Lycar approaches abstract painting utilizing simple raw materials – linen, oil, pigment, wood ash, and brush – in a balanced equation. Each element is treated with a respect, allowing them the space to exist together subtly and without competition. The paintings are then composed of a system of basic detailed marks, retaining the essence of these materials in the evident brushwork, remnants and textures of raw pigment particles, and areas of exposed ground or fibrous linen. In variations on this aesthetic, Lycar is able to observe, extend, and nurture the medium of painting, while simultaneously communicating his own distinct visual language.
The paintings exhibited in Nurture Restrain employ a spectrum of color from more naturalistic earth tones to nearly saturated reds, greens and blues. Light and shadow, landscape and figures, or conventional narratives can be implied, while there are also hints of a more technological space composed of vibrating static or digital screen swipes and scrolls. In this respect, Lycar plays with the idea of the inherent visual cues of painting as anachronistic.
As any mark or gesture in the context of contemporary culture is unavoidably loaded with references or consequences, conscious and unconscious, Lycar does not intentionally point to any specific source material, but relies more purely on the nature of the base materials. Through an almost meditative practice of strategic restraint, Lycar produces compositions that are by default relatable and evocative of the past, gleaming art history, while also appearing authentic and current in manifesting an ambiguous and not-yet-fully-defined force.
Lycar works in alignment with Robert Grunenberg’s evaluation of contemporary practices in abstraction as “a balancing act of being thoroughly contemporary while not losing sight of the larger whole […] resisting familiar visual order, developing new systems, but also adopting established ideas, rethinking them or turning the logics, artifices, and ploys associated with them against them.”1
A full exhibition catalog with text contributed by Penny Rafferty will be published and available through the gallery. Please contact Owen Clements, owen(at)dittrich-schlechtriem.com, for information, images and with any further inquiries.