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"KINETIC"

October 23 - November 27, 2004 at Bank, Downtown

by John O'Brien




Markus Linnenbrink, "Untitled,"
2000, dry pigment/water/acrylic
on paper, 9 3/4 x 9 3/4".



Markus Linnenbrink, "Untitled,"
2000, dry pigment/water/acrylic
on paper, 9 3/4 x 9 3/4".
Kinetic is the second exhibition here to feature digital media artists exploring genres rooted in modern and contemporary painting. In Kinetic, abstract, indeed often hard edge painting is revisited and brought into a pixel-influenced light. Paintings by Markus Linnenbrink, Karen McClanahan and Maggie Michael are shown concurrently with an interactive video installation by Camille Utterback.

Linnenbrink shows a series of small paintings evolved from a recent project at the UCLA Hammer Museum in which he filled the entire lobby space--walls and floors--with brilliant horizontal stripes. Using a technique not unlike that elaborated by abstract formalist painters Morris Louis and Kenneth Noland, Linnenbrink draws out a series of saturated horizontal stripes and then lets the color drip and bleed between the stripes, resulting in dynamic interchanges of color and color density. Something akin to the water based bleeds of early ink jet prints is the result, albeit to a more controlled and sophisticated effect.

The geometric paintings of Karen McClanahan, the emerging artist of this show, reflect a strong modern and reductivist bent. McClanahan works with very graphic, hard-edged, flat ab-stract forms, and plays with scale by working often in an exaggerated horizontal shape (2’ x 6’) or using only 2 or 3 colors per work. Echoing her art historical predecessors, these spare compositions recall architectonic forms and aspire to the status of color environments.

The paintings of Maggie Michael delve into the modernist obsession with finding a relationship between pure chance (or material operations) and gesture, or, put another way, manuevering the precise moment at which the artist is able to stop and qualify chance with authorship. She pours large pools of latex paint that create thick, low relief blobs of color and texture, then she cuts into this field with ink, enamel, oil, teasing and drawing them out into referencing themes that range from nature and biology to comics and biomorphism.


Karen McClanahan, "Modal 0604-001,"
2004, acrylic on paper, 6 x 6".





Karen McClanahan, "Modal 0504-004,"
2004, acrlic on paper, 6 x 6".



Camille Utterback, "External Measures,"
2003, interactive video installation.



Camille Utterback, "External Measures,"
2003, interactive video installation.
Camille Utterback’s External Measures is an installation that certainly challenges conventional image making processes, introducing time and interactivity to create something akin to an abstract painting. The viewer’s first encounter with the work is to see a projection that is filled with meandering gray lines. As the viewers’ movement and position are detected by an overhead camera, this is relayed to the mechanism that begins to draw the lines in color and transform the projection into a dynamic freeform “light painting.” With each new movement of multiple viewers, a new set of lines are drawn, in which overlapping compositions and colors are created. The results are similar to an automatic colored signature that is never static and, as long as there is movement, in constant evolution. External Measures creates a hypnotic tension between presence and absence, mark making and mark erasing, human gesture and the transcription of that gesture in illuminated, projected line.