Volume 77 / Number 35 Jan. 30 - Feb. 05, 2008
West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933
Jackie Saccoccios Pistachio Grid, 2007, oil on canvas, 54 x 96 in., is a particularly successful example of her promise for the future of painting.
Off the Grid
New art grows on and near the Bowery
Eleven Rivington Gallery
11 Rivington St., btwn. Bowery & Chrystie St.
Wed.-Sat. 1-7 p.m.
Through Feb. 9
BY STEPHEN MUELLER
A new civilization of gallery life has sprung up in the immediate vicinity of the New Museum on the Bowery and along the blocks east of Ludlow Street. Reminiscent of the East Village scene of the 80s, the current gentrification, somewhat less funky, makes a viable alternative to the architectural statement of mega-galleries hugging the Hudson in Chelsea. There is a back to the roots feeling about the spaces and a cottage industry look of an earlier time about the art being shown.
A prime example is Jackie Saccoccios smallish-room, big-painting show at Eleven Rivington. Entitled Interrupted Grid, the exhibition is composed of seven sizable works, all oil on canvas. Saccoccio riffs on the adage that all contemporary painting springs from a grid of some sort. She gleefully explodes and otherwise warps the notion of the grid using jumps in scale and color ranging from hyped-up earth tones to just plain hyped-up color in a thick and thin tour de force of painterly technique.
Equipped with an extensive knowledge of the history of Western painting and its mechanics in the modernist movement, Saccoccio proceeds to disrupt the picture plane either by continually contradicting space or by defining it. Her work calls to mind painters from Italian mannerist masters to Joan Mitchell to contemporaries like Louise Fishman, but with a fresher palette with less depictive chroma.
Saccoccios color can be difficult. Compositionally she uses what Hans Hoffman refers to as push and pull, an approach that ties abstract painting to Renaissance spatial conceits. Its fun to watch Saccoccios work dance around the modernist canon, which denies spatial concerns to abstract painting.
For a long time the grid, which Saccoccio does indeed interrupt, served painters as a way around the formal modernist edict forbidding space. With her, its as if Renaissance light and space peek through a web of formal gesture and disintegrating flatness. Especially successful in this respect, and a great painting, is Pistachio Grid. Blue Balls and Im Feeling Feelings are also vital works in the show.
This exhibition bodes well both for Saccoccio and for the future of painting from the ground up in this exciting new neighborhood for art.
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