The Majestic Theatre Condominium Association
Stanzaic Forms: Paintings by Larry Wolhandler
July 12th 2017 – October 29th 2017
Opening Reception: Wednesday July 12th 6-8pm
The Majestic Theatre Condominiums
222 Montgomery Street
Jersey City, NJ 07302
SILVERMAN and The Majestic Theatre Condominium Association presents: Stanzaic Forms: Paintings by Larry Wolhandler, curated by Enrico Gomez
New York artist Larry Wolhandler offers paintings on canvas that explore the tensions between aesthetic gesture and minimalist constraint. Constructed from a range of visual media spanning traditional fine art components (canvas, oil paint, gesso, graphite) to more plebeian or “blue-collar” materials (house-paint, magic marker, driveway primer), the artist approaches each of his supplies with a degree of egalitarianism, considering the value of each only in measure to their contribution to the work at hand. These canvases also come under the treatments of masking tape, T-Squares, and the occasional hand-held orbital sander; construction tools that add much to these works rich luster, revealing their own embedded surprises and accretive histories.
Emerging from a formalist tradition, Larry Wolhandler’s paintings break with more customary art making practices in that these works are as much carefully composed as they are left open to chance, a series of considered moves and random passages that, over time, become the “finished” work. Says the artist of the painting’s development, “The process becomes the painting.” While the works themselves are valuable products of a fine-art undertaking, the artist himself is not precious with their handling. His process of manufacturing them is very physical, and the resultant variegated finishes and rich surface textures bear conclusive testimony to this. Influential artist and art critic John Perrault wrote of Wolhandler’s paintings, “They are as much about touch as they are about color and light.”
The descriptor and genre-marker “Minimalism” has been aptly ascribed to Wolhandler’s paintings and this is certainly apropos to certain visual fields established within them. Replete with multiple hard edges and straight lines, the artist’s works seem to hold a scaffold-like structure of right-angles and beams of suggested light whilst remaining devoid of all but the most pared down forms of additional visual subject matter; circles, squares, and the occasional cluster of smudged gesso or graphite. To the artist, the “square” as a signifier has often been about “borders and boundaries … and the metaphor of containment.” With color being used judiciously and strategically, these works become efficient exercises in visual engagement … convincing models of a “less is more” ideology. Says noted Minimalist Sculptor Donald Judd, “It isn’t necessary for a work to have a lot of things to look at, to compare, to analyze one by one … The thing as a whole, its quality whole, is what is interesting.” Wolhandler’s paintings fit squarely into the type of work that Judd is considering in that they are Minimal but they are also, paradoxically, anything but. A bit of sanded surface here, a subtle spray of vibrant paint there and suddenly these generous works begin to open up before the viewer, resonant and pulsing with their own interior logic. The musical push and pull of these aesthetics is as much a result of the artist’s self-imposed working methodology as it is a record of the intuitive and compositional “push-back” against it.
The title “Stanzaic Forms” may have special relevance with regard to the artist’s movements in execution. Like Wolhandler, who repeatedly riffs and tweaks his own visual lexicon amidst variable patterns of elective restraint, the literary poet also employs language, a unique set of symbols within an ordered system, continually reconfigured to achieve a desired aim. Wolhandler’s paintings in some ways dazzle, in other ways whisper, and adhere to a sort of ocular meter which is as much akin to rhyming quatrains and haiku as it is to jazz, blues or any other ordered yet intuitive creative undertaking. With visual communication results comfortably equipoised between cryptic and verbose, Wolhandler’s works continue to express with a vocabulary, ever expanding and uniquely his own.
Larry Wolhandler is a visual artist who studied at the Ecole National Superieure des Beaux Arts in Paris. He also won a fellowship at the American Cultural Center and received a 3-year residency at the prestigious Cite International des Arts, Paris. He also taught at the American University in Paris and showed at numerous galleries including, Gallerie du 7eme, Angus Francoise, Au Festival du Marais, Au Cite des Arts. In the U.S, he has shown extensively, including group and solo exhibitions at Lawrence Fine Arts, East Hampton, NY, PROTO Gallery, Hoboken, NJ, Marquee Projects, Bellport, NY, OK Harris, New York, NY, Gallery 125, Bellport, NY, The Affordable Art Fair, New York, NY, Market Art + Design, Bridgehampton, NY, and CONTEXT Art Miami, Miami, FL. His works are held in numerous private collections and he has been covered by various publications including The Long Island Advance, Artfix Daily, Street Art News and The New York Times. The artist lives in New York and maintains studios in Hoboken, NJ and Bellport, NY.
The exhibition will be on view at The Majestic through October 29th, 2017. For further information, please visit us at SILVERMAN or call number (201) 435-8000. For show specific information, press images, or to arrange a visit, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or call (917) 719-1447. The Majestic is located at 222 Montgomery Street in Jersey City, NJ.
“Stanzaic Forms: Paintings by Larry Wolhandler” is the seventh exhibition that artist/curator Enrico Gomez will organize for SILVERMAN. For additional information on the exhibiting artist Larry Wolhandler, please visit: artsy.net/artist/larry-wolhandler. For additional information on the curator, please visit: enricogomez.com and thedoradoproject.com.
SILVERMAN has presented the works of Barbara Friedman, Michael Steinbrick, Jeanne Tremel, Eliot Markel, Debra Drexler, Mark Van Wagner, Rob Ventura, Robert Hendrickson, Sarah Becktle, Kati Vilim, Mark Dagley, Candy Le Sueur, Ed Fausty, Anna Mogilevsky, Ali Harrington, Sara Wolfe, Anne Percoco, Shauna Finn, Melanie Vote, Paul Lempa, Fanny Allié, Michael Meadors, John A. Patterson, Charlotte Becket, Roger Sayre, Karina Aguilera Skvirsky, Tom McGlynn, Margaret Murphy, Valeri Larko, Tenesh Webber, Glenn Garver, Jennifer Krause Chapeau, Michelle Doll, Tim Heins, Megan Maloy, Laurie Riccadonna, Thomas John Carlson, Tim Daly, Ann Flaherty, Scott Taylor, Jason Seder, Sara Wolfe, Beth Gilfilen, Andrzej Lech, Hiroshi Kumagai, Victoria Calabro, Asha Ganpat, Darren Jones, Ryan Roa, Laura Napier, Risa Puno, Nyugen E. Smith, Amanda Thackray, and Kai Vierstra.