Wednesday, February 2, 2011

MZB - Paint by Color - Part 2

Margaret’s work arrived about an hour ago. In an instant the world came to a standstill; all else has been put on hold. While the paintings are leaning against the wall, patiently awaiting their imminent wall positioning, I sit on the floor as a parent with an infant. I caress the paint as if to convey my affection; their warm glow satisfying my need for acceptance. Still in contact with the ground, not yet exalted, they maintain an element of settledness; at rest. The remainder of the day, I can’t do much else than just walk around gawking at my treasure; my pieces of gold. They are all mine, well, at least for a month.

I had forgotten the richness, the luster and depth of the paints application. It has been more than a year since I first stood in Maggie’s New York studio. That day, literally I wept at the enormity of the well from which I had been called to drink; her delicate hand on my shoulder, acknowledging the moment’s power. This is the meat of my memory; remembering the moment. Briefly, we stood silent, Maggie and me, sharing the dynamics of our fortuitous meeting. It is all about the moment.

Resigned to the facts, we are held to the arithmetic of our existence. A moment is passed seemingly before it has begun. Back in mid ’09, MZB seized her moment; it was First Friday here in Old City Philadelphia. With confident strides she walked into the gallery and up to me asking if I was Karl, the Director. Barely had I made the acknowledgement before she deftly interjected how her work met our vision at the Knapp Gallery and that her work fit. With pointed and final punctuation - “I want you to exhibit my work here.”

Good Paintings, just like profound words, beyond description only, make account of significant moments. We are amidst one such moment. Outside, we await yet another winter storm, some believe of blizzard proportions. However, the golden-white-hot-yellow hue of MZB’s palette shines brightly from within this space, as if the Knapp Gallery had captured the sun. Taking in this brilliant light, a radiant glow tuned keenly to a wavelength akin to 1000 watts, we are bathed continuously in a visceral and visual balm; yes there is healing.

Maybe that’s what’s so taking about these paintings and the vessel by which they were painted. Beyond the color, the love, the care, there is a remarkable profound sense and understanding of light.