The CAMP Gallery is please to present our Westport exhibition, The Rooms of Joseph Ginsberg, a solo show that takes place from April 29th - May 24th.
Click here to RSVP to the show
The solo exhibition, The Rooms of Joseph Ginsberg, looks through the many areas of his artistic output realizing that there are many layers to looking at his work, not just from an artistic direction or in the context of art school, but also within the compartments of his mediums, thus welcoming a distinct psychoanalytical approach.
There are two obvious movements found in the works of Ginsberg: Abstract Expressionism and, to a degree, Neo- Expressionism, which are evident in the sensual quality of the paint application and forms in his works, the belief in the redemptive power of art, expressive and vigorous brushwork, intense colors, and that art is an expression of self. Along with the discussion on artistic language, there is also the conversation on how each of the mediums place the artist in rooms of understanding because of the compartmentalization of his mediums, and how those mediums and, consequently, rooms can be read as representations of the psychology of self. Ginsberg, even when creating functional pieces, such as tables and furniture, does not alter his creative style to adhere to the standardization of form. His tables, for example, follow the same curves and shapes found in his art, and in so doing, he asserts his notion of fluid and sensual lines, which, when meeting Ginsberg, one quickly realizes that his art and its direction is an exact representation of the artist: in his manner, his humor, his cerebral cognition, and just who he is as a creative being.
Ginsberg’s willingness to challenge himself and the boundaries of art in works such as Blossom, which came about from my asking him to paint me an artwork that is a flower—and he literally did that, resulting in a unique piece made up of nine individual pieces; what can only be termed as a niptych. Each petal is a confident exploration of form, line and color, but interestingly juxtaposed to the color palette one expects to find at a seaside, resulting in this fantastical imagination of an earthy yet water inspired artwork, that is a flower. Hostage is another piece that expresses the importance of color and line, and, I would even go so far as to suggest, incorporates elements that can be defined as Surrealist in intent (which is a precursor movement to both Abstract Expressionism and Neo-Expressionism) and one can easily find qualities of this work that pay homage to both Picasso and Wilfredo Lam. What is unique to the artist, though, is the title: Hostage. One wonders to what the artist, or the viewer, is held hostage to. Could it be Surrealism itself, and thus, the automatic associations and free defining that is Surrealism? Are the artist and viewer somehow trapped in the circular path of the work, bringing to mind Borges’ “Garden of the Forking Path” and so, held hostage by time? Is it the expectation of form to define, meaning men look this way, women that way, and does it then rebuff and rebuke social expectations of form when depicting gender? Or is it just the defined border that actually holds this work hostage to the limit of the canvas? Each one of these questions hold the importance and, once again, the fluidity of this work, in that there is a myriad of meaning to be interpreted freely.
Added to the many types or classifications that Ginsberg expertly dabbles in is his understanding of watercolor—frankly, quite often, one of the most difficult and unforgiving of mediums, as there is only one chance with this medium; you cannot paint over and not lose something. Catch Me, one of his smaller works at just 17 by 23 inches, is enormous in meaning. The work is made up of three abstract, suggestive forms, all walking towards the world outside the confines of the paper. One likes to believe that the last form, the only one made up of a single color, is the artist himself, leading his colorful, and somehow more solid, followers to another plane. The implication here, in the work and the title, is that the blue form (the artist, maybe) has something, or is something that falls out of the expected and that is either attractive to the followers, or something of concern. Nonetheless, this piece shows that the artist, unlike his followers, is proudly confident in his path, his unique creative output and is willing to be either followed, or chased. Neither will harm him as he is rendered in blue, with no interference from undecided identities found in the many colors of his followers, or adversaries.
The Rooms of Joseph Ginsberg will present the viewer and gallery visitor with not just his works that land on walls, but works that help make a room complete. Various glass works, throw pillows, and floor coverings will offer a glimpse into the creative world that resides in the imagination of the artist, and how he melds all media together to mirror the inner workings and thoughts that are Joseph Ginsberg.
Statement by Melanie Prapopoulos