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, Untitld No. 900, 2020. Ink, silk, and beeswax on panel, 59 x 47 inches.