"See me, feel me, touch me, heal me"
Margaret Thatcher Projects is pleased to present the group exhibition See Me, Feel Me, including paintings by Frank Badur, Teo González, Ted Larsen and Nan Swid. The exhibition title, from the eponymous song by The Who, refers to the emotional impact and visceral reaction that one can have in response to the space defined by a painting. Each of the artists included employ variations in color, geometry, and scale to address formal and conceptual concerns within painting.
Frank Badur’s compositions are filled with color from the artist’s internal library, culled from his experiences and travels, and brought upon his paintings by impulse. The colors are organized into “atmospheres” and subsume the viewer as the brush strokes open up to reveal veils of paint layers below. Rather than reference specific words or meanings, they are meant to allude to the personal relationship that each viewer holds with color.
Teo Gonzalez draws with paint, creating freehand grids atop ethereal fields of color. As patterns emerge from his constellation of dripped pigment at the center of his cells, celestial space opens, despite the graphic density. In this way, González juxtaposes depth with flatness, and chaos with order. The smooth yet dramatic transitions in the background intensify the sense of depth, with the grid and droplets of paint seemingly floating from the panel surface.
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, awarding recognition to the past life of the surface material, prior to its reincarnation as an art object. 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.
Nan Swid’s paintings exude an immediate sensual beauty conveyed through lush, velvety encaustic surfaces masking layers of deconstructed books, ledgers and boxes. Swid erases obvious identifying features of the repurposed components, but rather than blot out their original purpose, her compositions encapsulate the essence of their stories. Shining though the worn surface is a humanity of the deconstructed materials, as if the act of reorganizing, changing and adapting parallels the human experience.