What Am I Looking At?
The questions I always ask when looking at art are these: What am I looking at? What is the physicality of the object (if it is an object)? How do the materials make a leap to some kind of meaning?
In Mary Bucci McCoy’s show New Paintings, I am looking at carefully articulated shapes that hold paint, paint which is allowed to react to the conditions she has set up – calculated circumstances that lead to beautiful “accidents.” What I see is paint in action, the many ways the paint had moved; what I see is the arrested movement. In the space of the gallery, each work is a world unto itself, singular; each is a record of time and a “moment” in time.
Something else I see is the oval shape moving throughout the space of the gallery. It appears as a shape or mark, or sometimes the support for a shape or mark. Dark ovals absorb light, becoming voids; light ones project outwards, becoming mirrors.
I see paintings here that also exist beyond the boundaries of their supports.
For me this work becomes the answer to my questions and the material, the paint, holds multiple meanings. It fulfills what we often ask of art and, in particular, abstraction, that it becomes a locus for our own projections, a way of finding meaning not only in the work that we see, but also in the world at large.
Image: Crux, acrylic on plywood, 9 x 7 x 1″, 2013.