“Rainbow” and “Zugzwang” opening at Eugene Binder

Opening reception from 6-8 p.m. for new paintings by Zeke Williams and recent work by Richard Shaffer

Marfa, Texas. Zeke Williams’ “black” paintings could easily be evocative of the Kazimir Malevich painting Black Square, the first of four made beginning in 1915, a little over one hundred years before the opening of “Rainbow” by Mr. Williams this Friday evening. Malevich considered himself a theorist and with the creation of Black Square he achieved what he referred to as the “zero point of painting,” and in retrospect he, perhaps unknowingly, created the point of departure for contemporary works of art are now referred to as “minimalist” made a half century later.

The two similarities between both artists’ work is quite obvious: the paintings are rectangular and black. In terms of the Zeke Williams paintings, closer inspection reveals a subtle undulation of compositional elements, floating just beneath the beautifully masked surface that Williams skillfully uses to achieve nuances of light and depth intensity perceived as rolling cross currents beneath a surface that is constantly in motion.

Although at cross purposes with Malevich’s intention and conceptual goals of creating the Black painting of 1915, Zeke Williams is acutely aware of his early twentieth century historical predecessor even as he allows the aspect of painting, i.e. making imagery that constantly shifts between the ambiguity of abstract and representational elements, to dominate the pictorial “black” rectangle that Malevich so courageously defined a century earlier.       

The title of Richard Shaffer’s exhibition of new work is “Zugzwang”, a chess term specific to a move a player must make, despite the fact that any move weakens his or her position.

Marcel Duchamp famously abandoned making art in favor of playing chess, after “creating” work that defined 20th as well as 21st century art. Unlike Duchamp, Shaffer chooses not to employ “readymades”, for no other reason than the beautiful utilitarian objects that could easily be found in the early 20th century and are no longer available.

Shaffer creates his own readymades, which, of course, are not ready-made, and therefore he returns to the ambiguity of the term – a realm he is quite comfortable in based on an irony and humor that possibly even Duchamp could enjoy.

Opening reception with both artists in attendance is Friday, December 2 from 6 to 8 p.m. For questions and more information call 432.729.3900 or email eugenebinderart@gmail.com

RICHARD SHAFFER, Zugzwang (installation view)

RICHARD SHAFFER, Zugzwang (installation view)

ZEKE WILLIAMS, Double Flower Disaster (black, black), 2016 acrylic and glass beads on canvas 72 x 54 inches (182 x 121 cm)

ZEKE WILLIAMS, Double Flower Disaster (black, black), 2016 acrylic and glass beads on canvas 72 x 54 inches (182 x 121 cm)