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Max Van Pelt: Open Lineation

Arte Institute suggests "Open Lineation" by Max Van Pelt.

Open Lineation
 Rooster Gallery, 190 Orchard Street, Lower East Side, NYC
 Opening Reception: Thursday, December 5, 6-8PM
 Exhibiting from December 5-January 5

Max Van Pelt (b. 1989, Boulder, Colorado) is an artist living and working in Providence, RI.
 "Open Lineation" presents a selection of his most recent paintings and sculptures together with a site specific installation on Rooster Gallery's main level. Van Pelt is represented by the Rooster Gallery and this is his first solo exhibition in New York.
 On the lower floor of the gallery, Van Pelt unveils two new bodies of similarly sized, intimately scaled work. The paintings, colorful and intricately composed surfaces of ink, cut paper, paint, monotype prints, and graphite are diverse and responsive assemblies of geometry, experiment and illusion. Meanwhile, a series of small wire and mixed media sculptures read so clearly at eye level that one might more accurately interpret them as drawings. Presented against the whiteness of the room, they are intricate, fragile, and immediately personal. Together, the paintings seem to be as much about sculpture as the sculptures are about drawing.
 On the upper floor, an ambitious installation expands the inquiry: positioning both mediums in a simultaneous act of drawing. Suddenly, there is a translation of the same language into a new scale and depth. Openly responding with elements of string, wire, wood, steel, large works on paper, concrete, and other materials, Van Pelt connects the entire space in drawing. In his two treatises on architecture, "A Pattern Language" and "The Timeless Way of Building," Christopher Alexander poses a framework for understanding the built world in terms of the _places_ which "live" and the _spaces_ which do not. In Van Pelt's case, we are no longer faced with a space, but instead a wide orchestration of highly attentive moments which Alexander might have characterized by its state of living. While the downstairs may remain a strong collection of related pieces, the upstairs is inescapable, demanding that you insert yourself within the drawing and take pleasure in the unmitigated joy of creating place.
 Open Lineation is the visual artifact of an extended effort to understand and activate the relationship between drawing, painting, and sculpture. It is an experiment in communication, one where the production and description of abstract forms sows a fertile ground for observation. Regardless of the medium, Van Pelt's work appears both microcosmic and expansive, striving to ascertain and instigate a mindfulness that connects us sympathetically to our surroundings. Layered assemblies of divergent elements, marks, colors, textures tend to converge and resolve optimistically within the necessity of cohabitation. The participation of a viewer allows these visual expressions to move from ambiguous to something specific and personal - the production richest in its potential not just to represent ideas, but to evoke them with _frequency__: _regularly, and in appropriate tones.
 Over the past three years, Van Pelt has been testing and applying a hypothesis that the relationship between sculpture and painting may be best understood through drawing. The resulting works feel rooted, not by a foundation of preparatory drawings, but in the conscious decision to let them exist as the drawing. By nurturing the directness, immediacy, and openness to experimentation found in the experience of making marks, he has come to discover drawing more as a mindset than a medium. These inquiries transcend the physicality of each material in service of something larger: this is the calling of "Open Lineation."
 Van Pelt graduated Summa Cum Laude from Dartmouth College with a BFA in Studio Art and concentration in Architecture (2011). His thesis work in Drawing and Sculpture was awarded High Honors and the Jonathan B. Rintels Prize for the outstanding undergraduate thesis in the Humanities and Social Sciences. He is also a recipient of the Dartmouth Department of Studio Art's Perspectives on Design Award and the two foremost awards from Hopkins Center for the Arts: the Sudler Prize and the Marcus Heiman-Martin Rosenthal '56 Achievement Award. Van Pelt derives additional passion as an experienced whitewater kayaker, mountain bicyclist, and former member of the United States World Archery Team.