MIT List Visual Arts Center announces Alan Uglow: Standards and Portraits

MIT List Visual Arts Center presents Alan Uglow: Standards and Portraits an exhibition on view May 9–July 14, 2013.

The work of Alan Uglow (1941–2011) is marked by a sense of proportion, structure, and surface. With an abiding focus on formal economy, Uglow utilized simple geometrical shapes to structure the surface of his canvases, emphasizing the materiality of painting rather than direct pictorial content to explore the formal and affective conditions of abstract painting.

Although seemingly reductive in form, Uglow’s Standards, each measuring seven by six feet, are executed with up to forty layers of paint. This process creates paintings that subtly play with the viewer’s own presence in space. These perceptual distinctions, revealed by the meticulously textured surface of each canvas, reflect a sense of pictorial space without traditional perspective or illusion. Uglow’s paintings also confront the problem of the edge, a motif running throughout the history of 20th-century abstraction, by making the support—the literal frame of the painting—their organizing element. Installed on blocks and sited in precise relation to the wall and surrounding space, the Standards assert a painting as both an object and an image.

Uglow’s Portraits of a Standard are silkscreened prints on canvas that capture his paintings at an oblique angle, making them recede into physical space. While the structural elements of color and edge are blurred through the mechanical process of printing, the Portraits also suggest another edge, that between painting, photography, and sculpture.

MIT List Visual Arts Center
20 Ames St.
Cambridge, MA 02139