OPENING DATE SEPT 4TH
ONE THING LEADS TO ANOTHER
Greg Slick’s hard edge abstractions are very much works of our time, but the roots of the imagery he uses burrow deep into history. The geometric patterns, which play an important role in his recent paintings, reference the stone carvings found on ritual objects from 6000 years ago. Those patterns may have been developed by our ancestors in response to hallucinations experienced in rituals involving psychoactive drugs and those same patterns have been proven in scientific tests to be fundamental components of our contemporary psyches. Slick is also fascinated by the monumental land art made by ancient peoples and this is reflected in his compositions. Forms seem to build from the bottom of his paintings to the top (though actually painted from the top down) creating the illusion of imposing scale.
The swooshing forms near the base of these works are evocations of Sumi-E ink drawings that the artist learned to make under the tutelage of a master several years ago. Making these gestural marks is a personal ritual focusing his mind as he begins a new work. He reports that doing this induces a kind of altered state.
Slick’s takeaway is that Art is a social act and is a fundamental human activity. He points out that instances of human art making go back at least 50,000 years and that over the course of history humanity has integrated art into the development of culture in many ways. Today we tend to be out of touch with the deeper aspects of what we do. As we go to a gallery or museum what is the nature of our involvement? Do we see art as decoration, a pleasant thing to take in on a free afternoon, an opportunity for financial investment, or is it an essential aspect of the process of knowing who we are?
MARIEKEN COCHIUS was born and raised in the Netherlands. Cochius emigrated to the U.S. in the 1990s. Her work is continually evolving formally while consistently and skillfully expressing a passion for the beauty, mystery, and meaningfulness of the natural world. A visit to her website will reveal many variations on the art of abstraction in media that include oil painting, sculpture, and works on paper. There is nevertheless a consistency in her visual language that runs through its many dialects. She’s after a certain kind of energy that can’t be easily captured and held; it can only be experienced and communicated directly. The pieces in this show are records of awakening realized over time and can be seen as a call to the viewer to share a revelatory experience.
It is interesting to note that Cochius was trained as a photographer and that she still photographs most days though she does not use her photographs as reference for her work. Photography has taught her how to look attentively, to see clearly– seeing is a learned experience. She brings the same level of paying concentrated but open-minded attention to the observation of the flow of ink she directs over the surface of the moistened paper mounted on her angled easel as the drawing she is making unfolds. Her vision simultaneously embraces the micro and the macro. As the layers of her works on paper accumulate, fractalized visual events emerge, each of equal importance to the work overall. A tapestry of these visual moments gradually weaves itself together into a whole. Without specific identifiable imagery to grasp onto Cochius invites us to join in the conscious emergence of the cosmos.