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“The Apex is Nothing”

April 5, 2024 11:00 AM – 6:00 PM

Pratt Manhattan Gallery

Xylor Jane,

Please join us Thursday, April 4th from 6-8pm, for the opening reception of “The Apex is Nothing” at Pratt Manhattan Gallery!

The Apex Is Nothing
April 5 – June 4, 2024
Opening Reception: Thursday, April 4, 2024, 6-8pm
Curated by John O’Connor and Ken Weathersby
Mel Bochner
Becky Brown
Mike Cloud
Charles Gaines
Steffani Jemison
Xylor Jane
Alfred Jensen
Ellen Lesperance
Chris Martin
John O’Connor
Bruce Pearson
Leslie Roberts
Jorinde Voigt
Melvin Way
George Widener

Alfred Jensen created works of art whose conception was subject to extra-aesthetic imperatives, even to the point of forcing “un-aesthetic” decisions.

This show exhibits essentially abstract works by a range of artists whose visual power is likewise catalyzed by the incursion or absorption of factors beyond the picture plane. The center of energy in Jensen’s paintings and drawings sits on a boundary between abstract form and an array of idea structures. His intensely visual production isn’t representational in any conventional way, yet seems forcefully shaped by realities outside the strict visual concerns of painting or drawing (concerns like philosophy, numbering systems, mathematical and scientific ideas).

For other artists in this show such areas include statistical data, language and text, mapped social or political matrices, or a pointedly tactile reality that contests composed visual relations. This artwork can embody an abstraction that seems formed, or even excitingly deformed and pushed into unexpected shapes, by collision with the “extra-aesthetic”. In viewing such work, we feel the tension of our desire to pull what we see into an aesthetic framework, to recuperate what might seem like surprising choices and unusual structures back into a pictorial focus, to reconcile their obvious (if inscrutable) logic with the more familiar logic we expect to order the parts of a picture.

Ideas invested in art in this strange way can seem to present an invitation to solve a puzzle, to grasp superimposed patterns, or to finally resolve odd symmetries. Yet, this process of thoughtful looking more likely leads not to an answer, but to a space. Not to a something, but rather to a more valuable nothing.
–Ken Weathersby

Pratt Manhattan Gallery
144 West 14th Street
New York, NY 10011
212. 647. 7778

Gallery Hours:
Monday–Saturday, 11 AM–6 PM
www.pratt.edu/exhibitions
@prattexhibits #TheApexIsNothing
Image caption: Xylor Jane, “Untitled (25 Nesting Prime Palindromes),” 2022, Oil and ink on wood panel, 39 x 41 inches. Courtesy of the artist and CANADA, New York