Bravo to Paul Kasmin for creating a remarkable installation this Spring presenting the work of Landon Metz in dialogue with Morris Louis. Recalling Andersen’s exhibition of the Metz’s work in 2015, we delved into his exhibition history. What we found are numerous explorations that touch upon color field, staining, and installation, taking us back through art history and skipping past the present with a sort of subtle resonance. Enjoy the references.
Landon Metz (b. 1985) is a conceptual painter based in New York known for his elegant stain paintings. Metz pays homage to a lineage of staining the surface that calls to mind such masters as Morris Louis and Helen Frankenthaler. He is taking this aesthetic to a new level as he considers the architectural installation of work as essential to how the work is conceived.
Morris Louis (1912-1962) is the quintessential Color Field painter. Metz draws direct references, as the expanse of raw canvas presents itself as a field/ground for the ethereal layers of color. The surfaces are optical and evoke purity and simplicity in form that results in “beauty” as an experience.
Helen Frankenthaler (1928-2011) was interested in transforming elements of nature into abstract shapes and color. During the 1950s she defined her personal style through pouring thinned pigment onto unprimed canvas. And Frankenthaler’s achievements in painting rival those she made as a printmaker.
In Madame Butterfly, she creates a color woodcut from 46 woodblocks on three sheets of handmade paper. 102 colors printed in 59 runs, and the woodblocks are 30 birch, 14 maple, 1 luan mahogany and 1 fir. Just wow. Understandably these “stains” are special as pieces that capture the beauty of nature, color, and the medium achieved by the ultimate in execution.
Metz’s installation is lyrical and painterly. These works satisfy a sense of order, introducing a new way for the viewer to experience, in this case, a residential space.