This month, Massey Klein Gallery presents Positive, Negative, a group exhibition exploring the interplay of positive and negative space through each artist’s structured and intuitive practice. The role of opposition holds a distinct meaning in the context of this exhibition, creating tension, balance and conversation between the work.
Joan Witek has been using the color black for her entire artistic life. While appearing to be simple and easily grasped, there is an ongoing language of proportion and meaning in this abstraction. Black is often considered the absence of color, it is severe, rigorous, and associated with death, depression or repression. But as Lilly Wei has written, “Witek plays these oppositions in her work: black being ascetic and alluring, meditative and expressive, flawless and flawed, fierce and demure, a distinct unequivocal presence, yet subtle, elusive.”
Jonathan Ryan Storm’s colorful, abstract acrylic on canvas paintings explore movement, symmetry, and pattern while using broad, curvilinear shapes to map the possibilities of line and color where one painterly action intuitively informs the next.
Seamus Heidenreich’s blacksmith steelworks employ the use of line and suggest form with a keen use of negative space. The artist’s free-standing sculptures encourage the viewer to experience the works from multiple viewpoints, challenging not only his own perception of reality but the category-based memory system of the viewer. Informed by archeology, linguistics and technology, Heidenreich creates personal histories with an object.
Positive, Negative opens at New York City’s Massey Klein Gallery on January 31, with an opening reception from 6 to 8 pm, and is on view through March 14, 2020.