Gross McCleaf Gallery is pleased to present Geometry As Sign, a two-person exhibition featuring works on paper by Timothy App and Douglas Witmer. The exhibition will run from December 3 – 28, 2013. There will be an opening reception for the artists on Friday, December 6, 5 – 7 pm.
Timothy App and Douglas Witmer allow their chosen medium, painting, to guide and shape their art. The American art historian, Richard Shiff makes note of this in his essay, “The Constructor, Timothy App”. Shiff says that “App once stated a principle that might as well divide half of the artists of the modern world from the other half: ‘Without the physical manifestation of an idea through the properties of the medium, one really has nothing.’ Some artists (including App) use a medium to shape an emerging idea or even discover the idea in the first place – generating an idea through a medium. The concept must be specific to the medium. Other artists, to the contrary, regard a concept or theme as the origin. They choose a medium, or multiple mediums, to execute their idea. The medium serves this idea, rather than producing it.”
App and Witmer use the medium of painting to redefine fundamental geometric relationships. This redistribution of element – formally, materially, and commutatively – alters the blank piece of paper or the empty canvas. Both App and Witmer complicate the specific dimensions of paper or canvas. For both painters, the challenge is to essentially change those dimensions in some way through the addition or subtraction of geometric shapes; to alter the painting profoundly. These paintings hang on the semantic threshold of communication due to their reductive simplicity. Their special geometry can be associated with tools and recognizable objects, resulting in signs that are ubiquitous in our culture. App and Witmer take delight in participating in making, viewing, and, finally, sharing their discoveries. Their works allows the spectator to reconsider his/her world from a uniquely geometric point of view.
Timothy App was recently the subject of a forty-five year retrospective entitled: The Aesthetics of Precision: Forty-Five Years of Painting, at American University Museum, Katzen Arts Center in Washington D.C. and at Goya Contemporary in Baltimore, Maryland (catalogue). App has been the reciptant of many awards including: Individual Grants from the Maryland State Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship.Timothy App received his MFA from Tyler School of Art (1974), Philadelphia, PA and his BFA from Kent State University (1970), Kent, OH. App’s paintings are most notably included in the collections of: Albright Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY, Baltimore Museum of Art, Joslyn Art Museum, Omaha, NE, Kent State University, Kent, OH, Long Beach Museum of Art, Long Beach, CA, Monash University, Museum of Art, Melbourne, Australia, Museum of Albuquerque, NM, Museum of Fine Arts, Santa Fe, NM, Pomona College, Clarmont, CA, Roswell Museum and Art Center, Roswell, NM, Tucson Museum of Art, Tucson, AZ, and University of Mexico, Albuquerque, NM.
Douglas Witmer most recent exhibitions to date include: All Kinds of Ways to Your Garden at Blank Space in New York (solo, 2013) and The School Papers at the NIAD Art Center in Richmond, CA (solo, 2013). Witmer has been included in many group shows, most notably, Minus Space, P.S. 1/MoMA, New York, NY (2008), Informal Relations, Indianapolis Museum of contemporary Art, IN (2010), Flirting With Abstraction, curated by Bill Scott, Woodmere Art Museum, Philadelphia, PA (2011), Reason and Romance, 6b Gallery, Ellngen, Belgium (2013), and Pourquoi Pas…/Why Not?…,international biennial of non-objective art, Pont de Claix, France (2013). Douglas Witmer received his MFA from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (2001) Philadelphia, PA and his BA from Goshen College, Indiana, IL (1993). Witmer’s paintings can be seen in the collections of the Woodmere Art Museum, Philadelphia, PA, The Fellowship of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA, The City of Philadelphia, The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, and many private collections in the United States, Europe, and Asia.
– Gross McCleaf Press Release