July 26-August 16, 2013
Dimensionality | Blair Vaughn-Gruler and Oliver Polzin
Reception Friday, July 26 5:00-7:00 PM
GVG Contemporary opens ‘Dimensionality,’ an exhibition of new paintings by Oliver Polzin and Blair Vaughn-Gruler, July 26-August 16 at 202 Canyon Road in Santa Fe. A reception will be held Friday, July 26th, from 5-7pm. The first-ever focus exhibition pairing the work of Polzin and Vaughn-Gruler, ‘Dimensionality’ highlights not only confluence, but also divergence of the Santa Fe-based mother and son’s artistic concepts.
Polzin explains, “These paintings are meant as a form of sympathetic magic; a set and arrangement of qualities and symbols that constellate an archetype. My use of oil paint is caught between the representative, the symbolic, and the visceral body of the medium itself. That is, always with a healthy understanding of paint as paint, and ground as ground. With that in mind, I want to explore the ways in which one can collage memories and understanding of space and time into one plane.”
Blair Vaughn-Gruler approaches the ideas of space and geometry from a contrasting perspective. Her large-scale, monochromatic, structural paintings contemplate the relationship of the physical body to the painted object, rather than the relationship of the mind to the imagined environment. Conversely to Polzin’s works, Vaughn-Gruler’s images subvert rather than build upon geometry, exploring the materiality of paint and the structure of paint as it exists when applied to a surface: “My visual vocabulary includes references to structure, repetition, deconstructed geometry, and the physical qualities of the paint itself. When I do use pictorial imagery, it’s referencing these concerns,” she says.
In a review in Modern Dallas, Todd Camplin describes it this way: “Blair Vaughn-Gruler’s paintings are very loose with reference to hard-drawn geometry, but she paints these objects in a kind of state of decay or softening. Her backgrounds are like primordial ooze giving nutrient to her organic/geometric shapes.”
This mother and son duo have a shared history of exploring various art forms, from drawing to sculpture to music. The family bent for creativity doesn’t stop in the studio, though; these two can often be found in the kitchen engaging a similar dialogue and inventiveness. “We have always cooked together, having a good time inventing recipes and mixing up different ingredients,” says Polzin. Vaughn-Gruler concurs, “Cooking is a lot like painting. And in both cases, the pleasure of the process is embedded in the end result.”
From a shared history of collaborating in the kitchen while philosophizing about art and life, the artists’ individual bodies of work seem to be carrying on a conversation and ‘talking’ to each other. These two painters approach the ideas of dimensional meaning—space, geometry, and self-reflection—from distinctive yet harmonious perspectives.