Rema Ghuloum / Kevin Scianni (July 31)

Disparate Whole

Kevin Scianni
Tectonic III, 2014
acrylic on canvas over panel
36 x 28 inches

Rema Ghuloum
In The Thick Blue, 2014
oil on canvas
23 x 17 inches

Kevin Scianni isolates elements of pictorial space - color, linear perspective, scale, and overlapping planes - and arranges them into paintings with irrational geometric configurations. He likens this analytical approach to the way digital media manipulates information by breaking it down into encoded elements. He is interested in the way this process quantifies information so that it is completely contextless and malleable. Kevin quantifies pictorial space as a way to explore spatial relationships. His compositions contain shifting perspectives through layers of translucent and opaque planes. These spatial configurations do not necessarily function in a cohesive way but are illogical and incongruous. This underlies the potential irrationality of the process. Though the paintings begin with a series of preliminary studies, they are designed to be a loose structure, which then gets manipulated through this process of reconfiguration. 

Rema Ghuloum’s paintings are reflections of paintings and sculptures that she produces in her studio. Rema is mostly interested in the ways in which one sees, absorbs, and recalls an experience through the process of painting. Recently, Rema has been drawing inspiration from Giorgio Morandi’s still life paintings. Like Morandi, Rema arranges still lifes of her sculptures into different configurations, which she then examines from different vantage points. Subsequently, she paints aspects of these arrangements from observation and memory. Rema’s paintings oscillate between abstraction and representation and the illusion of two and three- dimensions. To further emphasize this, Rema has been utilizing muted palettes in the paintings as a way to unify the forms and apply more stress on space created through the process of layering and excavating – color, marks, and shapes. 

Both Kevin’s and Rema’s paintings use the language of abstraction and representation in different ways. Rema’s marks have a sense of immediacy. They are direct and intuitive while Kevin’s are methodical. Rema moves paint quickly in a less uniform way while Kevin plans, masks then applies paint in flat matted layers. Kevin’s forms are rigidly geometric while Rema’s geometries are painterly and loose. Kevin’s paintings relate to information processing while Rema’s relate to the process of translation. Despite these differences, both painters share common conceptual themes. Both begin with a specific structure that is interpreted through varying degrees of complexity, shifts in perspective and contrasting formal elements. Both generate paintings through processes that shift context. Kevin removes pictorial elements from the context of cohesive pictorial space while Rema shifts context through painted interpretations of her sculptures which pass through the filter of memory, recollection, and experience. 

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