The Dot is in the Sky

Paul Kolker presents The Dot is in the Sky at the PAUL KOLKER collection from August 3 through September 20, 2017. The exhibition is an experiment testing indirect perception. The viewer is the measuring instrument. Photographs of clouds and jet washes are transformed into inkjet and acrylic on canvas works called sky paintings, on which a solitary two-inch diameter dot is painted as a sensory teaser; drawing the viewer’s saccadic eye movements to the work of art like Kolker’s visual scent theory does. This same sniff test, Kolker hypothecates is used by doctors to visually test and examine their patients as if an experiment in perception were used to form a diagnosis.

The human retina senses the empirical; optical wavelength, intensity, and direction of the light relative to the eyeball. The vast remainder of visual perception is extrasensory; indirect and inferential, rather than the result of retinal stimulation. Viewing the sky, as in the instant exhibition, is like a doctor examining her patient. It is based in her cerebral databank of information learned through formal education, peer review literature and practice and further enabled by blood testing, X-rays and other imaging studies. In the interpretation of the latter studies, the doctor also uses her inferential reasoning, insight and intuition to render a diagnosis. Kolker’s visual scent theory of indirect perception applicable to his sky paintings is also founded in inferential reasoning, insight and intuition.

 
Paul Kolker: cumulonimbus bleu, 2009 - © 2017 Paul Kolker. All rights reserved. Contemporary Artist NYC

Paul Kolker: cumulonimbus bleu, 2009
acrylic and silkscreen on canvas
96 x 96 inches in 16 parts

When the viewer looks at a painting, her eyes scan it in an automatic repetitive process of fibrillatory eye movements called microsaccades rendering in each second thousands of images of the static object. Overlapping frames are called after images, which generally occur when the viewer focuses on a solitary spot on the object. For this reason, Kolker places a solitary painted dot on each painting in this exhibition. That dot, becoming a focal point, directs attention as if it were a visual scent laid upon Kolker’s sky painting, as depicted above, cumulonimbus bleu, 2009, based on the artist’s photograph of a smoke and dust cloud hovering over ground zero.

Paul Kolker (b. 1935) is a New York based artist with doctorate degrees in medicine and law. He is Fellow American College of Surgeons, Fellow American College of Legal Medicine and Emeritus Chief of Cardiothoracic Surgery at Northwell 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. The Dot is in the Sky is Kolker’s fifty-ninth solo exhibition.

Paul Kolker: The Dot is in the Sky is on view from August 3 through September 20, 2017 at the PAUL KOLKER collection, 511 West 25th Street in Chelsea adjacent to the HighLine between Tenth and Eleventh Avenues. Also on view is Paul Kolker: Abstract Decalcomania… An Experiment in Perception at 600 Third Avenue, NYC.


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