Sheldon Greenberg + Maya Kabat
SLATE contemporary | 473 25th Street, Oakland, CA
May 2 - June 29, 2019 | Hours: Monday through Friday 10—5pm Saturday 12—5pm + by appt
SLATE contemporary is proud to present, California Modern: Sheldon Greenberg + Maya Kabat, featuring new paintings by two artists working to capture their impressions of California’s modern urban and suburban environments, each through their own unique language of color, light, and form.
Maya Kabat’s abstract oil paintings reference the urban landscape of Northern California, exploring relationships between architectural elements, California light, and the balance of color, line, plane, structure, and space. Inspired originally by Diebenkorn’s work, Kabat often leaves a quiet empty space in the middle of the canvas, giving absence and ground a prioritized position usually reserved for subject and form. Unlike Diebenkorn, however, Kabat focuses intently on the physical surface of her work, mixing oil paint directly on the canvas to build up a sculptural relief using drywall plaster tools. In this latest series of work, Kabat has freed herself from the square, creating a dynamic and destabilizing but exciting environment through her refusal to allow the stretcher’s shape to dictate the compositional elements within. In the smaller shaped-canvas works, she has destroyed the rectangular canvas by multiplying it and offsetting it, opening up seemingly limitless possibilities.
Sheldon Greenberg’s fascination with the West Coast environment is a result of growing up in the Midwest before moving to California, where he was immediately entranced by its landscape, architecture and light. References to the ocean, Midcentury architecture, palm trees, swimming pools, and film, show the delicate and sometimes ironic balance between California’s natural and manufactured environments. While Greenberg is also a talented realist painter, in this body of work he chooses a less literal and more abstract and process-driven approach, with the aim of representing a place and a moment in time without being overly specific. He gives the viewer just enough contextual direction to guide their looking, but ultimately allows the viewer to take their inquiry where they will.