Ventana 244: is pleased to present new work by George Hofmann and Ben Dowell who will be showing a group of pieces developed over the last few years - lumpen forms with rich, densely packed and cracked molten surfaceDowell and Hofman are at seeming extremes of painting – in texture, scale, composition, even origin. In appearance, nothing could be more dissimilar. In fact, because of the intensity of their involvement, their work is clearly within range, both in effort and in concerns. Although differing takes, both artists share a concern for the role of gesture in painting and an earnest interest in the absorption of historical models. Dowell and Hofmann both build a systematic element into their processes, to isolate the gestural, and allow for the nature of the materials used to influence form. Through this method , the artists distance themselves from the gestural process just enough to create a self awareness. The result is a psychological space for the artists to avoid trappings of nostalgia and stylization. Inhabiting a space of contradiction the artists remain sincere in their pursuit for expression through abstraction.
"The most recent overtly gestural painting in our history, Abstract Expressionism, did not "die", as many think – it withered, or more accurately, was strangled, by superficiality: a superabundance of empty and meaningless moves on canvas swamped the art consciousness of the time, the result of incomplete understanding, superficial interpretation and lack of feeling: the real, deep, crude and unmanageable overtaken by the banal. This proved, really, how difficult it was to make this kind of art, not how unsubstantial its source was." - George Hofmann, "Gestural Painting" 2014