Haiku Reviews: ART December 2014 (Still on View)

December 31, 2014 5:02 PM

6 0

Martin Facey was long known as a colorist, straddling figuration and abstraction in the realization of large, intricately mapped paintings; the influence of Richard Diebenkorn - for whom Facey was long a studio assistant - was apparent, but Facey's far more baroque sensibility pushed him to yet denser composition and yet more vivid coloration. Years later, he has re-emerged with a series of large and small works that build on the opposite end of Diebenkorn's legacy. Indeed, color is suppressed in these new pieces in favor of dry, earthy tones that fairly crackle with Autumn and the desert, and it is in their brittle networks of lines and branches that they at all recall the older artist's own structural elaborations. The semblance to branches is no coincidence; tree limbs and other plants, some seemingly pressed into the dense surfaces of the paintings as if between the pages of a book, provide Facey with the centralized, almost iconic, imagery around which he builds the rest of each painting. The floral apparitions and the yet more weathered material that surrounds them, including fabric and paper, combine into powerfully sensuous carpets, pages or banners onto which have been inscribed what seem like ruminations on natural cycles. What remains from Facey's earlier work is his unusual ability to activate his surfaces with quasi-appliqué patterns which have nothing to do with the basic composition but serve to enrich its contents and their tonalities. Despite their weathered appearance and their reliance on mineral and vegetable tonalities, these gritty figures-and-grounds grip the eye and do not let it go. No longer jewels, Facey's paintings are now forests. (Paul Mahder, 222 Healdsburg Ave., Healdsburg CA; thru December. www.paulmahdergallery.com)

Martin Facey was long known as a colorist, straddling figuration and abstraction in the realization of large, intricately mapped paintings; the influence of Richard Diebenkorn - for whom Facey was long a studio assistant - was apparent, but Facey's far more baroque sensibility pushed him to yet dens...

Read more

To category page

Loading...