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|H J BOTT
at Anya Tish Gallery through June 9
by Todd Camplin
Years ago, I was in a text and geometry art group show hosted by Artscan. Back then I met
HJ Bott, but I was too nervous to talk to him. This weekend I had more confidence and
talked to HJ Bott at his opening. His enthusiasm and presence lit up the room. He eagerly
explained that the titles were not nonsensical like a Tom Robbins book as I first suspected,
but each painting had concrete symbols that related to the titles.
|HJ Bott, "Shuriken's Mob," 2011, co-polymer vinyl on canvas, 36" x 36"
by Todd Camplin
|The teardrop shaped object in the bottom right corner of “FLYING the BLUES,” actually
represents water. I am so used to abstract art being separate from the real or concrete
that I found this return to symbolism refreshing. The blues were truly flying in his painting.
In “BeyondBar Symmetry,” he makes reference to Van Gogh’s “Starry Night,” and for the
first time in my life I have seen an artist make reference to Van Gogh and pull it off masterfully.
|HJ Bott, "In Medias Res III," 2012, co-polymer vinyl on canvas, 30" x 30"
|HJ Bott, "Mesocarp Mischief," 2012, co-polymer vinyl on canvas, 48" x 72"
|HJ Bott’s hard edge painting style is counterbalanced by his web of lines that flow behind
the objects and quietly intersect other parts of the paintings. The shapes and curved lines
seem to complement each other in a kind of dance between two different worlds. The
duality of approaches is essentially still applying the idea of the line. The objects flow into
lines which flow into objects. This concept is best described by HJ Bott himself and his
developed system of Displacement of Volume or DoV. Where as most artists have
statements about their work, HJ Bott has unearthed something deeper in art and
design and he employs this discovery in many of his series of works.
|This show really showcased HJ Bott’s fearlessness with color. “Mesocarp Mischief” with bright
pinks, purples, and shapes with rainbow lines of color. My eyes first assaulted, and then
compelled to look closer, then back away to take it all in, and right back up to the
canvas to see the details. The colors of the lines seem to blend and blur into the other
lines and background as you move away. The shapes with thick lines of color get more
solid as you move closer. In fact, I found myself moving back and forth so I could get
very different experiences.
|HJ Bott’s show titled “Rhythm & Rhetoric” will be up at Anya Tish Gallery until June 9th. This