These Woven, Color-Field Canvases Look Almost Like Paintings

Brooklyn artist Ethan Cook is sometimes referred to as a painter, but we’ve yet to find an instance of him actually putting a brush to canvas. When we first started following Cook’s work, after an introduction in 2012 from Iko Iko in Los Angeles, he was manipulating canvases by way of bleaching and dyeing the fibers; he then moved on to combining hand-woven canvases with store-bought ones in a kind of super high-end, abstract patchwork and took a quick detour into making large-scale fiberglass reliefs in the shape of teddy bears, cherubs, and angels.

His work for the past few years, though, has involved making large-scale woven pieces entirely by hand on a four-harness floor loom — our favorite iteration yet. Reminiscent of other artists working within the framework of color field — Brent Wadden, for example, or Landon Metz — Cook thrives in a exhibition setting such as his current solo show at Anat Ebgi in Los Angeles. “The composition of each piece is arranged according to the remaining or leftover canvas from the previous work, which in turn determines the stretchers. Each canvas drifts into the next, an exercise of restraint akin to mathematical painting. In this way, Cook’s paintings develop organically, producing entirely affected landscapes, realized cumulatively through the whole, complete installation.” On view until August 11th.

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