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Gray is pleased to participate in the 2021 edition of ADAA’s The Art Show at the Park Avenue Armory in New York City, with the group presentation Structure to Improvise: Artists Rethink the Grid. The Art Show will take place from November 4-7, with a benefit preview on November 3, 2021.

Structure to Improvise highlights works by artists who have explored the emotional and expressive sides of the ordered grid, with works by Jennifer Bartlett, McArthur Binion, Ewan Gibbs, Sol LeWitt, Sean Scully, Mary Heilmann on view. In her seminal 1979 essay "Grids," Rosalind Krauss declared that the grid was “a structure… emblematic of the modernist ambition,” a mathematical form that supported “modern art’s will to silence, its hostility to literature, to narrative, to discourse.” Yet as Krauss pointed out, following the pared-down 1960s, the grid actually served as a source of endless creative possibilities. “It is not just the sheer number of careers that have been devoted to the exploration of the grid that is impressive, but the fact that never could exploration have chosen less fertile ground.”[1] By highlighting the distinct practices of these six artists within a group presentation, Gray’s ADAA booth investigates how working within the confines of a seemingly-restrictive system has allowed these artists to experiment with form, color, and content.

In the 1970s McArthur Binion densely layered oil stick on raw canvas and aluminum to create seemingly Minimal, geometric paintings that were laden with emotional impact. In his more recent DNA and Modern Ancient Brown series, the artist layers hand-drawn gridded patterns in oil stick overtop reproduced personal ephemera, both covering and highlighting markers of his identity.

Ewan Gibbs, who came of age during the British Pop Art movement, employs a methodical system of cross hatching, inspired by those used in knitting patterns, to create graphite drawings of well-known buildings and monuments that are recognizable at a distance but fleeting up close.

Irish-American artist Sean Scully is renowned for his abstract paintings composed of brushy geometric shapes that infuse the grid with emotional painterliness and color, while Mary Heilmann combines geometric patterns with the spontaneous ethos of the Beat Generation to bring a joyful exploration of form and color to her abstract compositions.

Jennifer Bartlett doubled the Minimalist grid to make it her own: screen-printing gridded compositions onto steel tiles to serve as the base for her paintings.

Sol LeWitt, whose work is synonymous with Conceptual art, likewise used the grid with great versatility across media. Yet even in his most mathematical and ordered Structures, human decision making plays a central role.

[1] Krauss, Rosalind. "Grids." October 9 (1979): 51-64. Accessed August 5, 2021. doi:10.2307/778321.