‘ABSTRACTION ALLOWS MAN TO SEE WITH HIS MIND WHAT HE CANNOT SEE PHYSICALLY WITH HIS EYES… ABSTRACT ART ENABLES THE ARTIST TO PERCEIVE BEYOND THE TANGIBLE, TO EXTRACT THE INFINITE OUT OF THE FINITE. IT IS THE EMANCIPATION OF THE MIND.
IT IS AN EXPLORATION INTO UNKNOWN AREAS.’
BORCH Gallery & Editions are delighted to present selected print projects by Al Taylor, Alan Uglow, Stanley Whitney, and John Zurier at its Berlin gallery space.
Each of these artists has a different approach to abstraction. They find their inspiration in light, colour, music, visual structures, or in the simplicity of everyday objects. While some reduce the obvious to a minimum, others usher to our realm new shapes that have no correspondence in visual reality and that strive to bring forth a new dimension of being.
AL TAYLOR’s practice united abstract compositions with narrative undertones. His works are filled with playful everyday poetry, granting even the most banal phenomena a position of glory. Puddles of dog urine, peas, or human thumbs are all part of his universe, in which the three-dimensional and two-dimensional enter a unique dialogue. The artistic experiment is reduced to an absolute minimum in Taylor’s works. He sees, hears or finds, then lets the phenomenon be seen from numerous angles and points of view. As he said himself: ‘Instead of forcing myself onto some anonymous objects, I try to find a method that will allow them to form their own logic beyond me.’ Regardless of how prosaic or down-to-earth Taylor’s objects are, they always turn into wry yet uncompromising poetry.
AL TAYLOR (1948–99) collaborated with BORCH Gallery & Editions from 1989 to 1998.
ALAN UGLOW’s works are investigations of space, architecture, and sculpture rooted in minimalist and conceptual painting. Fields of colour – preferably several clashing fields – are muted, almost merging with their surroundings. Uglow’s works are frames for spatial reflections and associations – blank pages we can engage with in a physical dialogue. Numerous works by Uglow, such as his comprehensive Stadium series, stem from his lifelong fascination with football. His print project Stadion (1993) is also a close study of the structures of a stadium, the colours of the different teams, and the way the advertisements, the field and the stands are arranged.
ALAN UGLOW (1941¬–2011) collaborated with BORCH Gallery & Editions from 1991 to 2011.
STANLEY WHITNEY’s work is a vibrant statement for the significance of abstraction in contemporary art. He is best known for his works on canvas, grids of variously sized and proportioned blocks in different colours, separated by horizontal and vertical bands. While his style might evoke associations of 20th century minimalism, his deliberate rejection of geometric accuracy and his energetic, joyful brushstrokes provide for a highly unique style. Music, especially Jazz, has always been a source of inspiration for Whitney. As such, in his series of eight black-and-white etchings, he abandons his signature grid in favour of a more investigative approach. Whitney skilfully explores the possibilities of different etching techniques, often layering one over the other, creating works of remarkable spatial depth that are reminiscent of improvised Jazz arrangements in their spontaneity.
STANLEY WHITNEY (* 1946 in Philadelphia) lives and works in New York and Solignano. He has been collaborating with BORCH Gallery & Editions since 2016.
In JOHN ZURIER’s works, seemingly monochromatic surfaces evolve into visual poetry. His visual language is minimal and at the same time very distinct: Linear elements build up space through an interaction of presence and absence. Inspired by observations of natural phenomena, light conditions and colour, the works convey a characteristic calmness and purity. The title of his Summer Book (2016) portfolio of eight etchings refers to his stay in Copenhagen: ‘Working on the small plates it occurred to me that they had an intimacy like looking at the pages of a book. When I wasn’t working, I would wander around the city looking at the light reflecting on the water and the buildings, and the trees against the sky, and the deepening shadows of late evening in King’s Garden. The idea of making a book of summer notes came to me. I thought of it as a book of random visual vignettes, formless with no apparent order, where the pleasure comes from finding the subtle connections and contrasts.’
JOHN ZURIER (* 1956 in Santa Monica) lives and works in Berkeley and Reykjavik. He has been collaborating with BORCH Gallery & Editions since 2016.