While today’s world increasingly resembles The Disasters of War by Spanish painter Francisco Goya, New York-born, Miami-based artist Lynne Golob Gelfman’s quiet, minimalist paintings are like a poultice for the soul, soothing our eyes. “Lynne Gelfman combines the intellectual concern and rigor of minimalism with a unique interest in pattern and process,” says Tobias Ostrander, head curator of Perez Art Museum Miami and longtime Gelfman champion. Ostrander is also organizing an exhibition showcasing Gelfman’s remarkable minimalist abstractions for Art Basel Miami Beach next year.
“sometimes random,” currently on view at Marisa Newman Projects in New York until November 10, is located in a snug Korean K-Town space, nestled above gaudy karaoke bars and kimchi joints. There, among the man-made chaos of New York City, Gelfman’s keenly observed paintings offer an oasis reflecting traces of nature, working in her signature, unique “in verso”process. The new series of nine paintings create a continuum of her earlier grid based paintings, work she began in New York in the 1960s. The added element of the continuum of time, 1960s to now, add heft to Gelfman’s grid, now softened by the light, clouds and water elements of Miami.
The artist’s studio is like a lush tropical garden featuring rare tropical plants, including palms, cycads, flowering trees and vines. It almost feels like an annex of the nearby 83-acre Fairchild Tropical Garden. Gelfman, a self-described trickster spends most days submerged in paint and nature. Gelfman is currently also busy with a monograph in association with Natalia Zuluaga, the artistic director of ArtCenter/South Florida who co-runs [NAME] Publications, a nonprofit art book press in Miami.
For “sometimes random,” the series of nine canvases reference Gelfman’s New York series thru, and signal the comfort and confidence of an artist who has mastered her medium. The “in verso” technique she developed (using oil paint and dish soap) to create bleached-out color on the reverse side of the canvas offer the artist’s expression of the Miami landscape. It also suggests a vulnerability to the sometimes randomness of paint seeping through from the other side of the canvas to create abstractions that explore the play between structure and chance.
thru. 4.1 2016.acrylic on canvas. 48 x 48 inches
Visit Gelfman on the December Art Basel VIP studio tour,
Saturday, December 03, 2016. 9 am till 12 noon.
For more information contact: email@example.com
IT IS MORE FRUITFUL TO BEGIN A CONVERSATION ABOUT LYNNE GOLOB
Gelfman’s paintings by describing what they are not. Her abstract geometrical compositions are not stable. They are not self-contained or discrete. They are not narrative, they are not finished, and they are not perfect. They may not even be paintings (more on that to come). As for what they are: They are encounters with process, with pattern, with the human penchant for order, and with the human inability to establish and maintain order in any meaningful way.
The poetry of the Miami-based painter's work begins with its remarkable simplicity, both in terms of process and aesthetic. The artist creates abstracted paintings in series, which frequently explore textures and patterns found in the natural world, and sometimes the built environment. With series titles including "dune," "cloud/water/sand," and "topography," the paintings communicate elemental referents without representing them. In these series, the fluid nature of sand or water is embodied in paint that is applied with both the evenness of pattern and the open embrace of chance, the result of her technique of "reverse painting," in which she paints on the back side of the canvas and allows the pigment to soak through.
The inclinations present in these previous works are expanded upon in the "thru" series exhibited in Dyeing the Grid at William Siegal Gallery (through October 13). As implied in the title, this recent body of paintings, created from 2014 to 2015, drops any reference to the natural world altogether and shifts toward a meditation on process via minimalist geometries. It is a useful shift; the resulting works get at the meat of her already well- established practice. Gelfman paints in reverse: she applies paint to the backside of the canvas and allows the paint to soak through the substrate, resulting in unpredictable, sparse compositions. Or, we can play with semantics and rephrase this to say that she paints, allows the pigment to soak through and saturate the canvas, and then exhibits only the reverse side of the canvas. This second phrasing suggests that perhaps the painting is hidden from us, and we see it "through a glass, darkly." Returning to the things Gelfman’s paintings are not, I might include that we are not actually looking at the painting at all; we see its shadow, we see its interpretation via canvas or muslin.
