MINUS SPACE is pleased to present an exhibition of new work by New York artist Linda Francis. Francis will show a single painting conceived in three parts for the project space.
In a text accompanying the exhibition, artist and writer Michael Zahn remarks about her work, “…Although they are compassionate, they offer no solace. They are wise, but provide no instruction. They are radiant, and pass before us like the days. If I’m able to decipher the depth of their intention, then what they explicate in allographic form is perception of the numinous enfolded Other, the mysterium tremendum et fascinans of Infinity, the immense plenum beyond our threshold where information is stored as a dynamic force, and from which collective experience of the world is ceaselessly drawn…”
Linda Francis has exhibited her work nationally and internationally. She has mounted solo exhibitions at Nicholas Davies Gallery, Condeso Lawler Gallery, Damon Brandt Gallery, P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, Hal Bromm Gallery (all NYC), Ben Shahn Gallery / William Paterson University (NJ), Galerie Ghislain Mollet-Vieville et J.P. Najar (Paris), Gallery Per Sten (Copenhagen), New Arts Program (PA), and The Sarah Moody Gallery of Art / University of Alabama. Recent group exhibitions include the American Academy of Arts and Letters, Leubsdorf Art Gallery / Hunter College, Gallery Janet Kournatowski (all NYC), Sydney Non Objective (Australia), and Rogaland Kunstmuseum (Norway).
Linda Francis is the recipient of awards from the Terra Foundation, American Academy of Arts and Letters, John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, and the New York State Council on the Arts (CAPS Grant). Her paintings and drawings are included in the collections of the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Nordjyullands Kunstmuseum, MIT List Visual Arts Center, Rogalund Kunstmuseum, Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Sarah Moody Gallery of Art / University of Alabama, Schlumberger Collection, Equitable Collection, and Philip Morris Collection. Her work has been discussed by critics including Tiffany Bell, David Shapiro, Yve-Alain Bois, Ken Johnson, Michael Brennan, and Ben La Rocco, in publications such as Flash Art, Arts, Artforum, Art Press, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Artnet Magazine, Art in America, Artcritical.com, and New York Times.
There’s Something Else I Wanted to Say: About Some New Work by Linda Francis, by Michael Zahn
“There’s something else I wanted to say. No one ever demonstrated so clearly the extent to which painting takes place among the colors, and how one has to leave them completely alone, so they can come to terms among themselves. This is the whole of painting.”
That’s what Rainer Maria Rilke, with an exacting sense of verity, wrote on a wet Paris afternoon as he described the work of Paul Cezanne. I close the book of the poet’s letters, and look out from under the dormers. Thick clouds darken the sky. It’s snowing today. Enormous flakes the size of silver dollars fall straight down on the Brooklyn rooftops. The radio is on. The Dow is off. At least for the moment, it’s tough imagining a picture with more apocalyptic juice.
It rains. It snows. Plus ca change?
I check my mail. Linda Francis asks me for a few remarks on her recent paintings. Appearances aside, I’m not sure if these are truly paintings at all, or if that distinction in itself is even relevant any longer. Perhaps it’s more accurate if I say that’s not how they need be judged. Therein lies the rub, and I like that, as it leaves the nomothetic fallacy of modernist abstraction behind for unfamiliar new digs. Using simple tools– a pencil, for the most part– her activity excavates a vast scalar field where she discovers, quite to her astonishment, clustered points that form merely to reform. When approached they vanish in the distance, only to appear and then disappear anew. Despite these paradoxical qualities the works, in their enmity toward a certain kind of expression buttressed by the plainness of their making, quietly reveal the entangled pith of structure, and evince how apprehension of it implicates us within the order of its rendering. These immediate objects have both everything and nothing to do with anything at all but the continuous unfolding arc of their constituent facticity. That’s to say the works barter with mind as much as matter, and negotiate agency as a proviso of medium. They leave the rest alone, and with this lucid gesture at once become profound. Although they are compassionate, they offer no solace. They are wise, but provide no instruction. They are radiant, and pass before us like the days. If I’m able to decipher the depth of their intention, then what they explicate in allographic form is perception of the numinous enfolded Other, the mysterium tremendum et fascinans of Infinity, the immense plenum beyond our threshold where information is stored as a dynamic force, and from which collective experience of the the world is ceaselessly drawn.
Still, there are no images here. What there is actually, at the visible limit of two dimensions, is the recursive inscription of a living symbology made manifest as embodied thought. It matters little whether the motif is a mountain or a molehill. Sensed in this thinking is the movement of mind without memory, a pellucid consciousness that distills myriad perturbations of incalculable colorless stimuli, confounded by the perpetual conundrum of its own representation.
Michael Zahn is a Brooklyn-based painter.