Eleanore Mikus at Spotlight at Frieze New York
Craig F. Starr Gallery | Stand S13
May 2 – 5, 2019 | Randall's Island Park
NEW YORK – For its inaugural exhibition at Spotlight at Frieze New York May 2-5, 2019, Craig F. Starr Gallery will show a group of works by the late Eleanore Mikus (American, 1927-2017).
A seminal but still relatively unknown artist, the gallery first worked with Mikus on an exhibition in 2017 (the last in her lifetime) and currently represents her estate.
Best known for her Tablet paintings and paperfolds, Mikus’s work is a continued investigation of light, shadow, line, composition, and temporality. A selection of these groundbreaking monochromatic works, in black, white, and gray, will be on view. Highlights include Tablet 180, 1967-68 (acrylic on fiberglass, 71 3/8 x 65 3/8 x 1 3/4 inches) and Untitled, 1979 (handfolded Inomachi nacre vellum, 39 7/8 x 29 inches).
In the early 1960s, Mikus began developing a series she called Tablets – hybrids of painting and relief. Using the studio floor as her workspace, Mikus built up and glued together roughly sawed pieces wood. Their surfaces were gessoed, and their sides beveled. Over the course of several weeks or months, Mikus would repeat the process of painting and sanding until she felt she had achieved the desired effect – luminous, smooth surfaces that also cast variable, real-life shadows.
Mikus sought beauty through a balance between erosion and endurance, employing a process-based practice in which her materials were worked and reworked extensively over time. Her meditative paperfolds exemplify this pursuit as methodical, repeated creases form the entire basis of their complex gridded compositions.
At first glance Mikus’s works, with their modular grids and single-color aesthetic seem to conform to the minimalist trends of the time; however, they diverge because of their emphasis on natural materials, chance occurrences, and handmade qualities.
Mikus’s work can be found in numerous museums throughout the United States, Japan, and England including: National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Tatsaya Tanami, International House of Japan, Tokyo, Japan; and Victoria and Albert Museum, London, England. In 2006-2007, Luis Camnitzer curated the acclaimed retrospective of Mikus’s work From Shell to Skin at The Drawing Center, New York; and in 2014-2015 her work was included in the highly-regarded exhibition Reductive Minimalism: Women Artists in Dialogue, 1960-2014 at the University of Michigan Museum of Art.
As a Frieze participant the gallery is delighted to participate in the Upper East Side and Harlem event taking place on Saturday May 4, 10am-12pm. On view at the gallery will be Joel Shapiro: Plasters, 1971-2014. It is the first exhibition to focus on Shapiro’s work in this medium and includes works made throughout the artist’s career. Craig F. Starr Gallery is located at 5 East 73rd Street between Fifth and Madison Avenues. For more information, please call 212-570-1739 or visit craigstarr.com.