James Siena @ the pace gallery, ny
Mar 25, 2011 - Apr 30, 2011
“all work is an affirmation of being human, of being in this particular container [the body] with locomotion and holes for intake and output […]; motif and variation are placeholders, in part for the architecture of my consciousness, and ideally they are on a steadily rolling feedback loop."
For those in New York, or passing through, James Sienna is showing new works at Pace Gallery. His abstractions have melted my mind for quite sometime. Reminiscent of the mazes I would draw in grade school, attempting to pass the time quietly. 20 years later, I'm still looking for these mind puzzles, in rugs, in parking lot structures, in floorplans, or in my coffee grounds. Abstraction and geometric puzzles, a place to pass the time quietly. Most on enamel, his surfaces are really the draw. The brushstrokes are gentle and vivid, and need to be seen by the human eye to be fully appreciated.
"James Siena is known for his unique process, creating intricate geometric abstractions driven by predetermined self-imposed sets of rules, or “visual algorithms.” By establishing a basic unit and action and repeating it ad infinitum, Siena allows the unpredictability of his self-generated system to govern the final outcome of his complex picture plane, while still maintaining the presence of the artist’s hand. The exhibition features twenty-three new glossy enamel on aluminum paintings, and thirty works on paper; together, the painstakingly crafted works demonstrate that even a small change to an initial variable produces vastly different end results.
As Siena’s repeating patterns, sequences, curves, loops, and interlocking combs entwine and unwind, his abstractions become matrices for investigations into liminality and mutate into biomorphic forms.
Siena once explained that “all work is an affirmation of being human, of being in this particular container [the body] with locomotion and holes for intake and output […]; motif and variation are placeholders, in part for the architecture of my consciousness, and ideally they are on a steadily rolling feedback loop.”
works and text above by james sienna, sourced from the pace gallery
1. triangle sequence path (second version), 2011 graphite and ink on abacá paper
2. Two Sequences, 2009 enamel on aluminum