» New York – Harold Ancart: “Paintings” at Gagosian Through June 16th, 2023

Harold Ancart, Paintings (Installation View), via Art Observed

On view this month at Gagosian, artist Harold Ancart marks his debut with the gallery with a body of new works that continue his atmospheric and expressive exploration of the canvas, walking a delicate line between abstraction and figuration. Continuing his studied approach towards specific visual motifs that run through a series of iterations and expressive tendencies. 

Harold Ancart, Paintings (Installation View), via Art Observed
Harold Ancart, Paintings (Installation View), via Art Observed

In his atmospheric canvases, Ancart uses color and texture to blur the boundaries between observed and imagined realities. Pairing figuration with vibrant abstract passages, the artist explores natural landscapes and built environments, where he discovers moments of unexpected poetry. Dwelling on techniques reminiscent of American post-war painters, the artist mines variations in color, gestural repetition and shared techniques in construction across each body of work, creating series that utilize their shared structural approaches to create shifting, elaborate narratives. Here, this takes the form of arboreal motifs, long, sinuous trees and flowers that spring forth from the canvas, dotted with roots, vines and stems that create a central element in the work, and a point of individuation that Ancart pursues throughout the show.

Harold Ancart, Paintings (Installation View), via Art Observed
Harold Ancart, Paintings (Installation View), via Art Observed

Having previously depicted other elemental forms such as clouds, fires, and icebergs, the artist has stated that outward subject matter serves primarily as an “alibi” for painterly experimentation. Two large landscape canvases are also included. One depicts the sea at night and immerses the viewer in a composition featuring a large, truncated moon. The other, also a seascape, is bordered by a large field of red and conveys the impression of a prospecting gaze through a telescope.

Harold Ancart, Paintings (Installation View), via Art Observed
Harold Ancart, Paintings (Installation View), via Art Observed

Ancart employs the medium of oil stick to orchestrate vigorous chromatic relationships, using a patchwork of color to infuse his canvases with painterly naturalism, and further enlivens the works’ surfaces through the interpolation of smudges, scrapes, and other textural flourishes. The works are embellished with a broad series of gestural marks that both elaborate on the forms depicted, while allowing the surface of the work to build complementary narratives. Viewing each work, one finds themselves negotiating between the work’s subject and the methods of depiction and distanciation.

A striking debut at Gagosia, the artist’s work is on view through June 16th.

– D. Creahan

Read more:
Harold Ancart [Exhibition Site]

on Monday, May 8th, 2023 at 12:39 pm and is filed under Art News, Featured Post, Show.
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