We see an amorphous grid of color that loosely defines an abstract geometric pattern comprised of triangles and squares. That these patterns are seemingly infinite, extending beyond the confines of the picture plane, suggests a relationship with textile. The presence of Pre- Columbian textiles—the gallery also specializes in ancient Pre-Columbian art objects and textiles—throughout the exhibition augments the experience of Gelfman's work by providing us with an entry point into a discussion about pattern. Pattern is a central principle in art (not to mention the universe), and regardless of whether a pattern is representational (such as floral motifs), or abstract (such as the square geometries in a Nasca culture tie-dye tunic included in the exhibition), visual pattern has a relational capacity, much like language. Be it through identifiable motifs, symbolic shapes, or colors, for Pre-Columbian cultures (and many other cultures around the world), pattern allowed for meaningful expressions of spirituality, genealogy, relationship with land, and more.
This smart curatorial pairing informs our viewing of Gelfman's pattern-language, and is a clear instance of art history's power to elevate our experience of contemporary art. The artist's geometries, stripped of content beyond a palette of acidic pastels, charcoals, and muted jewel-tones, appear to us like a cipher. The reverse painting process acts like a veil, obscuring the truth hidden somewhere beyond the imperfect grid available to us. These works set up a Plato's Cave dynamic, in which we see the shadows on the cave wall, not the figures. Running with Plato's theory of Forms, I could say that we see the ideal Form of the artist's vision in its earthly shape. The question then is what do we suppose is beyond the liminal space of the canvas? A perfect geometry that we can only grasp in a state of imperfection? Or a divine cloud of whirling color, which we can only participate in through the limited means of the triangle and square?
Lynne Golob Gelfman, thru 5, acrylic on canvas, 54" x 108", 2014
William SiegaL Gallery
540 South Guadalupe Street, Santa Fe
How does the human brain store memories of texture and pattern? Imagine holding your favorite coffee mug, or folding an old family quilt. If you felt smooth porcelain at your fingertips and saw a flash of a patchwork pattern, you’ve discovered the ephemeral material Lynne Golob Gelfman captures on canvas in “Dyeing the Grid.” Gelfman’s acrylic abstractions are inspired by the artist’s collection of baskets and textile fragments from Africa and Latin America. Watery grids of geometric forms seem to ripple just above the surface, bringing forth synesthetic impressions of the warp and weft of these objects.
Treasures from the gallery’s extensive collection of Pre-Columbian textiles complete the experience. One moment, you’re lost in the undulating web of a Peruvian gauze headcloth, circa 900-1532 AD. A few steps over, Gelfman’s work masterfully mimics these tensile distortions using the simplest of forms on a vast white canvas. After you've taken a long look, ask a sales associate to pull a canvas off the wall. On the back you’ll find a dense expanse of pigment that exposes Gelfman’s spectacular secret: these are reverse paintings. The shimmering shapes on the front are ghosts of brushstrokes Gelfman applied on verso, sending pigments bleeding through the material. The uniform weave of a manufactured canvas reveals itself to be a modern corollary to the hand-woven textiles of centuries past. Gelfman surrenders herself to the unpredictability of a swiftly spreading drop of dye.
Visual Art Source (VAS) is the comprehensive online resource of critical discourse and information exclusively devoted to the contemporary and fine art world of the Western and Midwestern United States.
Dyeing the Grid
Featuring Lynne Golob GelfmanAug 28 - Oct 13, 2015
William Siegal Gallery is pleased to present Dyeing the Grid,
an exhibition of work by Lynne Golob Gelfman alongside a selection ofPre-Columbian Andean Textiles.
The show will open August 28, 2015 with a reception from 5 - 7pm,
at 540 S. Guadalupe Street in the Railyard Arts District.
