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Louder Than Bombs @ divisible

August 21, 2016

Louder Than Bombs: Reductive Abstraction in the Midst of Dark Times is an exhibition of paintings by artists from the US, China and Canada. Curated by Douglas Witmer, he writes:

“Reductive abstraction” is often viewed as reflecting a kind of detached purity.
If purity indeed existed in abstraction of the past, it exists no longer.
It cannot, because purity is not available in our world.
Reductive abstraction is not abstract, either.
The goal of abstract art is a new reality.


Steven Alexander, Poet (No. 7), Oil on canvas


Mary Bucci McCoy, Peripheral, Acrylic on panel











From the exhibition statement:

“Louder Than Bombs” is an exhibition curated by Philadelphia-based artist Douglas Witmer. The show brings to Dayton paintings and works on paper by eight accomplished reductive abstract artists from around the globe.


Reductive art is often incorrectly described (and sometimes dismissed) as being “minimalist.” But whereas the detached attitudes of late 20th Century minimalism de-emphasized the personal, today’s reductive abstract artist harnesses a pared down approach as a means to achieve a maximally focused and deeply personal expression.


Jon Poblador, Patiencia, Acrylic on linen

Painters Steven Alexander, Matthew Feyld, and Jon Poblador create exquisitely balanced compositions of color and geometry. The works of Linn Meyers and Emma Langridge use drawn and scored lines in repetitive and loosely systematic ways. Mary Bucci McCoy, Tim Schwartz, and Nicholas Szymanski engage the surfaces of their paintings with a variety of economic gestures, producing near-monochromes.


Tim Schwartz, the way 4, Sumi ink and gesso on linen

In statement written to accompany the show, Douglas Witmer addresses this kind of work in light of the current state of our world. He suggests through their disciplined artistic practices creating work that is beautifully clear and matter-of-fact, reductive artists offer a kind of generous alternative or “other-ness” in the prevailing culture. And for the viewer, a fundamental process of transformation may begin by simply recognizing and engaging a basic sensation of being alive.


Louder Than Bombs is on view from August 5 – 22 at Divisible, Front Street Warehouse, 1001 East 2nd Street, Dayton.  Learn more at


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