Duality, a survey exhibition of paintings by Dean Fleming – founding member of the important New York-based artist collective, Park Place Gallery – presents selections from the 1960s and 70s as well as current works. The paintings from the 1960s are from the Park Place years, reflecting Fleming’s interest in hard-edge geometric painting with extreme angles and trippy effects as well as kaleidoscopic patterns. The 70s paintings are more gestural and painterly, exploring color and various methods of applying paint to canvas. The canvases from the 1970s are mostly unprimed and the compositions range from minimal, loose geometric to calligraphic with reductive palettes then to very dense, layered abstractions with lush fluid movement of color. After his segue through figurative abstraction in the 80s and 90s, Fleming made a return to geometric abstraction in the 2000’s with an emphasis on illusory compositions and visual perception.
Throughout Fleming’s career, his paintings focused on a range of internal dualities. In this exhibition several examples are presented that include: hard-edge painting and visual perception; calligraphy and abstraction; gestural and geometric abstraction; flat and textured surfaces; painted and unprimed canvas; and bipartite compositions.
The hard-edge, geometric compositions from Fleming’s current body of work interact wonderfully with the paintings from the 1960s. There is a strong interaction as both explore illusory effects and challenge visual perception. There is a striking parallel with the vibrant color palettes, yet the compositions and particular geometric shapes vary making each body of work distinct.