143 Reade Street – New York 10013
143 Reade is a private gallery in a residential building in Tribeca.
“Le ciel est par-dessus le toit”
Elliott Green, Robert Moskowitz, Ann Pibal, a photograph by Noguchi Rika and a photograph by Luisa Lambri
October 1 – December 31, 2013
To inaugurate the second season of exhibitions at 143 Reade Street, Lucien Terras presents new paintings by Elliott Green, a suite of drawings by Robert Moskowitz, paintings on aluminum by Ann Pibal, and two photographs by Noguchi Rika and Luisa Lambri. This seemingly disparate grouping of works echoes one of the most beautiful poems by Paul Verlaine, Le ciel est par-dessus le toit, composed in 1881 while he was in jail. Confined to his cell, the poet can hear the city nearby. His only spatial references are the sky, a roof, and the top of a tree. Focusing on these reductive figurative elements he muses on his past, while the serenity of a present remains just beyond his reach. The simplicity of Verlaine’s style amplifies the evocative power of these images, a quality that is shared by the works of the five artists exhibited here. As in Verlaine’s symbolist text, the stylistic control of these works shifts the viewer from a formal interpretation to a more emblematic one.
Elliott Green’s latest works emerge as complex panoramas. Their depth of field begins to collapse as large brushstrokes in the foreground attempt to interact with a distant background. Green’s emotional landscapes seem to be a recording of simultaneous atmospheric events.
By contrast, Robert Moskowitz’s monochromatic drawings evince a much more muted and reductive atmosphere. In these drawings, Moskowitz has transformed blank sheets of paper into large open skies, which are only sparingly interrupted by schematic birds and minimal marks of spray paint. His stark imagery conveys a subdued yet alluring quality.
Ann Pibal, known for her small-scale works, presents three larger compositions dating from 2008 to 2009. Her precise geometric patterns play against color fields that read as elegant abstract landscapes. The subtle repetition points to notions of time while their backdrops elicit a sense of infinite space.