Curated by Mari Elaine Lamp
November 4 - December 4, 2021
Opening Reception November 11, 2021
AUTOMAT is pleased to present a two-person show of paintings by Max Gideon Basch (New York, New York) and Caleb Kortokrax (Baltimore, MD).
Basch’s large format paintings are bustling with colorful shapes, gestures, and interludes. He thinks of his work as musical, playing with how frequencies, tones, and notes can provoke emotional responses. Graphic blocks of uniform color collide on each other almost like continents shifting around and through each other.
On his playful use of color, Basch says, “I generally like to use color in my painting to provoke and poke fun at the ‘seriousness’ in art, or at least create a tongue-in-cheek inside joke with myself.” It’s this playfulness mixed with a strong sensibility for elegant shape and line work that make these paintings so fascinating to look at. Stare long enough and you start finding inhabited worlds to get lost in.
Kortokrax also utilizes a strong sense of color intensity to evoke a reaction from the viewer. His high-chroma, thickly-painted works demand immediate attention, then draw you in through his use of fine detail and tonal variations. The series of paintings included in “Vivid Edge” were created as 1-to-1 copies of paper cut out machetes that Kortokrax installs on his studio wall. The subtle shifts in lighting and color temperature take the viewer on a journey from one to the next.
On color, Kotokrax says, “The symbolic or stand-in color is fascinating. Colors can mean something and serve as a signal to something or they can have cultural significance. Colors can relate to musical spaces and acoustical environments. The relationship to sound bouncing and light bouncing have a ton of parallels.”
As a celebration of the ways color and music share reference points, the artists have curated a Spotify playlist specifically for this exhibition.
You access the playlist here: