Best Art I Saw All Week: Das Institut's Abstract Paintings at MOCA
Photo by Brian Forrest, courtesy of MOCA Installation view of The Painting Factory: Abstraction After Andy Warhol at MOCA Grand Avenue, April 29--August 20, 2012
The exhibit "The Painting Factory: Abstraction After Warhol," which is up at MOCA's Grand Ave location through August 20, is a big, breezy show that borders on eye candy. On balance, it succeeds at making a case for taking an interest in contemporary abstract act -- but it's not all that clear what it has to do with Warhol. Even the several luxuriously gorgeous Warhols in the show are kind of off-brand.
But none of that matters once you get to the side gallery hung with large-scale paintings on paper by the duo DAS INSTITUT (Kerstin Brätsch and Adele Röder).
Photo by Brian Forrest, courtesy of MOCA "The Painting Factory: Abstraction After Andy Warhol" at MOCA Grand Avenue, which runs through August 20
Their nine works of "Blocked Radiants" are installed along with a pair of huge Plexiglas screens hanging from the ceiling, one deep blue and one a singing yellow, in such a way so that the paintings are seen through one screen, both, or neither as the viewer moves around the space.
Aside from the refreshing innovation and wit of presenting a physical context that both enhances and complicates the works at the same time, the paintings themselves are lavishly textured, rain-forest dense and botanically evocative considerations of color, surface, and brushstrokes. They are organic in form, retro-toxic in palette, and hint at a dark sense of humor even in the absence of narrative. It's the kind of room that slows down your progress through a museum, encouraging a curious lingering and a desire to see them in every permutation.