CONVERSATIONS IN LYRICAL ABSTRACTION

Morris Louis, Alma Thomas, Howard Mehring, Jeremy Blake and Leo Villareal

September 17 – October 31, 2009

HOWARD MEHRING_Untitled (gray all-over)_Conversations in Lyrical Abstraction

HOWARD MEHRING
Untitled (gray all-over)
c.1960-1962, magna on canvas, 108 x 118 inches.

MORRIS LOUIS_Plenitude_Conversations in Lyrical Abstraction

MORRIS LOUIS
Plenitude
1958, acrylic resin on canvas, 90.875 x 140 inches. Copyright 1993, Marcella Louis Brenner.

ALMA THOMAS_Untitled (for Vincent)_Conversations in Lyrical Abstraction

ALMA THOMAS
Untitled (for Vincent)
1976, acrylic on canvas, 50 x 26 inches. Courtesy The Estate of Vincent Melzac.

HOWARD MEHRING_Untitled (yellow all-over)_Conversations in Lyrical Abstraction

HOWARD MEHRING
Untitled (yellow all-over)
c.1962, magna on canvas, 55 x 55 inches.

LEO VILLAREAL_Sky_Conversations in Lyrical Abstraction

LEO VILLAREAL
Sky 
2009, light emitting diodes, Mac mini, circuitry, 36 x 96 inches. 

JEREMY BLAKE_Mod Lang_Conversations in Lyrical Abstraction

JEREMY BLAKE
Mod Lang
2001, sequence image from DVD with sound for plasma or projection, dvd, run time: 16:00 (loop). Copyright The Jeremy Blake Estate.

HOWARD MEHRING_Untitled_Conversations in Lyrical Abstraction

HOWARD MEHRING
Untitled
c.1957, magna on canvas, 48 x 48 inches.

CONVERSATIONS IN LYRICAL ABSTRACTION: 1958 to 2009

 

Morris Louis, Alma Thomas, Howard Mehring, Jeremy Blake, Leo Villareal

September 17 – October 31, 2009

 

Conner Contemporary Art is pleased to present Conversations in Lyrical Abstraction: 1958-2009 an exhibition that elicits visual conversations among work by Morris Louis, Alma Thomas, Howard Mehring Jeremy Blake, and Leo Villareal. Breathing luminous color and varying in media from stain paintings to digitally controlled light emitting diodes, this select gathering of abstract images showcases Lyrical Abstraction as a vital impetus in American art.

 

This is the first time a Morris Louis painting has been exhibited in a privately-owned gallery in Washington since the 1950s. We are honored to present Louis's magnificent veil painting, "Plenitude" (1958), in conjunction with a remarkable field painting by Alma Thomas, early all-over canvases by Howard Mehring, Jeremy Blake's seminal video, Mod Lang , and Leo Villareal's most recent digital light sculpture.

 

Conversations in Lyrical Abstraction crosses boundaries of race, gender, geography and chronology to reveal complementary visual effects among the works of diverse artists. The exhibition highlights conceptual parallels and methodological adjustments between the groundbreaking developments of mid-20th-century and recent innovations in Color-Field picturing. This selection of works underscores historical patterns of artistic exchange, experimentation, appropriation, and critique, and attests that artists in Washington, DC and New York have shared a creative dynamic over several generations.

 

The exhibition embodies Conner Contemporary Art's longstanding commitment to investigations in Color-Field history. The Gallery has exhibited drawings by Morris Louis and Gene Davis and has contextualized the art of important, but lesser known, 1950-1960s Washington Color Painters, Howard Mehring and Thomas Downing, with the publication of supporting educational materials and catalogues. We have also encouraged new experimentation in abstract imaging, presenting seminal work in four solo exhibitions by Leo Villareal. We were privileged to support Multiverse, Villareal's recent installation at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, which is on view through December 2009.

 

This exhibition is undertaken in cooperation with The Collection of Morris Louis, represented exclusively by Diane Upright Fine Arts, LLC, The Collection of Vincent Melzac, Mrs Sheila Melzac, Kinz Tillou Fine Art and the Jeremy Blake Estate.

 

There will be an opening night reception, Thursday, September 17th from 6 to 8pm.


For further information or images, please contact the gallery @ 202-588-8750 / info@connercontemporary.com.