To some, abstract, modern art is hip and lets you gaze at conceptual pieces that defy the standards of form and outline. To others, it’s just a bunch of haphazard paint smears flung on a canvas. Yet no matter what your take is on the nonfigurative compositions that have been popping up in art galleries for decades now, there’s no avoiding the post-modern style when gallery-hopping in Miami.
This month, Kerry Ware presents his show, Modernism, at the Dorsch Gallery, displaying some of his finer works. A graduate from UM’s MFA program, Ware offers a selection from his cryptically titled “Adnos Cycle” series for his sixth solo show at the Dorsch.
The exhibit features nine compositions of Rorschach-like splotches. Upon first glance, the artist’s paintings may seem like dismissible, eccentric material, the kind of “art” that makes you muse about how you could create the same thing in your sleep and sell it for thousands of dollars (yet you end up never creating anything). However, there’s more to these paintings than erratic blotches. Highlights include “#4”, which swirls together colors of terra cotta and spring green, with accents of dusty blue. Generating a cool, Mediterranean mood, “#7” blends deep blues and green with speckles of cream and yellow.
Ware paints with oil on prepared plaster panels, layering paint coats and then sanding through the strata to create the desired multifaceted effect. The undulating spots of paint make for interesting viewing, inveigling your eyes to rise and fall with the rippling rolls of color.
According to Brook Dorsch, the gallery owner, Ware’s work has been likened to “aerial landscapes,” although the artist eschews associating his paintings with any type of specific subject matter. Accordingly then, this isn’t controversial, emotive material. It’s more suited to decorating a home, or being arranged neatly in a row along a lengthy hallway. “I see such a lack of seriousness and sophistication in most of the work being regarded as ’emerging,’ ‘new,’ and ‘cutting edge’ – a total disregard of aesthetic sensibility,” explains Ware of his motive to put together this exhibit.
Could this art be satisfying to your aesthetic taste buds, and is there more to Ware’s work than aesthetic value? Some will say yes, others will give an emphatic thumbs-down. Bottom line: check it out for yourself and form your own opinion.
Brook Dorsch lives and works Saturdays at his eponymous gallery, a small, simple studio hidden along a back street. The charming space with its enormous, high-vaulted rooms is surprisingly tucked away from Miami’s stylish art district, although its lime green stucco exterior is hard to miss.
Modernism runs through Nov. 2nd at the Dorsch Gallery in Miami. For hours, directions, and more information, call 305-576-1278.
Jessica Misener can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org