Looking Between the Lines of Max Cole’s Abstract Paintings, Amy Ellingson, δημοσίευση στο Hyperallergic [3/1/2023]
SANTA FE, N.Mex. — Endless Journey, a survey exhibition of Max Cole’s paintings and works on paper spanning 60 years (1962–2022) is a revelation of the potential for expressivity within strict formal parameters. Cole was born in Kansas in 1937, was raised and educated in the Southwest, and currently lives and works in Northern New Mexico. Though often compared to Agnes Martin, Cole’s work stands apart in that it is at once more earthy and more earthly than Martin’s, whose ethereal works, though rooted in the structure of the grid, appear lighter than air.
Cole’s predominant format of alternating horizontal bands in austere palettes of whites, grays, blacks, tawny raw linen, and the occasional ruddy red, alludes to the vast horizons of the American West and, obliquely, to Native American traditions of weaving and pottery decoration and perhaps Cole’s own distant Cherokee heritage. At the same time, the parameters for her compositions — consisting of regularly spaced horizontal bands of neutral colors, crisply painted, and alternating spaces filled with idiosyncratic, tightly spaced, hand-drawn, near-vertical lines — allow the artist to conjure a sense of eternal human presence in the work. Each tiny, delicate mark reads as a meditative act, imbued with rigorous attention, care, and focus. From a distance, these rows of marks are perceived in terms of value — darker or lighter than the adjacent bands — while, up close, they are an achingly insistent reminder of the artist’s physical presence and painterly actions.
Η συνέχεια εδώ.