The exhibition Linear Function presents three artists whose work relies upon a sparing use of line, volume, or color. Each continually refines materials, whether paint and canvas, wood, plaster, or steel, in order to exact the highest performance out of these essential mediums.
Both Alex Mayer and Nick Primo create understated objects with reference to real-world function. Douglas Witmer’s rectilinear compositions on canvas suggest a transition from one space to another. Common among all three artists is the effort to bring mystery, rather than clarity, to the familiar object.
Mayer’s painted sculptures refer to everyday objects and utilize finely crafted contours and surfaces to create substantial renditions of actual objects. Works such as Untitled (Black Hat) serve as iconic representations of a familiar form, yet scaled up many times larger than life to alter our interaction with the object.
Nick Primo’s works incorporate traditional materials such as wood, glass, and steel, embodying the weighted meaning of these essential building materials. Some works offer a useful function such as a table, bowl, or place to rest, and others in contrast provide a totally visual experience.
Douglas Witmer demonstrates a sensibility of color as object, placing slashes of bold color over transparently washed gesso surfaces. The gently vibrating paintings invite the viewer to embark upon a journey of seeing, remembering, and changing perception.