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Trifecta: New American Abstraction

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A Group Exhibition of Work by Ken Tate, Jen Pack and Brenda Zappitell

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May 10, 2016 (Tulsa, Oklahoma) – May 2, 2016 (Tulsa, Oklahoma) – Exhibit by Aberson is pleased to announce Trifecta, a group exhibition of works by Ken Tate, Jen Pack and Brenda Zappitell, on view at 3524b S. Peoria Tulsa, Oklahoma from May 12 through June 11, 2016. Opening Reception on Thursday, May 12 at 6 pm – 8 pm.

Trifecta refers to the desire of each of these artists to go beyond the conventional canons of beauty and subjectivity to create abstract works that shift and shimmer in the viewers’ mind and reach for a new, personal consciousness of color and form. The three bring together something of a school of abstraction. Their masterful work indicates what has been, during the past few years, a different intellectual and spiritual journey for each of these artists. This exhibition maps out a vibrant and telling future of abstraction that comes to Tulsa from all over the United States. Tate, Pack and Zappitell have each produced distinct surfaces in their application of color. In Trifecta, these three artists leave the world behind and forge something new out of the hidden rhythms of the American landscape – call it a New American Abstraction. Collectively their works present a vision that is largely stripped of historical hooks and overt references; theirs is an abstraction that reveals itself in the way a secret drawer might, in a dimension where art is a means of expression and the emblem of a higher purpose.

Zappitell, for instance, creates gesture-driven abstractions that are focused on body movement and influenced by nature and life experiences. Tate’s work is based on abstract expressionist and pop era idols but married and fused in a way that strikes at history but swings at contemporary culture; at some point his powerful brushstrokes have started taking over his vivid imagination in a ravishing mix of his previous and current art related ideas and stylistic experiments. Jen Pack’s work, however, is very controlled, almost in opposition to Zappitell’s and Tate’s work. Pack evokes a refined sense of beauty and symmetry in her framed yarn and thread works. These works convey a brand of minimalism influenced by color theorists such as Anni and Josef Albers.

Ken Tate (born Columbus, Mississippi, 1950) is an architect and painter whose work is rooted in abstract expressionism and incorporates an inclination towards the poetic rawness of paint. Tate says he “works straight out of the tube and never uses browns, or ever mixes colors.” Indeed the way he plays with paint implicates a superimposition of layers that barely blend with one another. When painting, the artist seeks new abstractions – something previously unseen. Technically, Tate is drawn to various ways of applying paint other than with the brush and employs squeegees, spatters, drips, blotches and smears.

Jen Pack (born Astoria, Oregon, 1976) makes art to satisfy a kind of compulsion: For her, everything happens in a liminal zone located between color and form, and painting and sculpture. The work connects to the other exhibiting artists in the bold use of color. Pack pays homage to color field painters in all of works and one can see fascination with Eva Hesse in her exploration of both materials and materiality. The meticulously rendered pieces, comprised of multicolored lines and rectangles and other geometric shapes, have passed through the work of James Turrell and the books of Octavia Butler to ultimately turn into spiritually charged compositions. This work explores color through fabric and its relationship to touch and our tactile knowledge of the world.

Brenda Zappitell (born South Florida, 1964), currently lives and works in Delray Beach, FL, is an abstract expressionist painter seeking to embrace and capture what she calls “the incredibly visceral moments” in life, completely engaged in the process of painting. Zappitell’s work combines unintentional mark making that defies logic through drips and splashes. There are aesthetic similarities between her canvases and those of both Pack and Tate, particularly their brightly rendered palettes. Zappitell, with her unique style, takes inspiration from several historically relevant painters, including Joan Mitchell and Willem de Kooning.

Exhibit by Aberson focuses on today’s contemporary abstraction. Based in Tulsa, Oklahoma, the gallery, founded by Kim Fonder and Henry Aberson in 2008, has long worked with mid-career and emerging artists in local, national and international venues. For inquiries please contact the gallery. https://abersonexhibits.com/

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