Gallery 125 is pleased to present Mark van Wagner's recent work. Over the years, Van Wagner has collected natural and pigmented sands from around the world in order to create intricately layered organic and geometric abstractions. According to the artist, “Sand is a profound symbol of decomposition -- the essence of matter in the process of transformation.” For the viewer, this concept is echoed in the artist’s depiction of evolving and dissolving forms found at play in his compositions.
The Los Angeles art critic and historian Peter Frank observes, “Van Wagner paints highly nuanced compositions redolent in their colors and textures and even linear events of the sea’s subtle but persistent shifting. In some of the paintings, Van Wagner’s debt is apparent, not just to earlier granular modernists but also Monet.”
Van Wagner’s play of light and shadow over the innumerable sand particles – which he refers to as “the ultimate pixilation-pointillist medium”-- are intended to stimulate thoughts and memories long forgotten and relegated to the unconscious.
In combining movement with stillness, Van Wagner’s pictures reference various architectonic components, signage, biomorphic-galactic collisions, webs and circuitries, and have a multiplicity of thick and thin surfaces which allow for what he calls “ocular excavations.” The eye passes into, over, around and under the layered forms. This concept, says fellow artist and critic John Perreault, “…side-steps both Cubism and Color Field painting. Abstract painting no longer has to be flat.”
Van Wagner studied at the School of the Arts Institute of Chicago and prior to moving to Hawaii, was represented by the Nancy Lurie Gallery. He currently lives and works in Bellport.
125 South Country Rd.
Bellport, New York