Saturday, March 28, 2015

Joyce Kozloff DC Moore Gallery

            I went to see a few shows in Chelsea today including the very beautiful Kaleidoscopic Joyce Kozloff show “Maps + Paintings” which is now on view at DC Moore Gallery. Of course one is struck (or should be) by the vast and intricate vistas of patterns, designs and color that Kozloff offers up in these large scale works of paint and collage, and as you get deeper into them they reveal much more, signs and political points along with autobiographical notes told through bits and pieces of personal stuff and things.
                Maps can tell us where we are, where we are going and where we’ve been at the same time they document our world, how it looks now and how it looked then. There are also the fantastical fictional maps of lands that only exist in the minds and imaginations of writers and artists. Who hasn’t made maps when young, of their neighborhoods or places they would like to go.
             They are also tactile: They come folded, rolled and sometimes they are laid into books, they’re given away for free and some can be quite rare and costly. I once had a part time job working for a rare map dealer and got to touch and look at maps so old that they gave me the creeps and took my breath away with their hand colored areas of land and water.
              I’ve always been intrigued and impressed by KozIoff’s take on maps and her imaginative and dazzling art that incorporates the real world and her private vision of that world. I remember the early days of Painting and Decoration (P&D) in which Kozloff was a strong presence and along with others did battle with the many who thought there was no room in the art world for simply beautiful works especially when done by women, God forbid.
             I’ve always had a fondness for simply beautiful art and at one point in my visit I viewed her complex mixed paintings like I would if I was making myself an imaginary movie. First I took in the whole works from afar which are dense and beautiful, I then moved in for some tracking shots moving slowly across each painting and then I put myself up close, very up close to take in the small areas or spots of the paintings letting the shear loveliness of her work wash over me and to wonder how the hell did she do that. 


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