Leslie Feely Fine Art is proud to present, Naked Art: Jules Olitski and Anthony Caro, an exhibition of Olitski’s spray paintings juxtaposed with Caro’s assembled, and sometimes painted, metal sculptures.
In the fall of 1963, Caro joined Olitski on the faculty of Bennington College, Vermont. During a conversation with Caro there in the spring of 1964, Olitski famously remarked that an ideal situation for him would be to spray color into the air and somehow have it remain there. Immediately afterwards he painted his first large spray painting, using a spray gun and compressor.
A year later, Olitski and Caro had another conversation about making art as “naked” as possible, and after this conversation, Caro, in turn, embarked on a series of sparse, linear sculptures, constructed of rods and angle irons.
While working in dramatically different media, both artists shared a fundamentally similar approach and produced works which are both spare and reduced, but yet still remain open and unconstrained. Both artists emphasized flat planes and edges, thickness and depth, and materiality and physicality. Both were concerned with complicated spatial experiences of surface and space – Olitski through the chromaticism of his paintings, and Caro through his subtle tiltings and anglings of his combined welded elements. Olitski combined paint and canvas so that both an illusion of atmosphere and a literal continuous flatness exist at once. Caro’s expansively additive sculptures are emphatically physically present, but they are simultaneously centerless, escaping any enclosing profile.
Both artists experimented with the processes of art making, in painting and in sculpture, and in letting one’s interactions with the materials lead to the final result, including the viewer’s.