McKenzie Fine Art Features SOUND AND VISION, 6/23-8/5


McKenzie Fine Art is pleased to announce its summer group exhibition, Sound and Vision. It will open with a reception for the artists on Thursday, June 23, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. and run through Friday, August 5, 2011. The exhibition will feature paintings and works on paper by four artists whose Op- and psychedelic-inspired art is strongly influenced by music: John Aslanidis, Daniel Hill, Gilbert Hsiao, and Laura Watt.

Australian artist John Aslanidis creates complex, moiré patterned paintings in vivid colors, with overlapping and concentric wavy bands that rhythmically pulse and vibrate across his surfaces. The artist cites bass-Heavy Dub music as an important influence, as well as ambient trance. He has collaborated frequently with musicians since the 1990s: he not only plays the saxophone, but was a member of Clan Analogue, a sound and visual artist collective. Aslanidis is participating this summer in a visual arts/music collaboration at Location One in New York, and will collaborate with sound artist Brian May in an upcoming exhibition in Berlin this September.

Daniel Hill played the bass in bands as a teenager and later created experimental music by manipulating raw sounds into ambient sonic environments. He cites the influence of Minimalist composers such as Steve Reich and La Monte Young, as well as the ambient music and ideas of John Cage and Brian Eno. Hill's linear, obsessively patterned black-and-white paintings on paper are created in a manner akin to a musical performance: just as a musician plays a performance in time, Hill's work is created line by line, with paint slowly applied from a squeeze bottle hovering just above the surface in a session of meditative concentration that allows Little Room for error. He notes that by "implementing an intentional synesthesia of sound and vision, my painting began to focus on the interaction of rhythmic, vibratory frequencies locked in a visual dance of pattern and structure. The sonic influence also became apparent in the work's symmetry, which is directly related to the stereophonic phenomenon found in our natural hearing."

Gilbert Hsiao's irregularly shaped paintings contain intricately overlapped, repeating bands of color combined with metallics. Although each painting is limited to just a few colors, they are vibrant, rhythmic, and optically charged. Hsiao first heard Philip Glass's Music with Changing Parts and Steve Reich's Music for 18 Musicians in the 1970s; these seminal works have remained a constant influence since then. Hsiao remarks: "They are both long pieces consisting of densely layered, repeating motifs, but through the use of gradual and subtle transformation, shift and superimposition, they never get boring or predictable....the motifs, and their structuring resulting in the perception of countless new motifs, is what initially drew me to these pieces, and has been a recurring element in my painting."

After attending a performance of the Broadway show Fela!, Laura Watt was inspired to revisit the African musician's records, especially in the studio. Watt notes that, "Afrobeat, a complex fusion of jazz, funk, Nigerian highlife, and traditionAl West African music, keeps building groove on top of groove into a giant, polyrhythmic complexity. A sonic landscape is created." In her paintings and drawings, Watt commences with a fairly staid linear pattern, and then creates eruptions in the structure, opening it up into a more complex space with orb and paisley forms bursting forth. Through an accretion of these forms, a structural profusion emerges out of a simple pattern.

Gallery hours are Tuesday through Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.; on Saturdays the gallery opens at 11:00 a.m. The gallery will be closed on Saturday, July 2nd.