Lynne Gelfman, Thru 5 acrylic on canvas 54 x 108 inches
Lynne Gelfman, (detail) acrylic on canvas
"...Gelfman is seated firmly within her generation of North American abstractionists yet brings to her work a very particular set of referents, many extending from her deep engagement with South America. Sources for Gelfman, whether these involve visual effects, questions of technique and surface, procedural encouragement, or straightforward motifs, can be found in Chinese scholar rocks and in fragments of African and Latin American basketry or textile fragments the artist has collected over the past four decades; in the delicate yet forceful meditative repetitions of the painter Agnes Martin, with their reference in the experience of vision's extent in the crisp expanses of New Mexican air, or in the free-flowing stain-paintings of Morris Louis's furling series; in the hallucinatory optics of British painter Bridget Riley, which themselves also have an interesting relation to textile patterns and repeats; in the architectonics of the Venezuelan Gego's deceptively delicate wire structures or Brazilian Lygia Clark's phenomenologically complex neo-concretist paintings and constructions, works that engage the eye as an organ of touch."-Judith F. Rodenbeck from Trued Surface
Lynne Gelfman, Thru 2.y acrylic on canvas 48 x 48 inches
Gelfman's work has a strong visual relationship to ancient Sihuas, Huari and Nasca design motifs. Further, her unique use of dyeing on the back of her canvases to create subtle bleed affects on the front, generates similar affects seen in resist and tie-dyeing techniques common in ancient Andean textiles.
Border Panel (Detail), Sihuas Culture - 100 BC - 300 AD 84 x 12 inches
Tie-Dye Tunic (Detail), Nasca Culture - 200 - 600 AD 72 x 44 inches
WILLIAM SIEGAL GALLERY | 540 South Guadalupe street | Santa Fe | NM | 87501
Working with Brooklyn-based Wallpaper Projects, abstract painter Lynne Golob Gelfman has created a collection of wallpapers—available in cotton and silk—derived from her stunning, textured paintings. The endeavor was conceived last year with Wallpaper Project founders Amanda Dandeneau and David Jimenez, and the result is 13 different multidimensional designs that transform the surrounding space. "In 2014, I met Amanda and David at their Design Miami booth," Gelfman tells CH. "We decided to collaborate on a series of papers using fragments derived from my paintings." Gelfman was particularly excited to be working with Wallpaper Projects' easy-to-peel reusable fabric "that gives a very special surface."
For complete article see: Cool Hunting
click title for pdf, please scroll down to text in yellow for lynne's review.
Wealth and taste in Miami
By ALANA SHILLING-JANOFF
"...Yet, not all is arrant superficiality and heavy-handed overdetermined expressions of identity in Miami. Perhaps the most exciting work is found in a series of paintings that could be loosely classified as works of geometric abstraction. In truth, they are elegant partite on the aesthetics of aporia. The artist, Lynne Golob Gelfman, recently exhibited these in Trued Surface at Dimensions Variable. In its design, Trued Surface is the chronicle of an idea and how it worked its way across the artist’s mind, across decades. Nearly half of the exhibition is dedicated to larger-scale paintings (generally 168 x 244 cm) that have been executed very recently, between 2013 through 2014. However, the other half of the exhibition features pieces composed on paper and on a much smaller scale (21 x 35 cm) in 1980. At the mid-point of the exhibition, balancing the two periods like a fulcrum is the work that came before all the rest, though it is placed after them, the “thru gold 2” (1978), which is roughly 152 cm both in length and height and is the exhibition’s dominant motif—a recurring triangle with angles softened like the sail of a boat. It is chromatically commanding—seemingly refulgent with its intricate patterns of triangles, row upon row turning first right then left then right again, ripening from gold to russet, fading into the chill of slate blue or sea green. Still, “thru gold 2” merely supplies a vocabulary, a way of expressing with bare form the kinds of things that elude capture by either the sedulous enumeration of florid description or the mimetic command Flemish-style detail might muster.
Indeed, the triangle becomes a means of expressing something beyond a simple bi-fold possibility. More than a question of something emerging or being effaced, arriving or departing, the later works represent visually what insinuation—like the compelling, inscrutable laughter of strangers—feels like on the most visceral level. Gelfman flirts with indeterminacy even in the arrangement of shape, persistently reminding us that a triangle is merely a square, halved diagonally—a point continually driven home by the pairing of chromatic triangles with a twin, a blank counterpart. More than this, however, Gelfman’s four latest paintings, “thru 1” through “thru 4” (2013-2014) are studies in the mystery of how a repeated shape, a predictability, can manage to not create but invoke the possibility of an encounter with what we will never, ultimately, know, the suggestion of places we can never see."
