acrylic

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Art

Diminutive Figures Traverse Vibrant, Post-Climate Disaster Environments by Seonna Hong

January 19, 2022

Grace Ebert

“Kid World” (2021). All images © Seonna Hong, courtesy of Hashimoto Contemporary, shared with permission

In Late Bloomer, Los Angeles-based artist Seonna Hong wades into landscapes filled with amorphous swatches of color and marred by climate disaster. Her acrylic, oil, and pastel works are on view through February 5 at Hashimoto Contemporary in Los Angeles in an introspective solo show that considers her place in an ever-evolving world. Set against abstract, blurred backdrops, Hong’s distinctly rendered animals and anonymous subjects navigate distorted terrains of once-familiar architecture and natural landmarks.

Many of the stylized compositions evoke traditional Korean landscapes from the Joseon period—these are known for their asymmetrical forms, vibrant brushstrokes, and skewed perspectives—that contemplate the human-nature relationship by placing miniature figures among formidable environments. “I’m a second-generation Korean American that is surprised to be making identity-based work but realizing I’ve been making it all along. I’ve spent my entire life between the push and pull of being Korean and American, never feeling quite Korean enough or American enough,” Hong writes on Instagram. “I’ve realized the inherent connection between my work and my history, a belated but cherished revelation.”

 

“Granny Square” (2021)

“In The Joseon Period” (2021)

“The View From the Studio” (2021)

“Sunset Stone” (2021)

“Gumball Dystopia” (2021)

“Like Minded” (2021)

 

 



Art

Shipping Containers and Intersecting Lines Clutter Landscapes in Mary Iverson's Paintings on Globalization

January 18, 2022

Grace Ebert

“Calamity at Cairo,” acrylic and found photograph on panel, 12 x 12 inches. All images © Mary Iverson, shared with permission

Latticed lines and brightly colored boxes overlay the chaotically transformed landscapes by Mary Iverson (previously). Based in Seattle, the artist uses a combination of oil and acrylic paints, ink, and found photographs to render shockingly prescient scenes blighted by globalization and environmental disaster: barges and shipping containers float in the sea and haphazardly occupy beaches, with their contents sometimes spilling out onto the surrounding area.

The largely natural scenes and the clean, angled lines and geometric forms clash in Iverson’s superimposed works in a manner that evokes the competition of industry. In a note to Colossal, she shares that given the dramatic changes the world has undergone in the last few years, her “paintings are no longer theoretical.” She explains:

Because at the same time as the pandemic was unfolding, the super mega-ships were entering the trade system. Everyone was stuck at home and ordering stuff at an unprecedented pace, the demand for goods got very high, the workforce shrank, and everything got backed up, creating “supply chain issues.” We now have actual real sea-level rise, huge apocalyptic fires, and shipping disasters unfolding before our very eyes. We are at the precipice of an apocalypse. The question is, how are we going to deal with it?

Often rendered on images of historically and culturally significant sites like Machu Picchu, the Colosseum, and the pyramids of Cairo, Iverson’s works indicate the evolution of human society with a bleak, discouraging perspective. “I look at photos of lost civilizations and think about their hopes, dreams, and ideals, and I wonder what the end will look like for us,” she says.

Iverson shares glimpses into her process and works-in-progress on Instagram, and prints of “Calamity at Cairo” are available in the Juxtapoz shop through January 19.

 

“Sunk 2,” acrylic, ink, and found photograph on panel, 12 x 12 inches

“Calamity at Crater Lake,” acrylic, ink, and found photograph on panel, 12 x 12 inches

“Lost Shipment,” acrylic, ink, and found photograph on panel, 12 x 12 inches

“Calamity at Machu Picchu,” acrylic, ink, and found photograph on panel, 12 x 12 inches

“Calamity at the Colosseum,” acrylic, ink, and found photograph on panel, 12 x 12 inches

“Point Reyes Lighthouse,” acrylic, ink, and found photograph on panel, 12 x 12 inches

“Calamity at Summit Lake (Mount Rainier),” oil on canvas, 16 x 20 inches

“Rube Beach with Containers,” oil on canvas

“Fleet,” acrylic, ink, and found photograph on panel, 12 x 12 inches

 

 



Art

Parallel Fields of Color Align in Daniel Mullen's Precise Mathematical Paintings

December 7, 2021

Grace Ebert

“Future Monuments 10.” All images © Daniel Mullen, shared with permission

What are the visual impacts of converging planes of color? This question is central to Scottish artist Daniel Mullen’s most recent series of paintings, which displays stacks of thin, rectangular sheets in exacting, abstract structures. “I am looking more at Rothko’s body of work and studying the vibrations of color and the almost alchemic effect that his work has on the sense,” the Rotterdam-based artist tells Colossal.

