Loren Connors: A Coming to Shore Opens at Blank Forms in NY

Source: Blank Forms.

January 28–March 25, 2023
Exhibition opening 4–7 PM, Saturday January 28
Gallery hours 11am–6pm, Thursday–Saturday

Painting has long been a part of Loren Connors’s practice: beginning in the early ’70s, when he studied art at New Haven’s Southern Connecticut State College under the sculptor Michael Skop, the peerless guitarist has produced canvases guided by his austere musical sensibility and the metaphysical expressionism of Mark Rothko at an almost alarming rate. “A Coming to Shore,” Connors’s second solo exhibition with Blank Forms, features monumental abstract acrylic-on-canvas paintings made this past year in the small Brooklyn Heights apartment Connors shares with his partner and collaborator Susan Languille. It follows “Wildweeds,” his first solo exhibition, presented by Blank Forms at Artists Space in 2018.

Much like his guitar playing, Connors’s visual works are always slowly transforming: when he runs out of canvas space, the artist paints over “finished” pieces and starts again, this ritualistic layering contributing to what Aki Onda has described as their “mystical quality.” Diagnosed with Parkinsons in 1991, Connors’s strength and range of movement are in decline, yet he paints every afternoon, committed to visualizing the intangible. The works on view “have the feeling of horizon, but not all of them depict horizons,” Connors has said. With gestural swathes of black, gray, yellow, and green, the paintings in “A Coming to Shore” limn boundaries, the spaces between what is “beneath, behind, above, below, and within,” which have occupied Connors for nearly half a century.