Dale Lindman's and Robert Maki's works on paper share the gallery space.
Historically, paintings have had recognizable subject matter, which is, of course, an immensely important factor (for historical, social, expressive and any number of other absorbing reasons). So, when Dale Lindman decides to paint and leave out this compelling feature, he is working with a considerable handicap. Abstract artists must accomplish much of what is appreciated in Western art without all the benefits that accompany recognizable imagery. Well, it can be done, there are other things that count (and always have): color, composition, the painted surface (that’s very important), and gesture. Using these visual and tactile building blocks, the artist strives to incorporate that intangible element of “expression” into the work. When this approach succeeds, and it is a difficult one, the work can be expressive indeed. Artists using this approach recognize that paintings are “things” as well as “illusions of things,” and emphasize the first part of this duality. When Lindman takes recognizable imagery out of the equation and stresses the painterly components, he is creating paintings as “tangible entities.” They’re more “thing” and less illusion. It’s right there, the thing itself –it is compelling visually and that is what interests us.
When looking at art, our mental processes are visual as well as intellectual. If one is visually inclined, the eye kicks in before the intellect does. You “see” first and “think” second. Although Robert Maki is a sculptor, the works in this show are not preparatory to sculpture. Rather, they are indicative of Maki’s thinking about space (real and illusionary); he is working with the same visual vocabulary in two-dimensional graphite and paint as he does with three-dimensional metal and paint. The work is rigorously intellectual. If it were only that, well then, we wouldn’t pay much attention. It’s the visual aspect that is compelling, and it’s sufficient. If the viewer wants to read about Maki’s process and intellectual reasoning, that viewer will certainly be enlightened, as it puts the work into a context of math and geometry (and that’s interesting). One doesn’t need to though; the work stands splendidly on its visual merits alone.
Opening reception: April 4, 2015, 2 - 4 pm