Comprised of meticulous angles and lines on linen, the acrylic paintings are studies of precision, geometry, and perception, allowing each element to collide in a mathematically aligned composition. Mullen’s process involves measuring and taping the individual planes before laying the slight, translucent marks. “In this way, the work is built up slowly over time, incorporating irregularities, brush strokes, and bleeding paint into a work that breathes, floats, and expands through the energy of color,” he says, explaining further:

The forms might seem to reference glass panels or other architectural configurations but that is only the scaffolding for the viewer to locate themselves within. Beyond that initial shape is an attempt to move towards a perception of ekstasis; or the vibrant energy of the universe, imaginary and unmapped. One that questions the symbols of power and place in today’s fast-paced, heavily digitized environments.

The pieces shown here follow Mullen’s collaborative synesthesia series that translates non-visual senses to the canvas—he and artist Lucy Cordes Engelman will be working more on this concept during a residency in upstate New York early next year. You can follow updates to that body of work and explore more of his recent paintings on Instagram.

 

“Future Monuments 16”

“Synesthesia 85”

“Future Monuments 21”

“Synesthesia 64”

“Future Monuments 37”

“Future Monuments 43”

 

 



Art

Reality and Imagined Meditative States Converge in Tomás Sánchez's Tranquil Landscapes

November 16, 2021

Grace Ebert

“Light: Outside, Inside” (2021), acrylic on linen, 100 x 80 centimeters. All images © Tomás Sánchez, shared with permission

Through serene, idyllic landscapes, Tomás Sánchez visualizes his long-harbored fascination with meditation. The practice, the Cuban painter says, is “where I find many of the answers to questions that transcend from the personal to the universal. Meditation is not always a fleeting time. Meditation is not a punctual exercise; it is a constant practice.”

Rather than conceptualize the exercise as a temporary state, Sánchez views mediation as a lens to interpret the world, a recurring theme that has foregrounded much of his work during the last few decades. His acrylic paintings and hazy graphite drawings, which take months if not years to complete, highlight the immensity and awe-inspiring qualities of a forest thick with vegetation or a nearby waterfall and offer perspective through a lone, nondescript figure often found amongst the trees. Distinct and heavily detailed, the realistic landscapes aren’t based on a specific place but rather are imagined spaces available only through a ruminative state.

If you’re in New York, stop by Marlborough Gallery to see Sánchez’s solo show, which is on view from November 18 to January 22. Titled Inner Landscape, the exhibition encompasses multiple pieces never shown before, including the pristine scenes shown here. Until then, explore more of his works on Instagram.

 

“Inner Lagoon…Thought-Cloud” (2016), acrylic on canvas, 200 x 199.3 centimeters

“La batalla” (2015), acrylic on linen, 200 x 250 centimeters

“El río va” (2020), acrylic on linen, 121.3 x 99.1 centimeters

“Aislado” (2015), acrylic on canvas, 199.7 x 249.9 centimeters

“Diagonales” (2018), conté crayon on paper, 30.5 x 40.6 centimeters

 

 



Art

Wild Scavengers and Mythological Wonder Converge in Hera's Dreamy Mixed-Media Works

October 28, 2021

Grace Ebert

“Taking a Break From Dancing to Their Tunes,” acrylic paint, spray paint, charcoal on canvas, 35.4 x 23.6 inches. All images © Hera, courtesy of Corey Helford Gallery, shared with permission

In a poetic new series of works on canvas, German-Pakistani artist Jasmin Siddiqui, aka Hera, nods to her background in street art with sweeping, spray-painted marks, chaotic drips and splatters, and snippets of text. The gestural pieces are rooted in narrative and feature wide-eyed characters who wear headdresses of long-nosed rats, wolves, and strange, hairless creatures. In each imaginative rendering, Hera positions the possibility and wonder of adolescence alongside wild animals often deemed nuisances to human society, with “I’m fine really” displayed next to a child whose finger is snapped in a mousetrap and the title of another work, “Love Her But Leave Her Wild,” accompanying a contorted figure.

“My affiliation is always with those who create beauty in the darkest of places. Because the gutter feels closer to my creative home than the artist studio. I come from graffiti culture,” says Hera, who’s also one-half of the street art duo Herakut (previously).  “I used to be the vulture, the raccoon, the street rat, that rummaged through leftover paint buckets left on the curbs of home renovations, treasuring other people’s trash.”

