“Unlimited Potential” Exhibition

Lyons Wier Gallery

poster for “Unlimited Potential” Exhibition
[Image: Alex Couwenberg "The Pressure of This Little Thrill" (2015) Acrylic on canvas, 48 x 46 in.]

This event has ended.

Last year gallery artist James Austin Murray and I engaged in a heated yet compassionate conversation about an onslaught of recent articles by art critics Walter Robinson and Jerry Saltz on the genre they coined ‘Zombie Formalism’ and the manner in which certain abstract paintings were being made. Murray, a process-based abstractionist, has been investigating and making Formal Abstraction for the last decade and had plenty to say about this critical bandwagon that was gaining traction.

I offered Murray, who was armed with a litany of ideas and artists whose work buttressed his position, the opportunity to curate and realize his passionate discourse. Over the last year, I watched Murray transition from an artist with a ‘rant’ to an artist with a ‘vision’. The exhibition he has presented, “Unlimited Potential,” is the fruit of his labors. - Michael Lyons Wier

“”Unlimited Potential’ is what each piece in this show is about. The process-based artwork chosen for this show highlights the artist’s search for the transcendental, the sublime, the moment when intention, happenstance and completion collide, that key moment when the communion between the painter and brush stoke is realized.

As an abstract painter, I can attest to this critical moment when an artwork hits that ‘sweet spot’ - when the struggle subsides and the work tells you you’re finished. The wonderful thing about “Unlimited Potential” is how the formal aspects of each painting evidence the ‘head space’ of being an artist and illustrate the constant barrage of questions an artist faces and, how with each answer, the dialog slowly develops until he/she finds that ‘sweet spot’.

‘Unlimited Potential’ is an exhibition that started out as a response to the critics but manifested into an exhibition about the ever-evolving endeavors of the artist and his or her practice. The exhibition is not about Zombie Formalism and the ‘critical’ discourse that was swirling around it, but about process-oriented artists and their relationship with their artwork. It is a show that embraces the artist’s process and the confidence it takes to unlock the unlimited potential inherent in each artwork. The show is ALL about Formal Abstraction, about great mark-making, and I think evidences some of the best abstraction being made today.” - James Austin Murray


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