(Untitled) Formalisms - Needles & Pens
Needles and Pens, San Francisco CA
November 1 – 15
Opening reception and zine launch November 1, 7-9pm
*Performance by Benjamin Vilmain 8pm
Needles & Pens announces its final exhibition curated by Amanda Roscoe Mayo. (Untitiled) Formalisms opens on November 1, with a reception and zine launch from 7-9:00pm and performance by Benjamin Vilmain at 8:00pm. The exhibition will be on view at Needles & Pens through November 15th and features the work of Andrea Bacigalupo , Andrew Chapman, Clayton Colvin, Lee Hunter & Pachi Giustinian, and Erik Swanson.
Formalism reaches far into the depths of history and art history alike. In painting the qualities are identified as line, value, color, and texture. These elements are compositional ones that the artist may use as a tool to complete a work that is balanced and aesthetically readable. These compositional qualities separate content and technique from the work and are applied to other art practices such as drawing and sculpture. The pedagogy of formalism, however, is long ingrained into an artist’s training. These artists based throughout the country in Oakland, New York, Austin, and Birmingham both resist its foundation and utilize its characteristics.
True Formalism is rarely explored in contemporary art to the degree it once was. This exhibition looks to the artists who sit on the edge of a practice surrounding formalist ideas and tendencies. The notions of formalism are taught both classically and contemporaneously and often artists forgo or rebel the theory as it relates to art. This group of artists is reacting to the rules of this model, but is doing so in a way that challenges the end product. Andrea Bacigalupo has embraced the literal form. Using concrete she captures a complicated and intricate surface relying heavily on chance and the knowledge that the outcome will reference certain aspects of landscape composition. Andrew Chapman and Erik Swanson deconstruct the practice of painting in order to allow for a more holistic approach to the medium. Their treatment of the plane harbors enormous depth and control of the abstract visual. Clayton Colvin employs formalist ideologies to control the spatial plane presenting the viewer with a specific experience of the image. Through careful study of process and material Lee hunter’s work is based in the roots of formalist design creating sustained small sculptures that speak both to their construction and their visual image. In collaboration, Pachi Giustinian painted the interchangeable pieces allowing the objects to reach autonomy among themselves.
Needles & Pens is an emporium of zines, books, handmade goods, and an art gallery. Located in San Francisco's Mission District since 2003, the space aims to provide an affordable place where like-minded people from the community can display and sell their own homemade goods, home-published zines, and artwork. The shop and gallery is open daily noon – 7pm and is located at 3235 16th street. For more information visit www.needles-pens.com.