Review: Paul Bloodgood, "Objects in Pieces"

The artist makes the most of a personal injury.

  • Courtesy Newman Popiashvili Gallery

    Paul Bloddgood, Study for High, Low and In Between

  • Courtesy Newman Popiashvili Gallery

    Paul Bloddgood, Objects in Pieces

  • Courtesy Newman Popiashvili Gallery

    Paul Bloddgood, Orange and Blue Painting

  • Courtesy Newman Popiashvili Gallery

    Paul Bloddgood, Blue and Green Landscape

  • Courtesy Newman Popiashvili Gallery

    Paul Bloddgood, Untitled 1

  • Courtesy Newman Popiashvili Gallery

    Paul Bloddgood, Untitled 2

  • Courtesy Newman Popiashvili Gallery

    Paul Bloddgood, Untitled 3

  • Courtesy Newman Popiashvili Gallery

    Paul Bloddgood, Untitled 9

Courtesy Newman Popiashvili Gallery

Paul Bloddgood, Study for High, Low and In Between

Time Out Ratings :

<strong>Rating: </strong>4/5

From Monet's cataracts to De Kooning's dementia, injuries and infirmities, both physical and mental, have been cited, albeit often controversially, as partial explanations for an entire history of artistic innovation. In fall 2010, painter Paul Bloodgood suffered a brain injury that rendered him unable to infer the entirety of an object from a fractional view. But far from stopping his practice in its tracks, the disability was oddly in line with the artist's established method; where once he pursued visual fragmentation, he now aims for reassembly. A number of the paintings and collages in this show were begun before his accident but completed after it, making any attempt to determine the exact influence of the trauma almost impossible. It is irresistible nonetheless.

Bloodgood's loose-limbed abstractions are built around quasicartographical grids, and his palette is muted, with rust reds and sea blues predominating. In the small collage works, torn-up photographs of earlier paintings suggest an ongoing process of reworking and recycling. Bloodgood continues to mine other artists' pieces as sources, too, blending elements of them with his own to generate new compositions, while a collaged text, Study for Jack's Name Painting, meditates further upon the layered and fragmentary nature of everyday life, with a message reading: RIGHT ON THE SURFACE ARE CHARACTERS, TEMPERAMENTS. A LITTLE DEEPER, HONEST PEOPLE HAVE SPECKS OF RASCALITY, RASCALS SPECKS OF HONESTY, THE GREAT HAVE MOMENTS OF STUPIDITY, AND THE MOST PROSAIC FACTS AND EVENTS OF ORDINARY LIFE ARE REVEALED TO BE EMBLEMS OF PROFOUND SPIRITUAL REALITIES.

See more Art reviews