Leo Koenig Inc. is pleased to announce the opening of an exhibition of new works by Bill Saylor. Saylor’s process begins and ends with drawings. Bordering on the obsessive, he sketches out ideas on anything he finds immediately available. Ten or twenty drawing notations may initiate a single painting. The works are informed by his surroundings in Brooklyn as much as his living in southern California where he studied marine biology along with fine arts. Logos, tabloid headlines, texts from scientific journals and visuals from satellite transmissions abound. Hence, Saylor’s work appears equal parts abstract expressionist, graffiti tagger, NASA space program enthusiast, and eco-terrorist.
A fascination with technology is evidenced, especially with Global Positioning Systems. The artist is inspired by the absurdity of a technology that allows man to mimic nature’s innate sense of navigation by connecting to satellites through a hand-held device. In the words of John Coltrane, Saylor would like to “establish a territory in which to have an adventure.” The inclusion of GPS codes underscores an acknowledgment of the limitation of paintings spatial abstraction. Meanwhile, the unpredictability of natural phenomena summon into form, solar powered animals, structures made of bone and flora with sensory perception. Colors collide in tandem, relating a belief in the power of entropy.
The tension between the literal allusion to space and the flatness of the overall painting creates works that either threaten to fall in upon themselves or spill off the canvas onto the walls. The paintings seem to hover precariously between two gravitational axes. There is an element of risk that he may have gone momentarily a bit too far with a certain gesture, color or attitude. For the artist, however, therein lies the adventure. Somehow, abstraction, images and distorted texts collude, resulting in a composition that resolves to make perfect sense. For Saylor, the real risk always lies in the possibility of not venturing far enough.
Bill Saylor holds a BFA from Cal State University, Long Beach. His work can currently be seen in “Come on Feel the Noise,” at Asbaek gallery in Copenhagen, Denmark. This is his first solo exhibition in New York City.