Common Expression : Gordon Hall, Carrie Rudd, Ilana Savdie, Howard Spann, and Alina Tenser

December 3, 2020 - January 9, 2021

Curated by Jesse Greenberg

Common Expression is an attempt to call to attention newly emerging themes in art that have been dormant for some time, works that reinvigorate abstract expressionism and performative objects that induce intimate expressions by the viewer. The paintings in this show by Carrie Rudd, Ilana Savdie and Howard Spann are highly fluid, even when figuration begins to enter the field, the materiality of paint supersedes, and strays these painters away from form and towards mark making through intuition and expression. The sculptures in this show by Gordon Hall, Howard Spann, and Alina Tenser are more stark and speak to civic design, furniture or building materials. Yet each has interactive elements, or instruction through design that asks the viewer to become a participant. The works express an experience that’s more intimate than the object. Expression within shared experiences is something many of us might miss especially now.


In Japan after the atomic bombs were dropped, and the country was able to reform itself,  a group of artists emerged; the Gutai Group. This experimental movement was fueled with rage against a world that had let an atrocity of this magnitude happen. From this rage emerged extreme performative expressionistic gestures resulting in environmental installations and action painting. Art offered extra language to formulate this shared disappointment. After a time of distinct sovereign binary opposition, something went catastrophically wrong, what emerged with this movement was a new reason for art. Art could add more words, and more feelings for a time that had sunken to the depths of an inhumane place based around allegiance to flags.


Now too we find ourselves as Americans and global citizens, emboldened with undeniable truths rallied against guilty deniers, who’s greedy self interests fueled the greatest obstacle the world’s shared since our last world war. This summer when citizens rose up and marched  across the country in response to police killings, this anger was also fueled by general disappointed frustrations at the state we were left to live in. This radiated and resonated with people all around the world, as our current leaders have brought this planet's  communities to its knees. And again as we see through a messy vision of a world filled with slogans, flags, loyalists, memes, religious rhetoric, science, fact, hatred and love. In Common Expression art again can aid the global community as it can create new language to share. Like the Gutai Group had discovered, art can help enforce an international common ground if you allow it to be expressed. The works in this show can serve to expand ways of communication in an ever broadening social realm.