Marks are observations, embedded in time like fractured thoughts, accumulating to become — the beginning and end of a brushstroke, the overlapping of tape, a piece of paper draped onto itself, or the softening of a line into a cloud of gouache. (wordless) turns to the generosity of image as a form that shapes across a fluidity and multiplicity of interpretation.
Suspended and swooning in an opulent spill, All I Thought And Forgot #1, 2009, by Zipora Fried tallies minutes as thoughts in portioned views of a gridded totality. Individual markings cohere into a graphite mass that is woven senseless, lost in space as in time. The clamor of these strokes, fast and sharp, thatch an impenetrable surface, a diary of impressions that, nonetheless, persists in opacity. #25 Night, 2016, is fleeting in blurry accumulation, a vision that refuses to condense further in the seemingly-fathomless noir that surrounds. Color creeps into cognizance like the arrival of memory to the mind, begging the question, Am I emerging or receding?
Rosaire Appel’s work is active with pauses, absences that punctuate a staccato compositional flow. Silky stains bend with the pages of Bat 8 (Getting Started), 2016, following its direction through the brief course of a single brush stroke. In her emphasis on fragment —be it a page, a line of ink, or pieces of tape— she directs our perception from one particle to the next, urging us to interpret a narrative of the unfamiliar. In Alphabet, 2016, blots of ink are nuanced by subtle calligraphic strokes evocative of Japanese ensō, shifting through minute metomorphoses that articulate a grammar of form. The title, prompting eyes to read characters or letters, leaves us with singularities within a void, opening to the possibility of the white surface.
Building from text in the movement of lines and the liquid sprawl of pigment, Renee Gladman weaves language through space, constructing ‘prose architectures’ on the ground of the page. Circling and branching, words become ladders and arches that slide, fall, extend into clouds of watercolor and gouache. In Untitled (spectre), 2017, a paragraph unfolds as bridge across a bay, while Untitled, 2017, is ordered by gridded windows and charted axes. Drawing writing and writing drawing, Gladman composes in lines of thought that define and are defined by space — that which they propose and in which they take shape.
Touching the meaning of words without being limited to them, (wordless)expresses not through sign and signified, but through the rhythms of grammars and silences that are as expressive as the sentences that they punctuate. (wordless) does not seek to escape signification; the absence of language comes not as dismissal of meaning but as the suggestion that it may be accessed through different modes of vision and revision; that —as historian Tina Campt has suggested— our eyes may learn to recognize different registers of enunciation through image.
~Julia Blasius and Nicole Kaack