Marjorie Hellman, Ken Steinkamp and Adam Waimon exhibit in solo situations at ArtProv Gallery through January 19. For collectors and other visitors, this means one artist per room. The arrangement allows for a luxurious feeling of immersion in which to contemplate each artist’s strengths. The solo hanging approach is a subtle evolution for the gallery and expresses confidence in the conceptual integrity of the works of these artists who ArtProv Director Michele Aucoin has represented for three years or more.
The gallery has a trio of exhibition rooms. Combined, they offer visitors an opportunity to consider how specific artworks might look in their urban loft, traditional home or office setting. ArtProv’s walls, in some cases, have color — something that is often used as a museum display aid. As a gallery, ArtProv is sophisticated with a high level of presentation expertise and refinement. The idea is to invite audiences into a comfortable gallery where they can bond with a particular artist’s vision or to simply buy something, which in turn supports an artist’s career.
After an initial walk-through to see the current shows, Aucoin suggested meeting with the artists at the gallery because she knew their studios are located far from each other. The suggestion was a good one. It allowed us to discuss materials and process and let us consider connection points and overall visual flow between the shows. The artists’ distinct styles of abstraction have connectivity, and it is thought-provoking to move room to room. From a business standpoint, Aucoin’s clarity of thought and graciousness as a gallerist invites various levels of engagement and reflects her genuine love of art and sense of responsibility toward the artists she represents.
Radiant is the best descriptor for Marjorie Hellman’s latest work, “Night into Day.” Her paintings on view at the gallery range from small gouache-on-paper renderings to paintings in acrylic on birch and even larger ones of acrylic on aluminum. The vibrational color intensity in this body of work is reminiscent of Kandinsky’s Blue Rider sensibility; some smaller works evoke a Paul Klee sense of visual intimacy. Aucoin’s approach installing Hellman’s work frames and intensifies these qualities.
Hellman’s beautifully sophisticated sense of color translates into well-balanced compositions. Stylistically they have a verticality of space reminiscent of Feininger, but the compositions and color harmonies are definitely her own. Hellman learned computer 3D modeling to understand how to better manipulate form and as a result her paintings are enriched with a fluid sense of geometry. These paintings are not flat patterns; they have wonderful depth of space also.