The Painting Center is pleased to present Philip Gerstein: Sacred Asymmetry in the Project Room. Philip Gerstein was born and raised in Russia. He received an MA in Art History from Harvard University, prior to attending the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. His exhibitions have been extensively reviewed in Boston and New York City. His most recent solo show (Boston, April 2017) has received such accolades as “…rewarding… a masterful solo show… energetic, joyous and intellectually demanding…” (Art New England).
For his second solo show in Chelsea, Gerstein presents a new series of near-minimal abstract paintings. With the compositions pared down, his emphasis on rich color and texture is the main conduit to generating an emotional response, akin to the vibrational impact of music. Several of the paintings utilize an experimental textural material, glass bead gel — tiny glass beads suspended in a gel solution — which dries to a faintly reflective, deep, mysterious, almost spiritual effect; they change subtly with ambient light and angle of viewing.
Sacred Asymmetry as the title of this show aims to bring attention both to the spiritual legacy of Abstract Art, and to the frequently utilized compositional (and emotive) device of asymmetrical placement. The use of asymmetry, particularly in a minimalist composition, allows for a greater sense of movement, a freshness of surprise. At the same time, the ecstatic use of color in such paintings as “Sometimes There Is Bliss”, appears to fill these works with inner radiance. As such, these paintings could serve to remind us of Hans Hofmann’s pithy adage: “In nature, light creates color; in the picture, color creates light.”