Margaret Thatcher Projects is proud to present the group exhibition Hybrid Form, which includes works by seven artists Frank Badur, Omar Chacon, Freddy Chandra, Kevin Finklea, Ted Larsen, Joanne Mattera, and Richard Roth. Each artist’s work challenges the strictures of what defines a painting. Utilizing the medium of paint through varying modalities, the artists are able to stretch an audience’s definition as to what constitutes a painting. This stretching of the definition of painting follows the tradition of earlier artists such as Rauschenberg who focused on pushing the boundaries of essentialism in art, bridging the gulf between painting, subject, and object.
Berlin-based artist Frank Badur’s gracefully intuitive minimalist compositions draw his viewers into their subtlety with a delicate interplay of surface and color. Existing as an active engagement between modernist art history and contemporary thought, Badur seeks to find the pure meaning of painting. Badur allows the viewer to dive into his paintings and experience them without the clouding of subject or metaphor by neither mimetically nor metaphorically representing anything outside of the canvas.
Omar Chacon’s colorful and energetic configurations symbolize both the unity and diversity of the Americas, specifically Colombia, where he was born and raised and New York, where he currently lives. He likens his works to a social gathering and on a larger scale, a nation, comprised of a diverse blend of culturally different peoples, living amongst each other with a sense of unity, yet maintaining individuality. Each drip in Le Jaune Mesalina is uniquely prepared separately off the canvas. Chacon then applies and collages these “brushstrokes” onto canvas building intricate and harmonious compositions.
Indonesian-American artist Freddy Chandra constructs luminously painted bars of cast acrylic experimenting with specific color relationships, value shifts, and dimensional modulations of density and transparency. To Chandra, elusive everyday moments such as overhearing a fragment of music only to hear it fade away, feeling the vibrations and movements of people and vehicles as they pass by, are all fluctuating instances that are experienced and recorded in a seemingly spectrographic way. To manifest this awareness Chandra structures his work within the confines of a logical and algorithmic process. Color is painted across the surface of the bars in such a way as to create an illusion of depth and an inner light that lends the pieces a lyrical flow.
At the core of Kevin Finklea’s process is an obsessive adoration of color. His painted geometric sculptures on wood and paintings on canvas are directed with deep care to form and balance. The areas of saturated color itself are purposefully inconclusive, reductive in shape, yet hints at gesture upon closer inspection. His color field paintings exemplify his belief that “the simplest gesture is sometimes the best or most adequate.”
Ted Larsen uses previously discarded materials such as salvaged steel or vulcanized rubber and composites them into tight, sculptural objects. Expanding on what the “ready-made” can be, Larsen’s color palette is derived from the original color of the material. As an artist who has described himself as “a painter who no longer paints,” the endless variations in scale and dialogue of re-contextualizing his materials allow Larsen to address formal issues in minimal abstraction.
Succulent in color and reductive or repetitive in composition, Joanne Mattera’s ongoing Silk Road series of paintings are achieved by manipulating layers of translucent wax and pigment applied at right angles. The series was inspired by the shimmery quality of iridescent silk and expands into an exploration of hue and surface. Each 12 x 12 inch painting is luscious in texture, seemingly invoking a sense of warp and weft of the woven material of silk.
Richard Roth’s small box-like paintings are beautifully crafted and executed with delicate and sharp precision. His vaguely familiar patterns and compositions embody playful postmodern attitudes, enamored with product and package design, nature, architecture, masks, custom cars and fashion. By confining himself to the limitation of his box-like format Roth tethers together image and object, sculpture and painting, and high art and pop culture.