LOUDER THAN BOMBS (curated by Douglas Witmer): Curator: Doug Witmer


Reductive abstraction in the midst of dark times 

Works by 

Steven Alexander (Pennsylvania), Mary Bucci McCoy (Massachusetts), Matthew Feyld (Montreal) Emma Langridge (Melbourne, Australia), Linn Meyers (Washington, DC), Jon Poblador (Guangzhou, China), Tim Schwartz (Pennsylvania), Nicholas Szymanski (Michigan) 

Curated by Douglas Witmer 

“Louder Than Bombs” is an exhibition curated by Philadelphia-based artist Douglas Witmer that brings together paintings and works on paper by eight accomplished reductive abstract artists from around the globe. 

Reductive art is often incorrectly described (and sometimes dismissed) as being “minimalist.” But whereas the detached attitudes of late 20th Century minimalism de-emphasized the personal, today’s reductive abstract artist harnesses a pared down approach as a means to achieve a maximally focused and deeply personal expression. 

Painters Steven Alexander, Matthew Feyld, and Jon Poblador create exquisitely balanced compositions of color and geometry. The works of Linn Meyers and Emma Langridge use drawn and scored lines in repetitive and loosely systematic ways. Mary Bucci McCoy, Tim Schwartz, and Nicholas Szymanski engage the surfaces of their paintings with a variety of economic gestures, producing near-monochromes.  

In statement written to accompany the show, Douglas Witmer addresses this kind of work in light of the current state of our world. He suggests through their disciplined artistic practices creating work that is beautifully clear and matter-of-fact, reductive artists offer a kind of generous alternative or “other-ness” in the prevailing culture. And for the viewer, a fundamental process of transformation may begin by simply recognizing and engaging a basic sensation of being alive. 

(Special thanks to Larry Becker Contemporary Art, Philadelphia and Gray Contemporary, Houston for their assistance in making this exhibition possible.)