Friday, January 7, 2011

Talk Sweet Nostalgia

Maybe the blog ought to be all blown out foetoes.

Your imagination can conjure all the details.

Truths illuminated. Life's subtle nuances laid bare.

"Clearing" 2010, oil on canvas, 24"x36"

Or there could be pictures of paintings that make me think of pictures.

"Snag" 2010, oil on canvas, 20"x16"

Like this gem of a painting.

"Obstacle" 2010, oil on panel, 24"x39"

Mark Leibert's show Interstices at Sandler Hudson Gallery seems like a reverie through some idyllic past. Story book quality in thin brushy layers, filmy as memory itself.

"Dragon Lade" 2010, oil on canvas, 18"x26"

And tinged with a yearning for what may have been lost - or more realistically - never was. The paintings feel like daydreams; escapist and wistful, though less than hopeful in their stubborn longing.

Maybe it was the jet flying through a green-tinged aged sky, or Leibert's ability to capture a nostalgia within the paintings that is more often found in photographs, but it brings Wolfgang Tillmans to mind.

Specifically his Concorde series. Tillmans would photograph the jets flying overhead from varying vantage points, presumably as he went about his daily routine.

Photography as a medium is enriched by time, becoming increasingly surreal and layered as it ages. Tillmans had a way of making the iconic jets look like relics of the past, packaged memories, even before they were permanently grounded.

Interstices: an intervening of space or an interval of time.

Despite the comparison I would say Leibert's paintings touch on nostalgia in a very different way than photography - it's a construct rather than involuntarily attached. The paintings exist outside of time to some extent, daring to be flamboyantly irresponsible in their attentions.

An adolescent boy who misses summer.

Yearning to fly somewhere exotic.

Eat fresh fruit again.

To go for a walk in a warmer place.

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