Wednesday, February 5, 2014

John King: Edge of Darkness at Heskin Contemporary

Eternally Arriving, 2013, graphite and pastel on paper, 22" x 30" 
John King: Edge of Darkness runs through March 1 at Heskin Contemporary. King has long been highly skilled at rendering landscapes of the imagination featuring objects somewhat familiar, yet entirely strange. (Read about his work in the Brooklyn Rail.) The selection of 11 graphite drawings at Heskin, created over a span of years, includes some of his latest works that, more than ever, convey restlessness, movement, and an implied passage of time. Blacks are blacker than ever, nearly absorptive in their depth—sometimes smooth in surface, and in other instances, bearing marks of a human touch. 

Installation view, including the video Born Twice (Yellow), at right.
Since by now you've clicked on the Rail link above and read that John is also an esteemed gemologist, it may make complete sense that he has turned his eye on these tantalizing rocks as subject matter. (He has previously included them on occasion in his two-dimensional work.) 

Tucked around a corner in the rear of the gallery is a 3-1/2 minute video, Born Twice (Yellow), 2014, which details the evolution of a giant, 100+ carat yellow diamond, from rough stone to immaculately faceted, charted in time-lapse shots taken throughout the cutting process. In many ways, it's a time-based interpretation of what might be going on in Eternally Arriving, which collapses the advent of time. And in the case of this yellow diamond, eternity is an enthralling possibility.

For a more in-depth look at King's work, visit his website:

Heskin Contemporary is at 443 West 37th Street across from the Baryshnikov Arts Center. 

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