55 Orchard Street, New York, New York 10002 212 989 5467 fax 212 989 5642
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  Jason Karolak
February 8 - March 17, 2013
 

Jason Karolak makes abstract oil paintings that depict vibrantly colored linear structures. He works primarily in two scales and employs a different approach to visual space based on the size of the canvas. In his large paintings, isolated dimensional forms float in the center of black voids. The smaller paintings represent a more shallow space and suggest all-over patterns. In both cases, he approaches the process of image making as a language that builds on itself. Karolak uses lively linear elements, striking combinations of fluorescent hues, and the layered evidence of each painting’s creation to suggest dynamic expansion.
 
Drawing and color fundamentally guide Karolak towards a completed work. He seeks to extend the sense of immediacy found in his sketches and works on paper onto the painted canvas. Rather than composing a painting, he constructs it over time through a process that involves the interaction of marks, colors, and the resolution of an emerging structure. In Karolak’s large canvases, the centrally placed structures resemble impossible wireframe models: loose forms made of smaller geometric elements that overlap repeatedly and appear simultaneously rigid and fleeting. For the artist, the size of these paintings--approximately 90 x 80 inches--and the illusion of dimensional form relate to the human body in real space. The tension between structural necessity and ideal form is continually renewed as these mysterious armatures hover and glow in the inky darkness.
 
Instead of hinting at depictions of spatial form, Karolak’s smaller paintings tend to contain flattened patterns that fill the canvas edge-to-edge. Though constructed through the same process of color and mark selection, they eschew the distinct figure/ground relationship expressed in the larger works. In this small scale, the marks interlock or align tightly side-by-side in more broadly colorful, syncopating patterns or meandering linear compositions.
 
Though the materials and languages of painting are important to Karolak, he does not think of their refinement as his ultimate goal:
 
"I am more interested in the porosity of abstract painting, in its ability to gather and absorb. So the geometric and the structural are relaxed by the organic and the ephemeral. The architectonic framework becomes open, transparent, and lightweight. And the still image becomes active with the potential of time, growth, and change. I want the forms in my paintings to work both graphically and dimensionally, to expand and contract."

 
 
 
Untitled (P-1205), 2012
Oil on canvas
90 x 79 inches

Untitled (P-1207), 2012
Oil on canvas
79 x 90 inches

Untitled (P-1206), 2012
Oil on canvas
85 x 75 inches
 
Untitled (P-1301), 2013
Oil on canvas
85 x 75 inches

Untitled (P-1302), 2013
Oil on canvas
36 x 31 inches

Untitled (P-1104), 2011
Oil on linen
15 x 13 inches
 
Untitled (P-1201), 2012
Oil on linen
14 x 12 inches

Untitled (P-1102), 2011
Oil on linen
16 x 14 inches

Untitled (P-1113), 2011
Oil on panel
16 x 14 inches
 
Untitled (P-1112), 2011
Oil on linen
15 x 13 inches

Untitled (P-0915), 2009
Oil on linen
14 x 12 inches

Untitled (P-1111), 2011
Oil on linen
15 x 13 inches
 
Untitled (P-1101), 2011
Oil on linen
16 x 13 inches

Untitled (P-1004), 2010
Oil on linen
14 x 12 inches

Untitled (P-0926), 2009
Oil on linen
15 x 13 inches
 
Untitled (P-1210), 2012
Oil on linen
15 x 13 inches
 
Installation view

Installation view

Installation view
 
Installation view

Installation view

Installation view
 
Installation view

Installation view

Installation view
 
Installation view
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55 Orchard Street, New York, New York 10001 212 989 5467 fax 212 989 5642
email info@mckenziefineart.com