Cheryl Pelavin Fine Art
Cheryl Pelavin Fine Arts is proud to announce Float, Trust, Enjoy an exhibition of paintings and monotypes by John Mendelsohn. Streams of rich, vivid color run through Mendelsohn's intense and vibratory abstract work. Optically active striations coalesce into rhythmically pulsing fields, evoking the flow of both water and music.
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The exhibition features a selection from a suite of monotypes, published by Cheryl Pelavin Fine Arts, and paintings from two recent series. In the Shuttle series, from 2001, short bands of saturated color create wavering, perpetually shifting columns. In the Current series, from 2002-2003, lines of color move with a fluid, propulsive energy. The works' shifting structures are composed of simple repeated elements that change as the images grow. In an essay about the paintings, Mendelsohn writes that their accumulated repetitions suggest, "the appearance of one thing after another, like waves or mistakes, thoughts or breaths."
Mendelsohn's paintings connect visually with water currents, ikat and other traditional textiles, the architecture of digital images and of minimalist music. The artist has noted that this work relates to computer scientist Stephen Wolfram's idea of how a basic, reiterated procedure, "can yield complex and unpredictable results."
The exhibition's title Float, Trust, Enjoy, comes from a poem by Rumi, the 13th century Sufi master of ecstatic poetry. This title captures the feeling of immersion and movement in these paintings. In the poem Rumi talks about how convincing this world of phenomena seems, and how little we consider, "what moves through form." He urges the reader to plunge into a clear vision, and to "Float, trust; enjoy the motion."* These concerns about seeing and believing relate to the paintings' visual effects, their optical shivers and blurs, and their unusual color relationships.
Mendelsohn has been showing his work in New York since 1971 when he was a participant in the Whitney Museum's Independent Study Program. He has exhibited at Artist's Space, the Hal Bromm Gallery, and the Michael Walls Gallery. His paintings were included in the exhibition that the New Museum of Contemporary Art organized for the Venice Biennale in 1984.
*Barks, Coleman, trans. The Soul of Rumi: A New Collection of Ecstatic Poems. (San Francisco: HarperSan Francisco, 2001), p. 208