Watercolors – the current exhibition at Phillips de Pury’s Chelsea location is a testament to the immense breadth of possibilities for this fragile, yet unforgiving medium.
The “Watercolors“ show, curated by Kristin Sancken, Phillips de Pury features 92 watercolors by a diverse group of artists and includes emerging young painters like Willy Bo Richardson, Ben Blatt, Eva Lundsager and Annika Connor as well as such heavyweights of the art world as Eric Fischl. The show’s breadth is impressive as it attempts to examine the perception of watercolor as a fine art medium and the issues of value (art historical, economic and aesthetic) surrounding the medium and its relationship to oils. The exhibition is held at Phillips de Pury’s (now Phillips) Chelsea location until October 19, 2012.
Video interview transcript:
Kristin Sancken: I’m a curator at Phillips de Pury, I recently put together Watercolors – a 92 piece exhibition. Right know we are looking at one of my favorite pieces by Ben Blatt. Ben’s process is interesting in that he is obsessed with composition and he’s obsessed with collage, and therefore he either takes traditional collage form or he does collaging on a computer and photoshop and where he juxtaposes several images, just layering, layering, layering images on top of each other and from that he begins to build this really complex composition and color deviations. From that he moves forward into the actual process of painting. One of the important things about his work is that it starts with a very simple idea – to get visual texture and more visual ideas, to actually look at the cellular structure of plants and bugs in these pieces which you can see in some of these forms. It is interesting because Ben is an illustrator, he is a very good renderer, he is very meticulous with the control of watercolor as a medium. From that I also wanted to show an artist who goes in sort of a different direction, utilizes watercolors’ accidental quality, which is something that I find very fascinating.
One artist that I found is Eva Lundsager, who is represented by Greenberg Van Doren. In her work she has a controlled chaos about it and she clearly utilizes just a splattering of the water and a paint and these circular, ovular objects here, but then she goes back and you can see where she had rendered control this, so its a mixture between chaotic form and this obsession with control almost, it’s like this pathological approach that she’s keeping to the page just to show this world around her.
Another thing that I found very interesting with watercolors is the importance between marrying emotion, abstraction and color and the artist who does that very well is Willy Bo Richardson. He renders life in abstraction. Every single brush stroke has a life, every single brush stroke has a rhythm, it’s not obvious but it’s there. You can tell the verticality of it allows you see the playfulness of this but also see the colors and and know that they work with each other, versus just horizontal a passage of time to it. There is a celebratory aspect to the verticality, it’s playful and it’s fun and you can really tell that he became a master at it.
Read more about Willy Bo Richardson here.
This video interview and article © galleryIntell.