Walter Biggs
Circles and Ellipses

From: 2003-12-02
To: 2004-01-17

Galleria Cardi is pleased to announce an exhibition of twenty-five new paintings by New York artist Walter Biggs. For his second one-person show in Milan, Mr. Biggs will exhibit works from his most recent series of circles and ellipses. The twenty five new works offer the viewer a varied an immersive experience. Several distinct variants of Mr. Biggs' work are displayed highlighting and refining further the themes which he has investigated during the past ten years. Several monochrome works are juxtaposed with elegantly composed abstract compositions, all displaying Mr. Biggs's unusual handling of iridescent and reflective materials. The largest work in the exhibition, titled Water Painting, 2003 is an ellipse measuring 1 meter high by 3 meters wide. Among the largest works ever made by the artist, the painting diverges dramatically from what one might expect are the capabilities of paint. Uncertain whether the paint surface is a carefully articulated impasto or the sampling of some extraordinary vein of precious mineral, the viewer is confronted with a sensual and almost inexplicable visual experience. The largest wall of the gallery displays an ensemble of work titled, Several Circles, 2003. Containing more than a dozen circular paintings, ranging in diameter from 15,0 cm to 122,0 cm, the grouping is less conventionally installed than the balance of the show. Paintings, alluding to a stellar configuration, cover the wall. Some works even appear to exist out of the viewers' direct line of sight. Suggestive of natural phenomenon, Biggs's paintings dazzle the viewer with dramatic spatial and surface effects. Mixing vast quantities of dry pigments, such as graphite, mica and colored earths with solvent based mediums, Biggs scrapes, coats and polishes the materials until all traces of touch are gone, leaving objects whose appearance is both matter-of-fact and confounding. The resulting artworks mimic precious metal, gaseous and liquid environments and molten rock. John Yau writes of Biggs's work in his catalog essay for "Young + Brash + Abstract", Virginia Commonwealth University, Anderson Gallery, January, 2002, "In speaking about his paintings, Pollock declared, 'I am nature." In Biggs's case, it is as if the painting itself made this declaration. Although heavily reworked, the surfaces are not painterly. Rather, they are self-effacing and, paradoxically, in-your-face. But paradox is not where Biggs stops, for his paintings impart a pleasure that goes beyond both the tactile and the visual, and engage one's capacity for speculation.

© Galleria Cardi