A LEBANESE ARTISTIC PRESENCE IN NEW YORK
New York Cesar Chelala
A new art show, “The Architecture of Painting” by Edward Shalala, an American artist of Lebanese descent, is now taking place in the prestigious art gallery Luise Ross, in the artistic district of Chelsea in New York City.
Edward Shalala’s exhibition is an exploration into the structure of painting. His compositions examine the painting as object, seeking to break it down into its most fundamental elements. These compositions are about the architecture of the painting itself, not personal self expression. As such there is a hyper awareness of physicality. Consideration is given to stretcher bars, canvas weight, natural canvas color, and tactility of the canvas threads. Shalala’s paintings contain all of the necessary elements in and of themselves. Through the careful cutting, pulling and manipulation of these elements the painting is teased out; no paint need be applied.
The artist works is in the tradition of post minimal abstraction. "In abstract painting the artist works with the painting as a material ‘object.’ The tactics are metaphorical, physical or both. I am interested in the ‘physical,’ and I take a progressively minimal approach...” said Shalala.
Shalala was born in 1949 into a military family in Cleveland, Ohio, and grew up on U.S. Army bases all over the world. In 1976 he obtained his MFA in Painting from the University of Wisconsin at Madison, and moved to New York City in 1977. His work is in the collections of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Museum of Modern Art, The Whitney Museum of American Art, The Brooklyn Museum, The Library of Congress, The Phillips Collection, The Art Institute of Chicago, Art in Embassies, State Department, The Cleveland Museum of Art and Yale University Art Gallery, among many other collections.
The show “The architecture of Painting” runs until April 15, 2017.