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Joe Novak / Jim Dine: a 30-Year Retrospective: Celebrating Color     Mar 25 - Apr 22, 2011


Opening reception on Friday, March 25, 2011 from 5:00-7:00 pm

Zane Bennett Contemporary Art is pleased to announce a retrospective exhibition by California artist, Joe Novak, plus prints by Jim Dine. The show opens on Friday, March 25, 2011 and continues through Friday, April 22, 2011. The opening reception is on Friday, March 25 at the gallery, 435 South Guadalupe Street, from 5:00-7:00 pm to coincide with the Railyard Arts District Last Friday Art Walk.

Joe Novak is an internationally recognized abstract artist whose career spans more than thirty years. His work has been shown throughout the United States, England, and Germany. He has degrees from New York University, Dartmouth College, Parsons School of Design, and a Juris Doctorate from Harvard University. Currently, Mr. Novak lives and works in Palm Springs, California but lived in Santa Fe for many years prior to his move.

He calls his method “abstract excursions” of color and light focused on monochrome and tonal gradations. The goal is to evoke a meditative quality. In Mr. Novak’s own words: “I have created programmed sequences of variable color and light movements and configurations, the effects of which extend the visual experience of painting to include the elements of time, movement and change.”

Some of the praise for Mr. Novak’s work includes:

“ … Novak’s interests are firmly rooted in abstraction and in an exploration of color and light. Using graduated hues that seem to float on the surface, Novak shapes moody, meditative environments. Many of his large acrylics on canvas evoke Rothko’s paintings, with their luminosity and softness…” Dottie Indyke, Art News, February 2005.

“ … One step beyond Rothko’s, Novak’s paintings gently force the eye to breathe color.” Peter Frank, Los Angeles Weekly, 2005.

“ … Novak explored the interplay of color and light with four understated bodies of work. Each group of acrylic paintings, etchings, serigraphs, or pigment studies featured a distinct approach to abstraction. There are subtle allusions to natural-light phenomena throughout all these works, particularly in the four large paintings that resemble nebulae. They have soft cloudlike patterns that seem to pulsate with light from within…” Michael Abatemarco, Art News, Summer 2010.

Jim Dine incorporates images of everyday objects in his art, but he diverges from the coldness and impersonal nature of pop art by making works that fuse personal passions and everyday experiences. His repeated use of familiar and personally significant objects, such as robes, hands, tools, and hearts, is a signature of his art. In his early work, Dine created mostly assemblages in which he attached actual objects to his painted canvases. From 1959 to 1960, Dine, and his colleague – Claes Oldenburg, were pioneers of Happenings, works of art that took the form of theatrical events or demonstrations.

In 1967, Dine and his family moved to London, England, where he devoted his energies to printmaking and drawing. Dine's attention turned to sculptural work in the early 1980s when he created sculptures based on the Venus de Milo.

His recent art uses imagery borrowed from ancient Greek, Egyptian, and African objects. In his paintings, drawings, sculptures, graphics, collages and assemblages, he combines different techniques with handwritten texts and words and then set real everyday objects against undefined backgrounds. The objects were both commonplace and personal, both poetic and ironic, reflecting his feelings about life. His constantly varied bathrobe, transparent to the gaze of the world, was a kind of metaphor for a self-portrait.

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