UNIX Gallery Proudly Presents
Infinity’s Sprawl by American abstract artist C. Michael Norton
Through December 9, 2017 at UNIX Gallery, 532 West 24th Street
Defined by splashes of color and gestural peregrination, this solo exhibition focuses on Norton’s ability to navigate the full potential of raw canvas, leading the viewer on a journey through an artist’s mind to move seamlessly through the subconscious/unconscious.
Kandy Red Sentinel Acrylic on linen 103 x 94.5 in | 262 x 240 cm 2016-17
Featuring brand new paintings and bold works never before seen in the gallery, this marks Norton’s first solo exhibition at UNIX Gallery. Infinity’s Sprawl runs from October 26 through December 9, 2017 at UNIX Gallery, 532 West 24th Street.
C. Michael Norton’s paintings thrive on a balance between vibrancy and neutrality; between the organic and the geometric. The works begin as bare linen canvas taped to the floor to collect random markings picked up from works in progress. Relying then upon his intuitive reactions to what has been collected, Norton masterfully utilizes a number of methods of paint application, including using hand-made templates to create lattice-like forms, and squeegeeing layers of paint, to create energetic and surprising compositions. The finished works feature layer upon layer of explosive color, membranes across the linen ground that read as negative space, and forms that at once are at odds with one another and yet rhythmically flow across the surface of the paintings. Infinity’s Sprawl will include a number of pieces from Norton’s most recent body of work, large-scale diptychs and triptychs that pair his signature abstraction with panels boldly left bare except for roller markings on an emulsion-covered surface.
Humboldt Acrylic on linen 72 x 90 in | 262 x 240 cm 2014-15
“Norton’s color both explodes against and is grounded by the exposed linen grounds of his paintings, but the linen is also, simultaneously, spatially ambiguous and a material ground zero where the constructed nature of his illusionism is laid open for inspection,” explains critic Stephen Westfall in his 2013 essay, Over The Top. “And in spite of the materially radical nature of this exposure of constructed pictorality, the fourth painter who might be added to the conversation Norton is having with Johns, Richter and Stella is really a figurative artist. That would be Francis Bacon, whose flayed figures wrestle or sexually entangle in schematically painted rooms that often seem to float like stage-painted skeins on an “absolute” ground of unpainted linen…” Norton’s colorful canvases “should be viewed both as if they are the first thing in the world that one sees and for the range of contexts that are awakened by our need to interpret them.”
Norton has shown at institutional venues such as the Sunshine International Museum and the Fifth Beijing International Biennale at the National Art Museum of China, Beijing; the Museo Civico d’Arte Contemporanea, Albissola, Italy; and the San Francisco Museum of Art, San Francisco, California. Art fair appearances include ArtFair, Cologne and Arco, International Contemporary Art Fair, Madrid. Norton’s work has been reviewed in Art in America, Art News, Artcritical, Black Renaissance Noire, Art Daily, and numerous other publications. C. Michael Norton currently lives and works in New York City.
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