A conversation about trued surface with Patricia Fuller, former curator of public art, MIT, and Lynne Golob Gelfman.. Thursday, January 23, 2014 Books and Books, Coral Gables, 6:30pm.
trued surface lynne golob gelfman
trued surface presents nine series of paintings from the work of Lynne Golob Gelfman that explore her engagement with the possibilities of mark making. As art historian Judith F. Rodenbeck writes in the accompanying essay, Gelfman’s “embrace of chance in the production of her work recalls the willingness of the fresco artist to allow nature to act,” adding that Gelfman’s “matter of factness of process” results in “paintings that are insistently made, built—yet, with a witty, scintillating brilliance....”
In a conversation with writer Lisa Wohl, Gelfman discusses some of the roots of her abstract images, including her fascination with everyday objects from different cultures, her deep connection to the natural environment, and her longing for a sense of place. Leslie Miller of The Grenfell Press has designed this book to give a vivid experience of Gelfman’s paintings as, to quote Gelfman, “fields of movement.”
114 pages, 107 color illustrations
soft cover with dust jacket, smyth sewn binding
Available on Amazon, Pérez Art Museum Miami, Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami, Books and Books, Coral Gables, Luminaire, Miami.
Go to Amazon in new window
1978. 66" x 96"(pg 11 trued surface) is included in the Pérez Art Museum Miami's inaugural exhibition, AMERICANA.
Opening December 4, 2013.
lynne golob gelfman: sand
June 7- July 31, 2012
Opening Reception for the artist: Thursday, June 7th, 2012, 6 – 9pm
“To see the world in a grain of sand….”
The works in the exhibition lynne golob gelfman: sand at Alejandra von Hartz Gallery, June 7-July 31, refer to landscape but do not represent it. Rather they evoke a sense of place.
Sand in its many permutations has engaged Gelfman for years in her process of making abstract paintings. This show sand begins with the water/clouds/sand series and the experience of walking through sand. Each painting suggests a step on a path across sand and the markings that the imaginary passage leaves behind.
The works from the dune series explore the movement of light shifting on sand. As the viewer traverses the image, the surface changes constantly modulated by the angle of light. To quote the art historian Judith F. Rodenbeck, these new works are noted for “a silky liveness of muted and elegant shimmer, indefinably layered and pearlescent, coruscating.”
The disc series, in the second room, examines the physicality of sand in its varied textures and abrasive power. Used to create the painting “between 1” included in the oil and sand series, the discs reveal Gelfman’s process of layering and offer a through-view to the element of space itself. The use of the sanding machine resembles the effect of wind and water on sand. Here Gelfman yields the control embodied in the hand and embraces chance.
Gelfman graduated from Sarah Lawrence College in 1966 and the School of the Arts, Columbia University, MFA in 1968. Recent selected solo exhibitions include scapes at the Patricia and Philip Frost Art Museum, FIU (2012); sand at Alejandra Von Hartz Gallery (2012); between at Carol Jazzar Gallery (2010); water/clouds/sand at Luminaire X (2009) and react at Fredric Snitzer Gallery (2006). Her work is included in many prominent private and corporate collections as well in the permanent collections of museums such as the Miami Art Museum; Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami; National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institution; The Baltimore Museum of Art and the Detroit Institute of Arts. Current projects include a book with an essay by Judith Rodenbeck.
For more information, please contact the gallery at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 305.438.0220.
Visit our website at www.alejandravonhartz.net
lynne golob gelfman: scapes
Florida International University, Miami
Gelfman makes abstract paintings that are rooted in the visible world.
She identifies and isolates
textures, forms or patterns, either natural or manmade, then repeats
them to create compositions that seem as if they could flow forever in
all directions. In recent years, inspired by morning walks along the
The works in the exhibition scapes refer to landscape but do not represent it. Instead, they suggest a sense of place.
In the most recent series, the dune paintings, the surface image changes with the slightest shift either in the viewer’s position or in the angle of light. These paintings, which are never the same nor fixed in time, offer an experience of perception- what happens when the viewer traverses the image.
In scapes, Gelfman’s images lead beyond the referential and into an awareness of the elemental.
dune series was inspired by
hiking through the undulating dunes of
image: dune 25, 2011. metallic and acrylic paint. 48 x 48 inches. one painting seen from four angles of light
Ocean Drive Magazine "Choreography of Light"
Knight Foundation Arts Blog "The Scapes of Time Told in Fluid Paint"