Exhibition Dates: December 8 – January 12, 2019
David Mohr – Derek Conrad Murray – José Sierra
Reception: Saturday, December 8th, 4 – 6 pm
Patricia Sweetow Gallery is pleased to present the Color Field paintings of Artists David Mohr and Derek Conrad Murray, along with the ceramic sculptures of José Sierra. Color-Field painting, Color as Image, Radical painting, Concrete painting has long been an interest, and focus of exhibitions at PSG, this exhibition continues that tradition with the Color-Field paintings of David Mohr and Derek Conrad Murray. The exhibition opens Saturday December 8, and closes January 12, 2019. A reception for the artist’s is Saturday, December 8th, from 4 – 6pm.
While Derek Conrad Murray has always maintained a studio practice, it’s rare to see his paintings in a public exhibition. The color-field paintings of San Jose-based artist Derek Conrad Murray (b. 1967) move fluidly between hard edged abstraction, the complex illusion of formalism, and an embrace of color verging on the sensual. Evocative of minimalist painting and the Washington Color School Movement, Murray’s compositions combine precise bands of color that are pushed to complexity by their often-unexpected interactions. In this untitled series of works from 2017-2018, Murray animates his vibrant compositions in an exchange between form and color, ground and medium, surface and space.
Derek Conrad Murray is an interdisciplinary theorist specializing in the history, theory and criticism of contemporary art and visual culture at the University of California, Santa Cruz, where he is an Associate Professor. He works in contemporary aesthetic and cultural theory with a particular attention to technocultural engagements with identity and representation. He has contributed to leading magazines and journals such as American Art, Art in America, Parachute, Art Journal, Third Text, Consumption Markets & Cultureand Nka: Journal of Contemporary African Art, where he currently serves as Associate Editor. Murray is also currently serving on the Editorial Board of Art Journal (CAA) and the Editorial Advisory Board of Third Text. Murray is the author of Queering Post-Black Art: Artists Transforming African-American Identity After Civil Rights (I.B. Tauris, UK, 2016).
David Mohr’s methodical approach to color field painting manifests in an exquisite accretion of surface color. Mohr’s color-image evolves as he drags oil paint horizontally and diagonally across the surface of his panel, leaving accumulated evidence of paint raked off the edge. Using a printer’s squeegee, Mohr both removes and builds multiple layers of paint, each layer leaving a thin bleed of color memory. With built-up horizontal bands spanning the width of the painting, the lush impasto passages lend contrast to the flat tertiary glazes. With abstract, non-referential works, Mohr provokes our understanding of figure/ground relationships in rich, almost luxurious painterly remarks.
David Mohr (b. 1985) is an emerging artist who received his MFA in 2014 from Mills College in Oakland. He received the Jay Defeo Fellowship Award in 2014 and the Herringer 1st Year Students MFA Prize for Excellence in Art. Mohr lives and works in Northern California.
José Sierra’s (b. 1975) elegant porcelain and stoneware ceramic formulations are wheel thrown, hand drawn abstractions, suggesting, but necessarily offering function. A native of the Andean region of Venezuela, his town was steeped in Modernist symbols. He found the likes of Jesús Soto, Alejandro Otero, Carlos Cruz Diez and Gego, visual sources of influence in his understanding and appreciation of art and architecture.
On view are 12 sculptural vessels. A self-taught artist, Sierra’s graceful balance of form, mark-making and color is continually informed by modernist and contemporary art, history, anthropology and as mentioned architecture. His porcelain and stoneware vessels are singular in contemporary ceramics.
José Sierra currently lives and works in New Mexico. Sierra’s work is in the collection of California State Polytechnic University, Pomona; NCECA Collection; Las Cruces Museum of Art, NM; Boise Art Museum, ID, among others.