Color, Color… Embossed Decalcomania
Paul Kolker presents Color, Color… Embossed Decalcomania at the Paul Kolker Collection from March 16 through May 18, 2017. The exhibition highlights Kolker’s forty works, paintings and video-lightboxes, used as experimental psychology test cards called ‘projective images’ to study the viewer’s perception as influenced by a technological world of ultra high definition display screens replete with usually unnoticed colored dots. In this show, the dots are embossed as a relief or a stamping on the canvases and in the videos.
embossed ishidots decalcomania op. 7, 2017 (detail)
acrylic on canvas
55 x 55 inches
Kolker makes sure that the viewer is aware of that generally unnoticed dot. He explains that “the dot, or point, is the so- called ‘picture element’ or pixel of science’s new technology and art’s new media. The dot in succession forms the line; as well as all other geometric forms. When expressed as a rate of change, time can be expressed with dots. When extrapolated into x, y and z axes, space becomes a volume of dots… forming lines and strings in accordance with the relativity, forces and other metaphors explaining today’s theoretical physics.”
Kolker’s work is inspired by the basic scientific research of Benoit Mandelbrot illuminating the new geometry of fractals. Kolker uses the dot with his understanding that the dot, whether particle of a physical object or the pixel of a digital image, is a fractal; and “… a dot may be a universe; and a universe may be a dot.”
Therefore, for this exhibition a motif of Kolker’s ‘ishidots,’ based on the dot patterned color vision test cards of Dr. Shinobu Ishihara, form a Braille-like embossed layer of acrylic painted onto the canvas; and over which acrylic colors and diluent medium are sandwiched beneath a thin sheet of plastic in Kolker’s process, called ’embossed decalcomania.’ The paint laden sheet of plastic can also be used as a print plate or stamp to transfer the paint to another canvas. Multiple layers of paint and diluent are applied to create the overlaid rippling, branching, striations and other fractal patterns in the finished rendering of the painting, as in the detail depicted above.
Paul Kolker (b. 1935) is a New York-based artist with doctorate degrees in medicine and law. He is a Fellow American Col- lege of Surgeons, Fellow American College of Legal Medicine and Emeritus Chief of Cardiothoracic Surgery at North Shore/ LIJ Glen Cove Hospital, having practiced cardiothoracic surgery on Long Island from 1969 to 2013. In October 2001, Kolker moved his Long Island studio to his current address in the Chelsea art district so that he could produce his works and curate his exhibitions as an experiment in perception. His studio and gallery have together become his laboratory in which the viewer is the measuring instrument for Kolker’s art as a perceptual experiment. Color, Color… Embossed Decalcomania is Kolker’s fifty-seventh solo exhibition.
Paul Kolker: Color, Color… Embossed Decalcomania is on view from March 16 through May 18, 2017 at the Paul Kolker Collection at 511 West 25th Street adjacent to the HighLine between Tenth and Eleventh Avenues.