Something like magnetic attraction joins certain descriptions to certain artists. Thus “gestural painter” attaches to Jonathan Feldschuh with automatic ease. How else would you label a painter whose images are the swerving, skidding traces of a wide brush wielded with virtuosic vitality? Feldschuh is a gestural painter, no doubt, and yet this readymade phrase is laden with implications that can lead us astray. Not every geometric abstractionist in the years between the World Wars was a utopian, like Piet Mondrian, nor do brushy bursts of energy always put personality on display, as they do in the early paintings of Joan Mitchell. When Feldschuh sends his brush careening over the surface, he is reaching for something beyond himself.
Grandeur is often associated with feats of architecture and engineering. It’s not often applied to scientific experiments. One notable exception is the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), a particle accelerator and collider complex at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, outside Geneva, Switzerland. Artist Jonathan Feldschuh was so fascinated with the massive instrument’s physical beauty that he created a series of more than 40 paintings detailing the LHC’s various angles, patterns, and vantage points. “I wanted to capture the grandeur,” he says, “in terms of the intellectual project and the physical structure.”
DAVID RYAN CONSIDERS THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN NEW YORK ABSTRACTION AND ITS BRITISH COUNTERPART
MORE American abstractionists, along with their British equivalents, in Vivid at the Richard Salmon Gallery. It is correct, by and large, to call their painting abstract, but they are by no means dogmatic on the subject: if some concrete reference or even (perish the thought) an apparently explicit title will help, then they are game.
CYNTHIA BROAN GALLERY
In “Little Corner of the World,” his first solo show in New York, Jonathan Feldschuh exhibited twelve canvases, varying in size but consistent in their mixture of cartoonish sci-fi and romantic verve. A product of the Harvard physics department, Feldschuh has a nice feel for the fine line between microscopic and cosmic conceptions of space and good instincts for the salutary effect of elegance on silliness (and vice versa).