Harvey Quaytman: A Sensuous Geometry

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HARVEY QUAYTMAN: A Sensuous Geometry
Works from 1986-1997

The McKee Gallery is proud to present an exhibition of the works of HARVEY QUAYTMAN, opening Thursday, November 3, and continuing on through Friday, December 23, 2011.

Quaytman, who died of cancer in 2002 in New York City at the age of 65, had spent most of his artistic life in a studio on the Bowery, with the exception of short stays in Boston, London, and Amsterdam. Born in Far Rockaway in 1937, he did not end up far from home.

Although his earliest works were influenced by the 1st generation abstract expressionists
de Kooning and Gorky, he became a part of the 3rd generation of abstract New York painters of the late 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s. Quaytman’s first unique statements were the large shaped canvases of 1969-1974, where the curved forms were constructed to sit below a rectangular shape, creating a very physical presence on the wall. The surfaces were very tactile, with spotty dry pigment interrupting the long brushstrokes of mixed pigment and medium.

These shield-like paintings, and their curved forms, gradually evolved into rectangles by 1986, where this exhibition begins.

The exhibition will include 15 paintings from 1986-1997, all of which have a geometry that proceeds from the Constructivists, but which shows a deep abiding love of materials, textures, surfaces – of the making of art – more than the pursuit of an ideology.

In the catalogue essay, Magdelena Dabrowski explains the result of Quaytman’s craftsmanship:

This process of playing up divergent textures and mediums resulted in achieving forms and inter-relationships full of sensuality, and despite the solidity of surface, a great delicacy. Form, color and a thickness of intersecting formal elements affect the viewer’s intellectual as well as perceptual and cognitive experience.

Quaytman’s geometry is invented, but not unnatural, and allows him to play with rusted metal filings, crushed glass, acrylic, on the canvases, rectangular or diamond-shaped, within an organized context, resulting in very sensuous abstractions.

A 40-page catalogue with 26 illustrations and a text by Magdalena Dabrowski accompanies this exhibition.

Hotel Regina Updated 1987
acrylic and glass on canvas
37 1/2 x 37 1/2 inches
95.5 x 95.5 cm

Suez 1986
acrylic on canvas
30 1/2 x 30 1/2 inches
77.5 x 77.5 cm

Azurite – Diamond 1990
acrylic and glass on canvas
65 x 65 inches
165 x 165 cm

For further information, please contact Karyn Behnke, karyn@mckeegallery.com, or 212-688-5951.