Nathlie Provosty at Nathalie Karg Gallery
Tarashikomi is a Japanese ink drawing technique which embraces the unpredictability of ink’s spread across fibrous paper. It allows for chance to become a co-author of art making, diffusing the mark and with it the artist’s own agency.
Despite the fact that many of the works do not stray from the medium of watercolor, this show is wide-ranging and multi-form (included are a large-scale ink drawing, multi-part series, diptychs, and even artist books). Throughout the artist has managed to corral a notoriously finicky substance into doing what she wants of it. At once diffuse and precise, these works are seepingly satisfying.
While some pieces take as their subject a Reinhardtian subtlety which abuts like colors, others manage their distinct parts through layers––a vertical as opposed to horizontal separation. As her medium is watercolor, this gives the effect of suspension, as if water has begun to act as a solid.
Though Provosty manages to manipulate a material as if it were fundamentally different than it is, distinct markers of the medium’s character remain. (I believe in the economy of material: Make not with one material what can be more easily done with another.) There are many places in Provosty’s work where bleeding and pooling occur, sometimes in close proximity to hard edges. That the two coexist can sometimes feel like magic, a fantasy world in which chance encounters can be contained for us to examine, and––if we’re lucky––understand.
Nathalie Karg Gallery
Until August 9th