Sep 23, 2013
This week: Duncan and Richard talk to Spencer Finch about his current exhibition "Study for Disappearance" at the Rhona Hoffman Gallery.
What is the color of the threshold - of that
liminal space before day plunges into night? Spencer Finch attempts
to answer this question through his most recent body of work
created specifically for Study for Disappearance, his fourth solo
exhibition at Rhona Hoffman Gallery. Each watercolor diptych in
this new series individually renders violet, blue, green, yellow,
orange, and red as they appear on objects in his Brooklyn studio.
On one side of each diptych, Finch has labeled the swatches of
varying hues of a single color according to the object that bears
them: “candle,” “brick sample (Baltimore),” and “bull-fighting
poster” to name a few. This study is paired with that of the
identical collection of objects observed as the colors shift to
grayscale with the dimming daylight. Slowing down the viewer’s
process of seeing, Finch guides us through the nuances of the
fading light and the stages of visual perception. Accompanying the
watercolor diptychs is a new light box piece, Color Test 600,
comprised of various multicolored squares layered together to
create an abstract study of darkness.
The ephemeral light of dusk is a seductive territory for Finch and such fleeting scenarios fuel his artistic process. Artworks such as the light installations West (Sunset in My Motel Room, Monument Valley, January 26, 2007, 5:36 – 6:06 PM) and Dusk (Hudson River Valley, October 30, 2005) have transported the light quality of a specific place during that transitory magic hour to the setting of art galleries and museums worldwide. Once again, for Study for Disappearance, Finch has succeeded in blending scientific method with a poetic sensibility to both record the light and color of the physical world and simultaneously explore the intangible and ethereal essence of a place. This time, Finch generously offers an intimate look at the enchanted and often confidential space of the artist’s studio.