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October 16th ~ November 18th 2005

Opening Sunday, October 16th from 2 - 7 pm.

James Biederman


Painting allows me to see what is not visible. Paint is wet, falling according to gravity and will against the surface of canvas. Once a barren surface, the canvas becomes populated with expressive colors and interacting forms. A geometric structure maintains stability. Pigment and linseed oil are ground; with the addition of turpentine, the oil reaches various states of fluidity. The paint remains separate, or mixes with its partners on the canvas. The process is straightforward painting, without unnecessary processes or theories.

This approach to art differs vastly from that of my constructivist period, which took place between 1973 and the mid-'80s. Process, architectural space, repetition and a reinterpretation of the Russian Stenberg brothers works were my main concerns then. There seemed to be a beginning and an end to the sculptures and drawings I was creating. My current paintings are fluid structures within a pictorial space. The physical solidity of those earlier works has yielded to an ethereal/pictorial space.

As a student at Yale, I experimented with video, film, and performance situations concerning the art making process. I also spent years studying music, playing tenor saxophone, and later on learned dance and movement at the Martha Graham School. All this was eventually integrated with my painting.

Content develops during the process of painting. Medieval tapestries, Giotto and Masaccio, the writings of Proust and Rilke have, at different times, served as my points of reference. Such stable beginnings can grow unwieldy, become unmanageable. From there the painting starts an independent life. There is a sense of the non-narrative, an interaction between the abstract and a suggestive place or state of being. Once the painting reveals the details of emotion and place, it transforms the narrative of life into a work of art, demanding a sensorial and emotional response from the maker and the viewer.

Revealing my subliminal memory, these paintings have become the history and memory of my life. The architecture of a studio, the mapping of a neighborhood, a disturbing interview, a plane crash, a blackout, a marriage, a divorce, a lover have all been subjects of my paintings. During a recent residency, the paintings became dense structures defined by intense colors and expressive brush strokes. The space seems shallow until one approaches the surface, where a complexity of depth resides.

In 2001, I had a cataract operation on my left eye, which had rapidly lost its ability to focus. One eye is now near-sighted and the other is far-sighted. The lens in the left eye is fixed; it does not zoom in and out. Each eye perceives color with different degrees of intensity. This has changed my painting much more than any "ism" or conceptual approach.

James Biederman, 2005

Abaton Garage is proud to present Verso, a group of recent paintings by James Biederman, October 16th - November 18th. Mr. Biederman's work is included in museum collections worldwide: the Hirschhorn in D.C., New York's Metropolitan, the Pompidou Center in Paris, and the National Gallery of Australia among them. He has been the recipient of many prestigious honors, such as the Pollock-Krasner and Gottlieb grants, as well as awards from the NEA and NYFA. Please join us for Verso's opening reception October 16th from 2-6pm. Sharon van Etten will perform a set of original country-pop songs at 5:30. Refreshments will be served throughout the afternoon/evening. Directions to the gallery can be found at our website: www.abatongarage.com. For further information, contact Lauri Bortz or Mark Dagley at 201-369-1591.

Directions to Abaton Garage.


From NYC take the Newark-bound PATH train to Journal Square. Taxis are available on Kennedy Boulevard, directly in front of the station. The ride to Abaton Garage takes less than five minutes and costs approximately $5. If you prefer to walk, simply stroll down Kennedy Boulevard about 3/4 of a mile, until you reach Gifford Avenue. Then turn right; 100 is in the middle of the block.

Previous exhibitions 2004:

Mark Dagley, June ~ July 2004

Tom Warren, August ~ September 2004

Alix Lambert, September ~ October 2004

Bill Schwarz, October ~ December 2004

Previous exhibitions 2005:

Steven Parrino, April ~ May 2005

Cora Cohen, May ~ June 2005

Paula Gillen, June ~ July 2005

Micheal Gentile, August ~ September 2005

Christine Krol & P. G. Six, September ~ October 2005

Amy Wilson, October 2005


Our 2005 catalog is available here. Catalog

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