MILES MCENERY GALLERY is delighted to present “The Responsive Eye Revisited: Then, Now, and In-Between.” The exhibition will open 14 January at 520 West 21st Street and will remain on view through 15 February 2020. A fully illustrated publication featuring an essay by David Pagel accompanies the exhibition. Pagel is an art critic who writes regularly for the Los Angeles Times as well as a Professor of Art Theory at Claremont Graduate University and an adjunct curator at the Parrish Art Museum.
Paying tribute to the Museum of Modern Art’s 1965 exhibition entitled “The Responsive Eye,” Miles McEnery Gallery’s presentation of “The Responsive Eye Revisited,” sets forth a reinvigorated take on the iconic exhibition. Emphasizing the wonders of the perceptual and cognitive experiences created by abstraction, “The Responsive Eye Revisited” spotlights the ongoing, boundless impact of abstract art.
In the climate of the mid-1960s, the original exhibition generated widespread discussion about the value of viewer interaction in contemporary art. “The Responsive Eye,” looked to the future — the artists aimed to break free from the boundaries of the past, charged with the prospect of art’s ability to do the unprecedented. Including a range of materials, they rejected the exclusive notion that art is an extension of its creator’s inner sentiments, and gave precedence to the viewer’s unique and intimate interactions with a work of art.
“The Responsive Eye Revisited,” alternatively, looks to the past while remaining firmly grounded in the present. The exhibition includes a selection of works by contemporary artists — Beverly Fishman, Warren Isensee, Markus Linnenbrink, and Patrick Wilson — alongside artists who themselves participated in the original exhibition or were active in the decades in-between — Josef Albers, Karl Benjamin, Gene Davis, Lorser Feitelson, Frederick Hammersley, John McLaughlin, Kenneth Noland, and Al Held.
Illustrating an inclusive understanding of the power of abstract painting, “The Responsive Eye Revisited,” highlights how contemporary artists masterfully apply the medium of paint with a sensual quality capable of engaging both the mind and body. As David Pagel writes, “Although their materials are conventional, what they do with them is anything but. They make paint sing—silently and like nothing else out there.”