Brian Zink: Assembled
January 6 - February 7, 2012
Opening Reception: Friday January 6th, 6-8pm
"Every form is a base for colour; every colour is the attribute of a form."
- -Victor Vasarely
With Assembled, Brian Zink returns to his well-known colored Plexiglas construction practice. Zink’s new work, however, extends that language into a critical consideration of the symbiotic and uncanny relationship between pure abstraction and pictorial space.
For Zink, the real springs from the sheer presence of the material object – and, as the show’s title and an initial inspection make clear, the works are Assembled from machine-manufactured parts. Each work is constructed of a thick flat plastic slab supporting a careful arrangement of glossy, commercially-colored, chunky Plexiglas diamonds and rhombi. The compositions appear regular: a simple, direct pattern sustained by a single hue balanced against black, white, and/or gray. In fact each comprises a symmetrical design that suggests an infinite repetition, the base repeat of an endless pattern. Like other Zink constructions, we’re rooted by their materiality, simplicity, and patterning to a consideration of the real space we occupy with them.
But this rootedness gradually unfolds into another, uncanny experience of space. The sharp diagonals and strident horizontals and verticals of Zink’s designs assemble strange, shallow pictorial spaces for us to consider. Coinciding with each other and the edges of their patterned parameters, Zink’s shapes become floating planes, tilted doorways, bottomless windows, sharply lit blocks – almost, for they inevitably bump into or crash against the geometric purity, materiality, and exterior realness of the object.
The resulting experience keeps us hopping uncomfortably between the two familiar comfort zones of abstraction – the interior real, or pictorial space, and the exterior real, or object space. Each challenges and undermines the other; a pattern of diagonals slides awkwardly into a dramatically elongated arcade; architectural blocks reform into a non-hierarchical series of trapezoids. But the works never reduce to an op-art curiosity of abstraction: Zink doesn’t let his shapes and colors become unreal, brute facts, but keeps them peering into our world, our architecture, our space. As Vasarely suggests, the natural coincidence of color and form lie at the heart of experience itself. Brian Zink’s new work invites us into this heart, into his immense sensitivity to the life of form.