The mixed-media pieces shown here are part of Hera’s solo show Here We Go Again, which runs November 6 through December 11 at Corey Helford Gallery. She currently has a limited-edition print of a fox-clad figure available through myFINBEC, and you can find more of her small- and large-scale works on Instagram.

 

“You Live and Learn,” acrylic paint, spray paint, charcoal on canvas, 35.4 x 23.6 inches

“Smart Rats Have a Thousand Lives,” acrylic paint, spray paint, charcoal on canvas, 39.4 x 19.7 inches

Left: “Seen It All and Still Have Hope,” acrylic paint, spray paint, charcoal on canvas, 39.4 x 19.7 inches. Right: “An Ode to You,” acrylic paint, spray paint, charcoal on canvas, 47.2 x 15.75 inches

“I Had This Guy,’ acrylic paint, spray paint, charcoal on canvas, 27.6 x 27.6 inches

“Love Her but Leave Her Wild,” acrylic paint, spray paint, charcoal on canvas, 35.4 x 23.6 inches

“Poetry Written in Fairy Language,” acrylic paint, spray paint, charcoal on canvas, 27.6 x 19.7 inches

 

 



Art

Poignant New Works by Pejac Confront the Urgency of Global Crises in Disquieting Detail

October 20, 2021

Grace Ebert

“Counterweight” (2021), oil, acrylic, and spray paint on paper mounted on a wooden stretcher, 190 x 135 x 4.3 centimeters. All images © Pejac, shared with permission

Spanish street artist Pejac (previously) addresses the concept of “returning to normal” in a discerning new series that focuses on the urgency of the issues affecting the world today. Centered on the increasingly disastrous effects of the climate crisis and the social issues that dominate the news cycle, the artist speaks to the myriad global crises in his largest exhibition to date, which opens on October 30 in a former train factory in Berlin. Titled APNEA, the solo show features 45 of his newest works in myriad mediums and themes, including chaotic scenes in acrylic, oil, and spray paints, delicate honeycomb on cardboard, and large-scale sculptures and installations that occupy the industrial space.

Pejac created many of the pieces on view since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, an ongoing concern that also formed the basis for his 2020 trio of interventions paying tribute to health care workers. The new series includes a disquieting depiction of the White House overcome by a violent riot, with canisters releasing billowing smoke and an unaware figure golfing in the foreground, in addition to a cyclone-like drain on a paint palette. Other pieces depict a surreal earthen map of the U.S. with state lines cracked in the dirt and a rendering of Rodin’s “The Thinker” precariously balanced on scaffolding. “During a time of lockdown, painting within the four walls of my studio felt like a liberation and a lifeline. APNEA represents this contradiction,” the artist says.

To coincide with the show’s opening, Pejac is releasing “The Boss” (shown below) as limited-edition prints and postcards available through a lottery system, and proceeds will be donated to Sea-Watch, a German NGO that has helped thousands of migrants crossing the Mediterranean Sea. The artist also teamed up with the organization for an installation depicting a child wearing a life jacket atop Neo-Gothic Holy Cross Church in Berlin, a heartwrenching visual that draws attention to the refugee crisis. You can find out more about the release and see additional works on Instagram.

 

“Drain I” (2021), oil on artist’s palette, 50 x 40 x .4 centimeters

“Flying Ashes II” (2021), pyrography and colored pencil on wood, 189.5 x 121.8 x 3.8 centimeters

“Urban Albatros” (2019), oil, acrylic, and spray paint on paper mounted on a wooden stretcher, 190 x 135 x 4.3 centimeters

“Geography Lesson II” (2020), oil and spray paint on paper mounted on a wooden stretcher, 190 x 135 x 4.3 centimeters

“Landless Stranded” (2021)

“Animal Kingdom” (2021), oil, acrylic, and spray paint on paper mounted on a wooden stretcher, 190 x 135 x 4.3 centimeters

Detail of “Sweet World” (2021), acrylic on honeycomb cardboard, 145 x 200 centimeters

“The Boss” (2021)

Detail of “The Boss” (2021)

“Social Distancing” (2021), oil and acrylic on viroc, 125 x 200 x 1.2 centimeters

Detail of “Social Distancing” (2021), oil and acrylic on viroc, 125 x 200 x 1.2 centimeters

Detail of “Social Distancing” (2021), oil and acrylic on viroc, 125 x 200 x 1.2 centimeters