Alex Stolyarov


Elizabeth Harris Gallery


Are we not taunted?  Just beneath our image there boils the raw uncertainty that exposed, turns our minds so quickly terrible.  Rendered sores ooze with the impossible iridescence of a shock upon our sight saying: we have nearly realized a truth our wants still keep from us.  Shimmering surfaces beg time to blanket change with our air’s dust, while beyond, no matter the distance, squirms the restless question: which am I?  And more roughly still: am I neither?

Stolyarov’s diptychs are as fresh as they are primal.  These are paintings that achieve one of the great aims of Modernism’s edicts – to appear as if summoned without the labors of a hand, whole and self-supporting.  Sculptural and confronting they evoke tablets presented for the indulgence of the hermeneutic eye.  There is no map, there are no stars, there are only the coagulations of bubbling flesh and mind upon earth.  We are challenged to find our own language, our own vision, and perhaps here is a secret.  In where we are exposed and in the place between our choices it may just be we find a moment where we can feel as if we have the will to be.

These works are totemic markers in the shape of icons.  They are palimpsests of the soul at prayer.  Stripped of their imagery there is alone the vessel filled with the passions of its viewer who, gripped by the intimate and grand uncertainty of life, pleaded to something beyond themselves for an answer and then paused.  Here, so unlike the common art market fair we are not presented answers to the winking remark.  The crowd does not smile and nudge their friends into the procrustean rack.  Here there is the moment between the question and the answer absorbed within the plea.  These works live as moments in limbo, dualities, purgatories within which the viewer may discover that beyond the initial shudder that either scoffs or brings us to our knees there is a world sensual, rich and moving.

Photos by Adam Reich

Photos by Adam Reich