When you initially enter the vast gallery space housing Aaron Garber-Maikovska’s newest body of work, it would appear that the works came to life in a quick, explosive moment. However, quite the opposite is true of Postpartum, which Garber-Maikovska conceived of in 2017. This body of work is a radical departure for the artist who worked very methodically in his process, creating the works in stages while his partner was with child.
While in past series, Garber-Maikovska would look to banal aspects of everyday experiences and create work to reflect on these absurdities, in Postpatrum, the artist paints to reflect on nothing other than painting itself. Using poly board and oil paint which the artist mixed and created himself, Garber-Maikovska finds new ways to more directly engage himself with the body of work.
The scale of these works is engulfing. At 90 x 80 inches, each work fills a large physical space and even larger conceptual space. The size and composition of the works lend themselves to a dynamic visual where the works seem to float off of the wall and transcend the two-dimensional plane.
Drama and tension fill the vast spaces on which Garber-Maikovska paints. Unlike past work, very little white space is left bare on the surface and the work feels much more abstract with no hints at figuration. The result is an experience of many layers of color at play, chaotic and contained at the same time. The paintings are full of energy and life, seeming to represent a very specific moment in the artist’s career. Formally, the work all shares a dual-form composition that invites relationships to arise on the same plane. As a whole, the exhibit transforms the gallery into a space where reflection is both desired and welcome.
Postpartum marks a shift for Garber-Maikovska. Rather than being connected to previous bodies of work, the paintings stand on their own and represent the completion of one chapter and the beginning of another.
Postpartum will be on view at C L E A R I N G, Brooklyn through December December 22.
Photo credit: JSP Photography
Courtesy the artist and C L E A R I N G New York / Brussels