If success in art means a balance of tensions, nowhere was this push-pull more aptly illustrated than in the recent, “Take Two” exhibition at New York’s Catherine Ahnell Gallery. The four rising international artists featured in the showcase were captivating, however a particularly compelling contrast emerged between two of these contributing artists, L’Atlas and Miljan Suknoviç, whose diametrically opposed artistic styles offered a modern-day dialogue on the role of form and abstraction in art.

On the one end of the spectrum is the work of L’Atlas, the alias of French artist Jules Dedet Granel, whose compositions shine in their patterned precision. Stark contrasts of often black and white define the hard edges of the geometrical manifestations that emerge from L’Atlas’ works and recall simultaneously both modern and historic sensibilities. From the modern perspective, L’Atlas’ creations seem to echo the parallel symmetry and precision of the machine age, from the metal grates of industrial architecture to the rhythmic grooves of a computer chip.

At the same time, however, L’Atlas conjures these modern motifs with a mind for the more classical traditions of calligraphy and typography. Since his debut as a street artist in the 1990s, L’Atlas has harbored an ongoing fascination with the play between word and image that is inherent in typographic design, and this contemplation, alongside his parallel interest in playing with scale, results in compositions freed from clear reading yet nevertheless harboring an air of legibility. It is this visual hook that keeps the viewer locked on his compositions, and it this same connection that makes the nearby works of Miljan Suknoviç all the more fitting in their contrast.

Replacing L’Atlas’ streamlined style with a kaleidoscopic palette and exchanging clean geometry for playful patches and burst of color, Suknoviç’s work revives the heyday ideals of Abstract Expressionism for a contemporary audience. Unabashed drips and broad strokes of color interchange across Suknoviç’s canvases to convey a dynamic, almost vibrating surface, an element that Suknoviç accentuates in some works with an overlay of a geometric linework. Suknoviç is rather guarded as to his inspirations for his work, but what is clear in these complex surfaces is that he, like famed predecessor Willem de Kooning, is contemplating a similar excavation of the painterly surface by inviting the viewer to dive into the rich panoply of color that consumes the canvas.

Miljan Suknoviç installation view

It would be a challenge to pair two more disparate styles, and yet it is exactly this stark difference that makes the work of L’Atlas and Suknovic a powerful combination in this showcase. The works of these two artists as included in this “Take Two” exhibition help to fuel a valuable reflection and conversation upon the element of abstraction and its many forms.

L’Atlas has enjoyed a long list of group and solo exhibitions, debuting in the Street Art Galerie du Jour in Paris in 2001 and fêted just this last year (2014) with a solo exhibition, entitled “Transversal,” at the Wunderkammern Gallery in Rome. Meanwhile, Miljan Suknoviç is newer to the art world but is starting to enjoy similar celebration for his work. Based in New York City, Suknoviç enjoyed his first solo exhibition, entitled “Constallation III,” at the Catherine Ahnell Gallery in 2014, the same space that hosted this “Take Two” installation. For more on the exhibition, please visit the Catherine Ahnell Gallery website.

SHARE

A Creative Movement

We believe in creating memorable experiences, granting you exclusive access to the artistic mind in a purely creative environment. You are welcome to join us and be part of a creative movement.

Read More

Recent Articles

Suspect Realities

The 2018 Seattle Art Fair is more than just a gathering of local artists. This event displays 62 different exhibits from galleries across the world, including Seattle, New York, Hong Kong, Seoul, Los Angeles and Tokyo. These galleries not only display paintings but also mixed media, sculptures, and other art mediums. One of these innovative exhibits is Suspect Realities, on loan from the Claire Oliver Gallery in New York.

Read More

Elizabeth Murray’s Visual Language in Her Story

Her Story embraces the geometric. The abstract work is composed of three angular canvases conceived together as one. Dissident triangles and rectangles are placed throughout the composition and painted in bright blues, greens, reds, purples, yellows and oranges. The layered canvases pop the painting out from laying flat against the wall and give the work a sculptural quality.

