DISTILLED
The Small Painting Show
Opening June 4th – July 29th 2014

Marc Vaux, SQ 0/3, 1992, 10.5 x 10.5 ins

Robert Motherwell, Sam Francis, Helen Frankenthaler, Larry Bell, Marc Vaux, William Tillyer, Christian de Boschnek, Vicky Colombet, Nicola Ginzel, Eric Holzman, Kazimira Rachfal, John Scofield.

While the art world is accommodating the publics’ thirst for spectacle and the size of artwork is ever increasing, this show attempts to investigate the appeal of the distilled, the modest and the small. Whether we consider subversive the challenge that a small work offers to the large canvas, or whether we consider relevant the intimate experience afforded to the viewer, is the appeal of the small painting still alive or did it go the way of “cabinet pictures” and religious icons. A small work can be powerful, it can deliver a punch well in excess of its’ size. The smaller surface area demands the distillation process, while proportion and scale, which are not subject to size, can still be used to full effect.

The exhibition includes the work of Robert Motherwell, Sam Francis, Larry Bell and Helen Frankenthaler, along with a small group of contemporary New York artists and the prominent contemporary British artists, Marc Vaux and William Tillyer.

With all of these works, the process of distillation is clear. With many of them, including the works of Sam Francis, Marc Vaux and William Tillyer, there is the shared quality of the use of light and color to transcend the edges of the frame, to make a big statement in a modest format.

Scale plays an important role in many of the included works. In Robert Motherwell’s, Two Figures No. 12, from 1958, the dark shapes encroach to fill the entire 7 x 9 ½ inch space. What results is the impression of a much larger painting as the shapes loom out of the frame.

The quality of “miniature” is best seen in the collage works by Larry Bell, which he called “Fractions,” and in the smallest work in the show, a painting by Nicola Ginzel. These works have in common a jewel like quality that cannot be imagined on a larger scale. The smallness in itself produces potency.

 

Notes to Editors
Bernard Jacobson Gallery was founded in 1969, publishing and distributing prints by artists including Robyn Denny, Lucian Freud, David Hockney, Howard Hodgkin, Leon Kossoff, Henry Moore, Richard Smith, Ed Ruscha and William Tillyer. By the mid 1970s, having established himself as one of the major dealers in the international print boom, Jacobson began to show paintings and sculpture. The early 1980s saw the gallery open branches in Los Angeles and New York, expanding the range of international artists to include West Coast American artists such as Joe Goode and Larry Bell as well as modern British masters such as David Bomberg, Ivon Hitchens, Peter Lanyon, Ben Nicholson, William Scott, Stanley Spencer and Graham Sutherland. From 1997, the gallery moved more firmly into American and international art, with shows of artists such as Kenneth Noland, Jules Olitski, Larry Poons and Frank Stella. Recently, the gallery has held shows by the American artists Robert Motherwell and Helen Frankenthaler, Robert Rauschenberg, Roy Lichtenstein and Tom Wesselmann, while European painters include Bram Bogart and Pierre Soulages and British artists William Tillyer, Bruce McLean and Marc Vaux.


In 2011 the gallery opened a new space in New York on East 71st Street with an inaugural exhibition entitled 60 Years of British Art followed by 21 Americans, the latter showing work by major American artists including Robert Motherwell, Helen Frankenthaler, Roy Lichtenstein and Robert Rauschenberg. Bernard Jacobson Gallery also has a strong presence at major international art fairs participating at The Armory Show, New York; Expo Chicago; Frieze Masters, London; and the prestigious Art Basel fairs in Hong Kong, Basel and Miami Beach.

 


For more information about this exhibition please contact: 212 879 1100
Diana Erdos, diana@jacobsongallery.com