Kathryn Markel Fine Arts is pleased to present an exhibition of new work by Eric Blum. The show marks the artist’s third solo exhibition with the gallery.
In Eric Blum’s mostly monochromatic paintings, ink permeates silk in soft gradients, which abruptly meet the defined edges of his revisions. Overlays of varying opacities form a fragmented patchwork of idiosyncratic shapes that hint at recognition. They are neither entirely legible nor genuinely abstract, reflecting his ongoing interest in the unreliability of perception.
In an effort to reduce the friction of conscious decision-making, Blum begins each painting with a blind selection; that is, an initial drawing loosely rendered from an arbitrarily chosen source, confining all further transformations to within its framework. The limited set of compositional elements are then rotated, excavated, flipped, stripped, and placed elsewhere — ultimately reshuffling into a kind of visual anagram. It’s as reductive as it is additive. Blum’s paintings accommodate the inevitable tensions of opposing inclinations: an exhibitionist’s flirtation with too much and a minimalist’s compulsion for order and calm.
Eric Blum is a recipient of two grants from the Pollock-Krasner Foundation, as well as one from the New York Foundation for the Arts. His work has been featured in shows at the Albright-Knox Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art, the Knoxville Art Museum, and The Contemporary Art Center of Cincinnati, among other institutions. Blum studied photography at UCLA, and currently lives and works in New York City and Los Angeles.