Kathryn Markel Fine Arts opens the 2023 season with a group exhibition curated by Joanne Freeman. Betty and Veronica features work by four abstract artists – Sarah Hinckley, Victor Kord, Margo Margolis, and Karen Schifano. It will run concurrently with Freeman’s solo exhibition, New York Conversation, through February 11th.
During the 1960’s and 70’s abstract artists were questioning the relationship of painting to sculpture and the boundaries set between two and three dimensional space. The ongoing exploration of space pushed painting towards object-hood and created a hyper-awareness of the painting’s physical structure, shape and edge. Emphasis placed on frames and edges implied both boundaries and infinity and led artists towards further experimentation with process and structure. Mirroring qualities found in the more graphic mediums of film, photography and comics, abstract painters were disrupting the status quo of linear narrative as they considered multiple sides and angles to enter a picture plane.
Betty and Veronica was a comic strip that ran in mid-century America. The series featuring two opposing female characters, metaphorically suggests the ongoing overlap of high low culture. In the search for visual abstract language, artists in their studios have continuously balanced subjective influence and spontaneous process with precedence and outside stimulus. The accomplished painters; Sarah Hinckley, Victor Kord, Margo Margolis and Karen Schifano have built their work on historical precedence, but within that framework they speak of being alive in our time. In reverence to their predecessors, their work both charges and endures.