Presence by Stanley Casselman at Jim Kempner Fine Art

Last week, Mana Contemporary artist Stanley Casselman opened his latest exhibition at Jim Kempner Fine Art on West 23rd St. in Chelsea. The exhibition showcases some of the artist’s newest paintings, made up of work from his Untitled Presence series which began roughly in 2016. I first got a brief look at the new series at Casselman’s studio during Mana Contemporary’s open house on October 15th. Needless to say, it was every bit as wondrous then as it was when I arrived at Jim Kempner for the exhibition’s first night. The opening reception for Presence, held on Thursday November 16th, saw an incredible turnout and to no surprise, caught the eye of many passersby. If that wasn’t enough, Casselman himself donned a one-of-a-kind jacket born of his own paint scraps, put together for the artist by the incredible minds of threeASFOUR.

Like his previous series, Frequencies, which was featured in VUE’s 2016 Summer Issue in an exclusive interview with the artist, his latest work marks his exodus from Luminor and Inhaling Richtertwo projects which he created from about 2013-2015 after answering art critic Jerry Saltz’s call for an imitation Gerhard Richter painting. Casselman however, has been making magic since long before he began his previous series. And to its own credit, Presence, will give gallery goers a look into Casselman’s exploration of contrast and his search for logic through abstraction.

As we’ve seen in his past work, and in order to create his Untitled Presence series, Stanley Casselman doesn’t shape the abstractions from the front. Rather, he pushes paint from behind the silkscreen with a squeegee which in the case of this exhibition, gives varied results ranging from monochromatic to gestural abstraction. In many of these pieces one can observe a crater-like sparkle (best noticed in the flesh), as if mimicking the surface of the moon. This fine detail is created by applying “diamond dust” to the final surface, which is essentially glass dust.

Regardless of Cassleman’s method, the end result, as usual, is completely stunning. It’s easy to fine oneself lost in thought when staring through the forms and textures featured in Presence. This will be his third solo gallery at Jim Kempner Fine Art. The exhibition will run through to January 7, 2018. You can visit Stanley Casselman’s site here.