Read More

The Canvas as Sculpture: Chung Sang-hwa and Shin Sung-Hy

Blum & Poe in Los Angeles is presenting an exhibition that focuses on the work of Korean artists Chung Sang-hwa and Shin Sun-Hy. While they are both important Korean artists from the 20th century onwards, this will be the first major presentation in Los Angeles to highlight their work.

Read More

Paul Mpagi Sepuya: Dark Room

Paul Mpagi Sepuya, an artist who calls Los Angeles his home, is backed by many major galleries and represented worldwide. Born in San Bernardino, California, in 1982, Sepuya graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the New York University Tisch School of the Arts in 2004. He also received a Master of Fine Arts from the University of California Los Angeles Department of Art in 2016.

Read More

The West Coast premiere of Julian Rosefeldt’s “Manifesto”

Actor Cate Blanchett recites these words, taken from Tristan Tzara’s Dada Manifesto 1918 in a declaration mash-up that intersperses material from Karl Marx’s The Communist Manifesto (1848) and Philippe Soupault’s, Literature and the Rest (1920). This is the prologue to Julian Rosefeldt’s 13 channel cinematic installation, “Manifesto,” featuring Blanchett enacting thirteen dramatically diverse personas, each remixing excerpts from artist manifestos throughout the canon of modern Western art history.

Read More

Mark Tobey at Pace Gallery

Pace Gallery is exploring the work of American artist Mark Tobey (1890-1976) in a new exhibition with over 35 paintings and works on paper from major museum loans and private collections. This exhibit is the first comprehensive show of his work in New York in over twenty years, and reminds us of this artist who preferred the small scale to the large and who found meaning in mindfulness before it was in the zeitgeist.

Read More

Meleko Mokgosi’s Subversion of the Western Canon of Art

This fall Honor Fraser is presenting the final show in the series Democratic Intuition started by artist Meleko Mokgosi in 2013. Throughout the series the artist has taken traditional Western subject matter and techniques and put them through a filter to show the limitations of their methods in depicting the African body and culture. In this final exhibition still lifes are the chosen subject matter.

Read More

Murakami Meets Abloh in “America Too”

Takashi Murakami has never been one to feel constrained by the rules of the art world, and his latest collaborative effort at Gagosian Beverly Hills carries this theme of his oeuvre to new heights. Featuring works created in tandem with fashion icon  Virgil Abloh, the exhibition “America Too” sets its sights on - and succeeds at - challenging the concepts that define the modern American experience through art.

Read More

Takesada Matsutani: A Drop in Time

An almost opalescent blue form drips down the black canvas in this work by Takesada Matsutani (Japanese, b. 1937). Made from vinyl glue that is poured on the canvas then allowed to dry to create a film, Matsutani then uses his own breath to inflate the form and rupture the skin so that is evokes open wounds reminding us of drops of blood.

Read More

Buying into Tony Berlant

Tony Berlant’s art is all about the detail. His compositions can be read from across the room, but it is in close proximity that their brilliance truly comes into view. The incredibly intricacy of each composition comes together in his latest exhibition, “Tony Berlant: Fast Forward” at Los Angeles’ Kohn Gallery.

Read More

The Many Facets of Zeng Fanzhi

This fall Hauser & Wirth is presenting a new show of Chinese artist Zeng Fanzhi called In the Studio. Known for working on several series at the same time, the gallery was inspired by his simultaneous working method and brings this technique to how they are presenting this show by exhibiting his work at the same time across three locations – London, Zurich, and Hong Kong.

Read More

Channa Horwitz: The Underlying Structure of Things

In 2005 the LA-based artist Channa Horwitz declared that “if chance plays out long enough it will become structure.” She drew in order to find structure in the chaotic world that surrounded her. Logic lead the way, and she created a system of drafting compositions not knowing what would result on the pag.

Read More

Privacy Preference Center