January 25 - February 20, 2017
Opening Reception: Thursday Jan. 26, 6-8 PM
Closing Party Concert: Thursday Feb. 16, 7-10 PM
with a performance by Yvonnick Prene
"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." —Arshile Gorky
The promise of abstraction was to liberate artists from form and the impulse to imitate reality. It aimed to touch into something more mysterious, yet somehow more essentially real. Though technically abstract, Salvador Oliveros's new paintings do not necessarily seek to eschew all form. Enigmatic shapes and objects occasionally emerge, but they feel transitory, like presences that will fade as quickly as they have appeared.
In a sense, these forms are like the spirits or phenomena known in Shinto as Kami, which are manifestations of musubi, the interconnected energy of the universe. That energy, which can be interpreted as ultimate reality, is what interests Oliveros. These works are concerned with the medium from which manifestation arises. Vaporous and otherworldly, this medium is in constant motion, fluctuating between density and dissipation. It is incipient, filled with the possibility to be meditatively serene or restlessly energetic.
Entering into these canvases is to stop time and contact a kind of eternal constancy. Though the medium may coalesce into sporadic apparitions—an emanation of light, a flower, an agitation of brushstrokes—they seem momentary, passing from event horizon into obscurity and leaving us again floating in a state of no-time, no-mind; just immersed in the perpetual immediacy of experience.
Art collector Dominique de Menil once wrote, "We are cluttered with images, and only abstract art can bring us to the threshold of the divine." The sensation of being deposited at or near that threshold permeates Oliveros's new paintings. If we choose to enter that doorway, it might be possible to experience the spontaneity of creation.