Cordy Ryman
Untitled #1, 2017
Acrylic and enamel on wood
20 x 16 x 1 1/2 in (50.80 x 40.64 x 3.81 cm)
 
Cordy Ryman
Untitled #3, 2017
Acrylic, enamel, graphite and ink on wood
20 x 16 x 1 3/4 in (50.80 x 40.64 x 4.45 cm)
 

Samantha Bittman

Untitled, 2016

Acrylic on hand-woven textile

20 x 16 in (50.80 x 40.64 cm)

Samantha Bittman

Untitled, 2015

Acrylic on hand-woven textile

20 x 16 in (50.80 x 40.64 cm)

Andrew Small
Lost Weekend, 2017
Acrylic on canvas
20 x 16 in (50.80 x 40.64 cm)
Andrew Small
Rogue State, 2017
Acrylic on canvas
20 x 16 in (50.80 x 40.64 cm)
Steve DiBenedetto
Messianic Salad Spinner, 2013-2017
Oil on linen
20 x 16 in (50.80 x 40.64 cm)
 

 

Steve DiBenedetto
Oblique Chicken Spa, 2015-2017
Oil on linen
20 x 16 in (50.80 x 40.64 cm)
Jessica Hess
Detroit VI, 2017
Oil on panel
20 x 16 in (50.80 x 40.64 cm)
Jessica Hess
Detroit VII, 2017
Oil on panel
20 x 16 in (50.80 x 40.64 cm)
 
Matt Kleberg
21 Week Waylon, 2017
Oil stick on canvas
20 x 16 in (50.80 x 40.64 cm)
 
Vince Contarino
Relatives, 2016
Acrylic on canvas
20 x 16 in (50.80 x 40.64 cm)
 
Lisa Sylvester
Rowers, 2017
Graphite and colored pencil on paper
20 x 16 in (50.80 x 40.64 cm)
 
Lisa Sylvester
Split, 2017
Graphite and colored pencil on paper
20 x 16 in (50.80 x 40.64 cm)
Morgan Bulkeley
Pierced Presidents, 2016
Oil on carved pine
20 x 16 in (50.80 x 40.64 cm)
Morgan Bulkeley
Sad States, 2017
Oil on carved pine
20 x 16 in (50.80 x 40.64 cm)
Elizabeth Hazan
Field #32, 2017
Oil on canvas
20 x 16 in (50.80 x 40.64 cm)
Elizabeth Hazan
Field #33, 2017
Oil on canvas
20 x 16 in (50.80 x 40.64 cm)
Philip Knoll
The Optimist (Apologies to Jean Baptiste Huet), 2017
Watercolor and colored pencil on paper on panel
20 x 16 in (50.80 x 40.64 cm)
Philip Knoll
The Taste of Salt and Sweat, 2017
Watercolor and colored pencil on paper on panel
20 x 16 in (50.80 x 40.64 cm)
Colin Hunt
The Guardian Stone, 2016
Tempera on wood
20 x 16 in (50.80 x 40.64 cm)
Colin Hunt
The Swindon Stone, 2017
Tempera on wood
20 x 16 in (50.80 x 40.64 cm)
Amy Lincoln
Calla Lily and Maranta, 2016
Acrylic on panel
20 x 16 in (50.80 x 40.64 cm)
 
Amy Lincoln
Bismark Palm, 2017
Acrylic on panel
20 x 16 in (50.80hx 40.64 cm)
 
Sue Muskat
R2D2 2, 2017
Acryla gouache on panel
20 x 16 in (50.80 x 40.64 cm)
Sue Muskat
R2D2 1, 2017
Acryla gouache on panel
20 x 16 in (50.80 x 40.64 cm)
Osamu Kobayashi
Death Stare, 2017
Oil on canvas
20 x 16 in (50.80 x 40.64 cm)
 
Osamu Kobayashi
Stream, 2017
Oil on canvas
20 x 16 in (50.80 x 40.64 cm)
 
Laura Ball
Fire Island #1, 2017
Watercolor and graphite on Arches
20 x 16 in (50.80 x 40.64 cm)
 
 
Laura Ball
Fire Island #2, 2017
Watercolor and graphite on Arches
20 x 16 in (50.80 x 40.64 cm)
 
Cary Smith
Diagonals (with 7 colors) 1, 2017
Oil on linen
20 x 16 in (50.80 x 40.64 cm)
 

Cary Smith

Complex Diagonals (black, yellow with red border), 2017

Oil on linen

20 x 16 in (50.80 x 40.64 cm)

The Twenty by Sixteen Biennial

Curated by Geoffrey Young

April 7 – May 6, 2017

Only space prevents this show from being twice as large as it is, so fecund is the visual scene of the moment, so anxious the times.

 

Though this biennial is limited to 37 artists, each is represented by two works. Biennial, because we did a 20 x 16 show two years ago, and we will do one again, two years hence. Twenty inches tall by sixteen inches wide is the deal: size as constraint becoming a tool to hint at the range of choices in painting today. As limits challenge, limits generate. Artists respond in the language they speak. What kinds of babble, hardscrabble, reticence, rockabilly, poetry and pleasure might be found in a show of this kind?

           

Turns out that no two artists look the same, nor are likely to be confused with one another. In works graphic, florid, narrative, mathematical, emptied, dense, punk, daft, academic, felicitous, and dutiful we begin to get the answer.

 

If the dominant movie of the today’s news cycle crashes before sundown most days — the lies and outrages outed with necessary dispatch — let’s hear it for art’s story which endures, giving nuance, feeling, and value to the moment. Not alternate facts: art is an alternate world, a mad charge of loving energy suffusing human achievement.

 

How various the compositions that share these walls, how unpredictable the shapes, decisions, visual arrays. Color, held under strict supervision by some, is unleashed by others, champing at the bit. Formal eloquence, the sine qua non of several, is abjured by those eager to stir things up. Flat or volumetric, illusionistic or unmoored, these works establish their own languages, deliver their own soliloquies, are witnesses to their own dramas, with or without an audience. 

 

What we bring to a show of this kind depends on hunger and curiosity. A challenge to taste, “Twenty by Sixteen” is an invitation to revel in art’s post-history, a chance to take the measure of a time when anything goes, especially if this “anything” has imagination, integrity and merit on its own terms. As Thelonious Monk said when asked about the meaning of his music: “I lay it down, you pick it up.” These artists have laid it down, now we must do the rest, if we would know the beauty, feel the joy, apprehend the uncertainty, praise the solutions, and yes, reach for the meaning.