Vicious Circles

John Tremblay
Bright Surroundings, 2006
Deborah Kass
Nobody Puts Baby in the Corner, 2009


Judy Pfaff

Featuring TARA DONOVAN, JAMES SIENA, JOHN ARMLEDER, ANTONY GORMLEY, JOHN F. SIMON, JR, DEBORAH KASS, CARLOS CRUZ-DIEZ, JOHN TREMBLAY, ROSS BLECKNER, TERRY WINTERS, SAM GILLIAM, JUDY PFAFF, CARLOS “DZINE” ROLON


ESSAY BY BREIANNA COCHRAN

Circles are ubiquitous, everywhere and nowhere, lurking in positive and negative spaces. This particular, fundamental shape has a long and complex history within many facets of life and learning. They are lauded in the studies of science and mathematics, have marked the creation of civilization bringing about transportation and industry, composed in art, have been shrouded in the veil of religion, and can be found in nature as well as manufactured into products that make life simpler. The circle, an all-encompassing symbol, has become so engrained within our being that it hardly needs to be defined.

There is a common adage that art does not occur in a vacuum, that all art is influenced by something, such as the past, ideas, sounds, objects or people. Yet, not everything is a representation of something greater, especially in art. The circle is a rudimentary, inspirational configuration that many artists often draw from for pure aesthetic reasons. They can be arranged into sophisticated compositions and transformed to create patterns, texture, illusion and beauty.

In a society where the insistence is often for explanation or rationalization, what happens when we abandon this conservative impulse and just see? What happens when the circle is taken out of time and context? What are we left with?

The eye is the key to viewing and interpreting that which is around us. Explore this exhibition, foremost, with beauty in mind.  See the radiating lines and vague abstraction; the pinpoint precision along with the gestural marks; the stained-glass color and the deepest of blacks. See these works for their ecstatic beauty and, most importantly, see these works without the safety of pretext.