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Dissolving Realms

Kasmin Gallery, New York City

10 June–12 August 2022

Tom Anholt, Leonora Carrington, Dominic Chambers, Sedrick Chisom, Ithell Colquhoun, Leonor Fini, Helen Frankenthaler, Louise Giovanelli, Jake Grewal, Lee Krasner, Nengi Omuku, Naudline Pierre, Howardena Pindell, Antonia Showering, TARWUK, and Flora Yukhnovich.

Dissolving Realms brings together work spanning 70 years to investigate how painters have pushed the limits of representation. On view are works that incorporate fantastical and cosmological elements, conjuring realms that flicker on the precipice of abstraction or dissolve completely into pure colour and form. 


The exhibition begins with a suite of paintings from 1946 by Ithell Colquhoun, whose work is exhibited for the first time in NYC since 1986, drawing from esotericism and the occult to explore how painters looked at and deconstructed the figure in a fractured, postwar society, and turned to Surrealism at a time of crisis. 


As the viewer walks around the gallery, whole images disband until eventually abstraction looms large – demonstrated by Lee Krasner’s Icarus and Chrysalis (both 1964), reminiscent of comet tails and half-moon crescents, and Howardena Pindell’s Space Frame #2 (1969), a composition of dispersed grids and dashes.


Intersected with work produced in the last year, Dissolving Realms aims to create a dialogue between contemporary artists and those who aligned with Surrealism and Abstract Expressionism – movements born out of war. This is to show the legacy, impact and relevance of these painters, and to spark correlations between how artists use the ambiguity of representation versus abstraction in politically charged eras. 

Read a review in The New York Times

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