This action of painting the triangles is, as is much of what Wethli does, multi-layered. The addition of formal markers onto the distressed wood is a deeply existential act, on par with the hand outlines in the Lascaux caves. It identifies the assemblage as an unquestionable work of art and transforms the scars and knotholes from their original, apparent randomness into marks that are worth our attention. Which they always were, but Wethli gives them context that helps us comprehend what was already there.
These are works that could have only been done by someone who has been thinking about how to make a work of art for many years, the kind of radical thinking that can only come from experience. They are also some of the best works of his I have seen, and I have seen quite a few.
Ken Greenleaf can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
"NEW WORK" | paintings by Mark Wethli | through October 3 | at Icon Contemporary Art, 19 Mason St, Brunswick | 207.725.8157
: Museum And Gallery
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