January 07, 2012

Subliminal Sunlight exhibition at Number 35 Gallery

curated by Howard Hurst

Hisham Akira Bharoocha, Morgan Blair, Maya Hayuk, Mark Warren Jacques, Chris Mendoza

January 7 - February 12, 2012
Opening reception, Jan. 7th, 6 - 8 pm

Numberthirtyfive is pleased to present Subliminal Sunlight curated by Howard Hurst as its first exhibition for 2012.

Discussing abstract art is like trying to stare at the sun. Despite our best efforts, we are somehow grasping at straws. Most of us can agree that sunlight makes us happy while some of us are covered in SPF 45. No one can avoid the occasional blinding glance toward the unknowable. Addressing the beast head on is to lose track of it. This is about vitality, and something indefinable, yet we are a society of incurable answer seekers. Ours is a culture obsessed with defining, categorizing, and shelving knowledge. We build Hubble Telescopes and Solar Dynamics Observatories.

Years ago, I fell in love with a painting by Rothko at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. I was awestruck then for the same reason I still visit the third floor of the modern wing. I caught in a glimpse something that comes before language. From the Bauhaus to late-night debate at the Cedar Bar, the mystical and sublime are hardly new to abstraction.. Unfortunately, much of this work is caught in the struggle between "high" and "low" culture. This isn't to make it any less awesome. Like it or not, my favorite painters from the 1940s are all surrounded by velvet ropes.

What gives abstraction its cultural staying power? Instability. Cultures shift and adapt, new generations spell out similar words with new alphabets. In this spirit, Subliminal Sunlight presents a series of works by Chris Mendoza, Maya Hayuk, Hisham Bharoocha, Morgan Blair and Mark Warren Jacques. Though the five come from a variety of backgrounds, they share subculture and sensitivity. Whether music, skateboarding, graffiti, African geometric prints or mid-Century abstract painting, their variety of influences emphasize an outspoken, down-to-earth creativity. Subliminal Sunlight is about our need to understand beauty that exists beyond form and the happiness we find in the colorful moments in
paintings and in life.

Number 35 Gallery
141 Attorney Street,
New York, NY 10002
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