20 x 16 New York
Morgan Lehman Gallery
Mar. 26, 2023 - May. 2, 2015
Morgan Lehman Gallery is proud to present “Twenty by Sixteen New York,” a group show featuring the work of 37 artists, each of whom honors the single formal constraint that all work in the show be of the dimensions twenty inches tall by sixteen inches wide. Beyond that, the sky, the sea, the land and the imagination are the limit. Medium, surface, image, story, geometry, vision, abstraction, architecture, wit, nature, and the unnatural are all up for grabs in what should prove to be a revelation.
Size is relative. For some, 20 x 16” is tiny; for others it is heroic. For bibliophiles, it resembles a large page. The viewer will find in this exhibition an inquisitive range of notions (observations, traditions, adventures) as to what painting and photography are about, with no two artists looking anything like each other. The hanging of the show is rigorous–evenly spaced and egalitarian in spirit-which allows each artist’s work to promulgate its own essential style, pitched in the timelessness of aesthetic inquiry. Since each artist is represented by two works, the viewer is treated as well to variations within each signature look.
There are acres of stylistic distance, for example, between the hothouse growth in Amy Lincoln and the nailed down “pattern” in Nate Ethier, just as there are different historically specific antecedents to the alchemical transformations in Steve DiBenedetto and Rubens Ghenov, to name but four artists in the show. Mel Bochner, as efficiently as a wunderkind, combines image and conceptual specificity with a devilish wit. And if Fred Cooper’s artistically laden interiors owe nothing whatsoever to Barbara Takenaga’s cosmic debris or Mark Olshansky’s musically inspired needlepoint? All the better for art, beauty, and exploration.
Which brings me to the pâté of this fête champêtre: everyone is invited to sample the pleasures and insights that this show presents, because there just might be a taste for everyone.