Magazine article Artforum International

Bram Bogart: Jacobson Howard Gallery

Magazine article Artforum International

Bram Bogart: Jacobson Howard Gallery

Article excerpt

Bram Bogart offers platters of painterliness, one might say, served up raw yet uncannily refined, even in such turbulent works as Geen twijfel (No Doubt), 2005. But it's not that simple, even if one regards Bogart's strikingly material paint, often alive with primary color--as it is in the passionately red Een kleur (One Color), 2005, and Rode Rouge (Red Red), 2008-as the bizarre conclusion of what began with the intense brush work of his countryman Vincent van Gogh. Intensity has become intimidation in Bogart's paintings: Van Gogh's painteriiness looks restrained compared to Bogart's, which projects--erupts--into space, confronting us with its materiality. Clement Greenberg once wrote that "every fresh and productive impulse in painting ... has manhandled into art what seemed until then too intractable, too raw and accidental, to be brought within the scope of aesthetic purpose." By this standard, Bogart has manhandled into art more paint (for the sheer quantity of paint in his works is as remarkable as their aesthetic quality) than van Gogh ever did. (The Hegelian notion that great quantity becomes pure quality is useful here; even "pure ideas" must return to "sense certainty" to complete their meaning and have effect. One might say that Bogart's "rematerialization of art" counters the "dematerialization of art.")

Unlike Bogart, van Gogh didn't trowel paint onto the canvas (although he did apparently use a palette knife) and his paintings don't weigh hundreds of pounds. Bogart's I Don't Know, 2008, is as much a sculptural relief as an agitated painting. …

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