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Abstract Geometric Paintings That Fold, Like Origami, Into Three Dimensions

Last week, in the lull between a week of stomach flu and an incipient anguish at the state of things, I did a little self-care in the form of a gallery visit. Lucky for me that I stumbled into The Hole, only a week before the exhibition on view there now closes. Called “Fourteen Paintings,” it’s the first New York solo show for Louisiana-born, Los Angeles–based artist Robert Moreland, who in fact creates work that exists more in the space between painting and sculpture — three-dimensional canvases made from dropcloths, tacks, leather hinges, and acrylic paint, that are hardly paintings at all but rather painted objects that explore how line and color can be disrupted by volume.

“As with sculpture these wall works can appear very different from different angles,” the exhibition statement reads. “One work is a perfect red rectangle from the front, but from either side a jagged, broken red polygon. Light plays across the different angled surfaces as well, changing the tone of the painted colors; one black piece is hit by light on the varied surfaces so as to make many different shades of grey, which when viewed from afar looks like a tonal geometric painting.” From his Chinatown studio, Moreland begins with a four- to six-inch maquette, made from painted card stock. To create the final object, Moreland stretches raw textile over a sanded wood panel, affixing it with tacks. He calls the final pieces “dynamic objects of focus;” if that means you could stare at them for hours and see minute changes every time, then it’s a perfect description. On view until February 4.

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