The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Saturday, May 26, 2018

New York-based painter Joseph Montgomery's first solo museum exhibition opens at MASS MoCA
Joseph Montgomery, Image One Hundred Ninety Three, 2013 (side view). Gouache and wax on cedar mounted on plywood, 32 x 24 x 2 1/2 inches; 81.3 x 61 x 6.4 cm.

NORTH ADAMS, MASS.- A selection of new and existing works from three closely-related bodies of work (2010-2013) by New York-based painter Joseph Montgomery will be on view in MASS MoCA's Brown Gallery from May 26, 2013, through April 7, 2014. This will be the artist's first solo museum exhibition.

Montgomery creates compact abstract assemblages (many measuring only 12 x 10 inches) which have an uncanny familiarity. The small paintings vibrate with texture and movement and bursts of color amidst a mostly subdued and earthy palette. Despite their small size, the works have an intense visual and visceral impact - made from an array of elements which curve up, out, and beyond the confines of the support. Montgomery builds his layered images with a range of materials — a base vocabulary of sorts — including wood, clay, cardboard, fiberglass, paper, and wire. These elements take on the appearance of painterly gesture, each functioning like a brushstroke. The earliest of these works developed from the artist's attempts to veil or destroy paintings which he found too earnest or too personal. These rejected works become a support for his subsequent collages and are at times cannibalized as material fragments in newer works. Often compared to the collages of Kurt Schwitters, the constructions are indeed influenced by an early twentieth century approach to abstraction exemplified by the likes of Schwitters, Ben Nicholson, and the Constructivists, among others. Though Montgomery is deeply engaged in a discourse with the history and future of painting, his works, like those of his aforementioned predecessors, adapt materials or modes of making associated with building and architecture. Given their size and their materials, the works share characteristics with architectural models. Like such studies, they are images of potential, and seem to move back and forth between different scales, functioning on an intimate level while hinting at the monumental. Small and portable, they also have the air of devotional objects.

Each of Montgomery's works generates the next, both in concept and material. The original series of painterly assemblages led to a second group of works constructed from the common wooden shims — like those used in both construction and art preparation — which populate some of the collages. The elongated triangles, which Montgomery arranges vertically against a support, and paints in monochrome white and black, have the appearance of both relief and a flat canvas. Channels or troughs between the shims give the illusion that the works may be made of light and dark bands of pigment. Some create the effect of a drawn or painted pattern of lines, akin to those seen in a certain style of geometric abstraction. Playing with notions of figure and ground, the works also upend traditional mark-making, which the artist has purged from his paintings.

This shim series in turn generated a body of much larger wall reliefs constructed from pieces of cardboard. Folded like fans, in tapered patterns that resemble those of the smaller wedges, the works are reminiscent of enlarged fragments. In some, the artist tears away the outer skin of the cardboard to reveal glimpses of the corrugated pattern beneath — before painting them with a layer of white, black, gray, or brown. In more recent works, the artist has added an additional layer of texture by spraying the compound used to make popcorn ceilings like the one in Montgomery's childhood room. This series brings to mind minimalist monochromes and also hint at the corporeal relationship between viewer and object characteristic of work from the 1960s and 1970s. Hung low to the ground, these pieces have a markedly human scale; the artist compares them to bodies, and the smaller constructions to faces or masks.

The seductive formal and material interest of Montgomery's works is matched by the ideas that inspire them; that is, the artist's investigations into the nature of the painting process and the artist's role as author. Montgomery is concerned with what he calls the "pre-determined" nature of image, and proposes that every image already exists. While the three bodies of work at MASS MoCA seem to mirror recognizable styles of abstraction and may even conjure for viewers the memory of a particular work just out of the mind's reach, the artist does not intend to consciously track a progression of painting. With no particular original in mind, Montgomery creates what he considers "representations" of other compositions both random and constructed — from paintings to photographs to architecture to visual moments found in the city streets. This bank of images are the result of what he sees as a kind of Darwinism, an evolution in which certain images survive and proliferate.

Born in Northampton, MA, in 1979, Montgomery earned his BA at Yale University in 2001 and an MFA from Hunter College in 2007. Since receiving his degrees, the artist's work has been presented in Basel, Switzerland, Antwerp, and Milan. His work was recently included in Painter, Painter at the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis. Montgomery currently lives and works in New York.

Today's News

May 26, 2013

Specialists photograph drawings painted on the walls of the Mogao caves in northwest China

MoMA celebrates Ellsworth Kelly's 90th birthday reuniting The Chatham Series paintings of 1971

Emerging and lesser-known artists seek global audience at Hong Kong's Art Basel

Early works on paper produced by Robert Motherwell on view at The Peggy Guggenheim Collection

Rare paintings of Vermont by Edward Hopper return for the summer to Middlebury College Museum of Art

Painting once in the possession of HRH Prince of Wales, Edward VIII, to be offered at Christie's

With Paul Schimmel as new partner, Hauser & Wirth plans Los Angeles art space

Day after Kabul attacks, 10,000 peace balloons by conceptual artist Yazmany Arboleda handed out

Marian Goodman announces new exhibition of works by Giuseppe Penone

T-Rex maxilla, featuring seven teeth, leads Bonhams Natural History Auction in Los Angeles

Mitchell-Innes & Nash open their first solo exhibition of Daniel Lefcourt's work

Works on paper (1953-1986) by William Scott on view at Denenberg Fine Arts in Los Angeles

A stellar line-up of artists will be present at the Tenth Vauxhall Art Car Boot Fair

Margaret Harrison wins 2013 Northern Art Prize

New paintings by Groningen-based artist Coen Vunderink on view at Galerie Gabriel Rolt

New series of exhibitions at AndrewShire Gallery presents the work of Skip Arnold and Doug Harvey

New York-based painter Joseph Montgomery's first solo museum exhibition opens at MASS MoCA

Visual artist Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas' work enters permanent collection of the British Museum

Morton & Eden to sell rare Ptolemy V Tetradrachm from Acre

Italian sports and racing exotics head to RM's eagerly anticipated Monterey sale

Most Popular Last Seven Days

1.- New Rembrandt found after being bought at London auction

2.- Exhibition at Fotohof focuses on groups in society who are at risk of marginalisation

3.- John Brennan collection of Rock n Roll memorabilia offered at RR Auction

4.- A Bob Dylan guitar fetches $495,000 at auction

5.- Exhibition in San Francisco focuses on the latter half of René Magritte's career

6.- 'Mad' king Ludwig II of Bavaria lost gift to composer Richard Wagner gets rare show

7.- New Royal Academy of Arts opens in celebration of its 250th anniversary

8.- Researchers uncover Anne Frank's 'dirty jokes'in her diary

9.- New York art sales near $3 billion in two weeks as uber-rich hunt trophies

10.- Berlin's Ethnological Museum returns grave-plundered artefacts to Alaska

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher:Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful