Pazo Fine Art presents The Technological Sublime, an exhibition of works by Beverly Fishman, Rockne Krebs, and Ruth Pastine.
Beverly Fishman is a post-formalist artist whose painted objects call attention to how perception is structured in myriad cultural ways. In a social sense, her work examines how malaise, anxiety, and affect arise within limits circumscribed by industry, biology, and communication. Fishman’s multipart constructions of synthetic color operate where dissociation and engagement intersect, and suggest individual agency is shaped by habitual management of emotional responses. Three large-scale works by Fishman will be seen in this exhibition.
Rockne Krebs was a multi-disciplinary artist known for his monumental laser- light installations. His transparent plexiglas sculptures likewise court symbolic passage through projection by imaginative means. Notational works on paper provide glimpses onto other levels of expression hinted at in larger pieces. The mystic vision delineated by Krebs was at once spectacular and private, exalted and hermetic, dazzling and still. Krebs is represented here by intimate clusters of works which exceed typical limits of objecthood.
Ruth Pastine is a neo-minimalist painter of objects and installations whose stylistic interests are made clear through the phenomenological exposition of color. The illuminated fields in these works appear consistent, and are bracketed by value shifts at the floating peripheries of chamfered panels. While not strictly materialist relative to generalizing devices such as charts or chips, the suite of paintings in this exhibition bear traces of deracinated hue which hover between ambiguity and nuance. These attributes mitigate against typing Pastine’s paintings as specifically abstract in the usual manner.
These three artists each calibrate finely-tuned qualities of light and space through their unique approaches to the dynamics of media and spectatorship. This may place their work adjacent to what is held as the “technological sublime”, a contemporary premise derived from eighteenth- century philosophical musings on the awesome forces of nature. Transfers of power from the theological to the secular, or the divine to the human, uprooted authentic experience and subjected it to instrumental challenges from all sides. This is, in short, the history of modernity. The American educator and critic Leo Marx (1919-2022) described the displacing effects of science and ideology in these very terms. Venturing hand in hand with progress, Marx proposed technology creates a “hazardous concept”, understood in part as a semantic void which language hastens to fill in the face of overwhelming change.
So what is the thing we routinely call technology? The meds we take each morning to help focus our attention? The entertainments we enlist to distract us each evening? The vibrations which perpetually leave us in dumbfounded states of wonder? The works of Beverly Fishman, Rockne Krebs, and Ruth Pastine imply technology, while novel and disruptive, is actually that which resists explanation because it does not yet have a name. Furthermore, in a neat inversion of dogma, what you see is not exactly what you see. The Technological Sublime offers a liberating invitation to look anew at the conditions of our reality, where acts of making become word.
A catalog with an essay by Dan Cameron will be published to accompany this exhibition, which has been organized by artist and PFA director Mike Zahn.
Courtesy of the artists and Pazo Fine Art, Kensington