Slick slabs, pretty polygons and clay contortions: John Mason’s minimalist oddities and twisted totems.
Gagosian Gallery (the one way uptown) just opened a glorious exhibit featuring masterpieces made by the legendary chisler John Mason. The space is jam-packed with fierce fabrications and gnarly podium-like structures dense with minimalist mojo. An ode to the clay making virtuoso who sadly shuffled off this mortal coil last year, Gagosian’s exhibit, titled, ‘Geometric Force’, brims with beautiful alien-like planks, ponderous planars and walk-around sculptures that are expressionistic, futuristic, and strangely spiritualistic.
It all reminds of us of ancient alien artifacts from the future with deep personal and philosophical underpinnings. These sculptures straddle gaps between physics and metaphysics, the mundane and the mythic, Abstract Expressionism and undefined genres. Mason’s monuments capture the friction between sculpture as contemplative object and ‘art’ as a humdrum commodity.
In a circuitous and humble sort of way, these forms are microcosms and metaphors; they are occasions to muse about life, death, abstraction and being. Mason’s work has always been an alluring combo of artistic intelligence, ‘aesthetic primitivism’, tangibility and totemic gusto. He considered his medium to be an ‘organically malleable infinitude.’ One of the curators at the opening mentioned that the artist is ‘alive and well in this work.’
His super-conceptual, ceramic edifices are done in brilliant blue hues with jarring jade tinctures and earthy tones that manifest a hardcore intergalactic edge; they propagate visual-physical energy vibes and paranormal auras that serve as ‘deductive structures’ and ‘dialectical devices.’ This excellent art soothes and stimulates at once; it is an abstract conjuration and commemoration of something absolute and transcendental. Even though John Mason died last year, this stuff makes him one of the more optically alive, existentially alert sculptors out there. Wow! Experience these free-standing sculptural treasures and math-inspired creations a nosebleed away on 75th street — it’s worth the trek up!