NY17#09 by Jennifer Sanchez
10"x8" ($24) | 14"x11" ($60) | 20"x16" ($240) | 30"x24" ($1200) | 40"x30" ($2400)
Who says dropping temps and dwindling daylight have to coincide with dull colors? It might be dark outside when we wake up, and darker still when we leave work, but today’s new edition defies the doom and gloom and injects some serious electricity into chilly autumn mornings. NY17#09 will snap you right out of your seasonal sads, or at least make you think twice about reaching for those November neutrals when you get dressed in the am (why don’t we all own more turquoise??). Art as antidote: It’s tough to achieve, but Jennifer Sanchez knows just how to do it.
The NYC-based artist has been brightening things up a bit at 20x200 since way back in the day. With a dozen exuberant, intricate editions under her belt, her newest release breaks away from the pack. Lucky number 13. Like her earlier paintings, NY17#09 layers geometric patterns, interspersed with improvised markings and spontaneous swaths of color. In this piece in particular, black, triangular shapes hover over the other elements, revealing a neat grid design, beneath which dance numerous stripes of various vibrant shades, and transparent milky splotches. There’s no matchy-matchy mathematics at work here, but rather a much more eclectic color equation that clashes enthusiastically—an invitation to reconsider our chromatic comfort levels. Sanchez’s edgy hue harmonies are distinctively hers.
At first glance, NY17#09 might seem like somewhat of a departure from Sanchez’s earlier editions, but in fact it sprang from the same start. One clue is the similarly splashy, high-spirited sense of color, countered by the fearlessness with which she wields black. You’ll also notice how well all her pieces work together, despite vastly different geometry. In a way, all of her paintings are a continuation of a single project of exploration—which just goes to show the fascinatingly divergent directions that sort of singular exploration can lead an artist like Sanchez.
Looking at NY17#09 (or any of Sanchez’s editions, for that matter) the eye is unabashedly entertained. The complexity of her layers makes it difficult to make sense of where things end or begin—and we suspect that’s precisely what the painter is going for. Though she launches into her artistic pursuits with some general ideas in mind, she also goes about the process with great respect for (and in anticipation of) the evolution of her artworks as they take shape. Sanchez returns to certain sources of inspiration, including Native American textile designs and the Bauhaus art of Gunta Stolzl, but these are just her preferred jumping off points. What she’s diving into is mystery at its most playful.
Each painting unfurls on its own terms, preliminary marks and mishaps making their way into the final image. In NY17#09, you can pick up on the experimentation and ideation underneath it all. This imbues Sanchez’s work with a sort of humanity, a reminder that perfection is boring and we ought to re-examine our expectations from time to time—of what art should be, of our role as viewers. Heck, there’s a compelling case to be make that the philosophy behind her art is a great way to approach living at large.
In NY17#09 priority is given to process, textures, tones, and the overall pleasurable sensory experience of the piece. It asks us to be present, to enjoy the journey. Sanchez describes her work as “exploding optimism”...and who couldn’t use a little more of that in their life.
With art for everyone,