Vibrant, geometric canvasses await viewers of one of the new shows at the Trition Museum of Art – Lucas Blok’s “Paintings.”
At first glance, Blok appears to be a bit of a Mark Rothko knockoff. He takes Rothko’s idea of combining blocks of color, but that’s pretty much where the similarities end.
Blok’s near-precise rectangular and square designs are the first stray from Rothko’s less rigid structure, and reflect more of a Josef Albers influence. Then there is Blok’s color scheme. Some of Blok’s palette choices are loud, gaudy, and mismatched, and yet, a bright tangerine and blue-gray look like the perfect color combination in his pieces. If the seemingly odd color match ups weren’t enough to tantalize or turn off the optical nerve, the pieces play tricks on the viewer. Almost as if there were visuals hidden deep beneath the surface, viewers begin to see colors pop out and blend together. Edges begin to vibrate and shapes start to move. Blinking only momentarily offers relief from the psychedelic structure of Blok’s paintings.
According to Blok’s webiste, “to avoid textural distractions, he airbrushes acrylic paint onto his surfaces. These atomized pigments produce a mysterious density. For visual dynamics akin to rhythm, pattern, and syncopation, Blok composes with neutral shapes – bands, rectangles, lozenges – and varies the crispness of edge, intensity of color, and vertically/horizontally.”
Blok’s pieces are all titled according to date, continuing the trend of a minimalist, simplistic showing of work. “I have maintained the simplest design elements in order to clarify my intention and yet have maintained enough design aspects to enable the kinetic and subjective nature of the color experience to form a composition of movement and tonal development,” reads Blok’s artist statement. “In working in the painting, I play, explore, visualize and generally commune with that which I have not seen yet. In that process, I find emotional and unexplained experiences that become part of what I consider my living. The record of that process is the painting.”
“Lucas Blok: Paintings” runs through August 10 at 1505 Warburton Ave. in Santa Clara. Visit http://tritonmuseum.org/exhibitions_Blok.php for more information on the show, and http://www.lucasblok.com for more information on the artist.