle I’ve always tried to address in my work between order and chaos, dark and light, and positive and negative impulses,” Smith shares, “along with addressing what feels like a shifting and unpredictable landscape due to global warming.”

You can see a gallery of her most recent paintings on her website and follow progress in her studio via Instagram.

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Headlong, 56″ x 72″, oil and varnish on canvas, 2015.

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Crux, 50″ x 60″, oil and varnish on canvas, 2015.

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Interference, 56″ x 60″, oil and varnish on canvas, 2015.

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Manifold, 60″ x 72″, oil and varnish on canvas, 2015.

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Clearing, 56″ x 72″, oil and varnish on canvas, 2015.

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Issue, 60″ x 72″, oil and varnish on canvas, 2015.

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Pulse, 60″ x 72″, oil and varnish on canvas, 2016.

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Samantha in the studio working on Kindred, 2011. Photo by Thomas Feiner.

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Fluxos: A Mesmerizing Experimental Claymation Short by Diego Akel 

When watching this short animation by Brazilian animator Diego Akel, you get the distinct feeling he covered a table with clay, turned on some music, and just started messing around while snapping a photo every minute or so, almost like a kid in a sandbox. You wouldn’t think abstract experimentation with clay would result in anything particularly compelling, but in this instance it happens to be amazing. Titled Fluxos, Akel says the piece is “an essay about the constant flows of life, a self-portrait of its own process, an improvise [sic] on Bach, an investigation on plasticine.”

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Hypnotizing New Concentric Ceramic Vessels by Matthew Chambers 

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Usually people describe staring at a spinning pottery wheel as being somewhat hypnotizing, not staring at ceramic artworks themselves. But such is the case with these uncanny pieces by Matthew Chambers (previously) who continues to push the limits of his concentric stoneware vessels. Every visible layer in his sculptures is individually crafted on a wheel before Chambers assembles them, with a single piece containing dozens of objects. The artist experiments with color, scale, and the patterns by which each piece is internally situated to form colorful gradients or suggest motion across a sequences of sculptures.

Seen here is a collection of more recent work and you can see much more on Mouvements Mordernes and Puls Ceramics. Chambers will also have new pieces on view at the Campden Gallery in Gloucestershire starting October 10th.

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Louise Zhang’s Abstract Vials Filled With Playfully Grotesque Neon Blobs 

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SLOSH SAMPLES #1 2014 flubber, pva glue, acrylic, oil paint, resin plastics, polymer balls, polymer clay, pigment, water, varnish, 100ml serum vials, all photos by docQment

Louise Zhang's Slosh Samples look like floating paintings, three-dimensional depictions of 2D abstract work. The bottles contain brightly colored fluids that separate and congeal, containing everything from polymer clay to flubber. At first one is delighted by the bubblegum colors that fill the vessels, yet after a quick inspection the grotesque nature of what lurks inside is easily revealed.

Both Zhang’s sculptures and paintings happily represent blob-like forms and revolting textures. The work seems excited to repel its audience after it has seduced them with its saturated neon hues, a palette that could be described as cute or playful. Zhang’s website compares her playful works to childhood cartoons like Spongebob Squarepants or Ren and Stimpy—television shows that invite our minds to interact with slime, slop, and snot.

Zhang is a Sydney-based artist currently working on her MFA at UNSW Art & Design and partaking in a residency with Throwdown Press. The artist’s first solo exhibition Plomp was held at Artereal Gallery in 2014. Zhang has described her work as “evocative of confectionery—the gooey, the sticky, and the sensation of sweets melting,” which brings to mind the sweet and sugary installations of Pip & Pop. (via Zannaka)

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SLOSH SAMPLES #2 2014 flubber, pva glue, acrylic, oil paint, resin plastics, polymer balls, polymer clay, pigment, water, varnish, 100ml serum vials

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SLOSH SAMPLES #2 (details) 2014

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Beautiful Abstract Bird Plumage Photographs by Thomas Lohr 

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Photographer Thomas Lohr is known mostly for his high-profile fashion shoots for clients like Vogue, Le Monde d’Hermès, and i-D, but somewhere in his grueling shooting schedule he still finds time for personal projects, the most recent of which is a collection of bird plumage photos gathered into a limited edition book titled Birds. Lohr wanted to take a slightly different approach with the project and instead of capturing the animals in their entirety, he decided to focus on what intrigued him the most: the color, texture, and form of their feathers.

The abstract photos of wings, bellies, and other near unrecognizable parts of each bird are accompanied by each species scientific name like “Anodorhynchus Hyacinthinus” or “Geronticus Eremita,” creating yet another unfamiliar layer of abstraction. You can take a peek inside the book on Lohr’s website, and read an interview over on AnOther. (via AnOther, This Isn’t Happiness)

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