MARFA, Texas — Vision Pool is an immersive experience. While each fresh abstraction by Raychael Stine, Liz Trosper, and John Pomara is a luminous, dizzying, multidimensional world unto itself, the energy field the works generate in concert nearly causes the gallery to hover.
Though each artist’s set of pieces is distinct in media and style — oil on canvas, inkjet monoprints with resin and acrylic, and an alchemical mix of substances on corrugated aluminum panel, respectively — the works have in common elements that test perception. Solid or liquid, flat or dimensional, luminous or opaque, real or imagined?
To call such effects optical illusions or trompe l’oeil runs the risk of oversimplification, but the magic at work here is not entirely unrelated. What term can aptly describe a more sophisticated form of space-time alteration? Perhaps the best word is simply “art” — all three of these practitioners have mastered the craft of vision-shifting, of transporting viewers into the vibrant, fluid spaces of their imaginings.
Among the many strange phenomena evoked by this complex of works: each seems far vaster than its physical dimensions. Portal-like, the closer I stood, the larger and more luminous the entryways became, and the more gravity seemed to draw me in.
John Pomara’s works on aluminum panel have a fractal-like quality; upon zooming in, more information surfaces. Pomara applies paints, solvents, and resins to a substrate where chemical reactions bubble, slide, and crack forming color fields, cells, and fissures. Artifacts of the artist’s experiments could be origin stories, views through a microscope, or maps of uncharted territory.
Raychael Stine’s oils on canvas are like beacons from a planet where light is generated from within. Brushstroke-beings generate prismatic energy. But this place is not entirely other-than-human— suddenly a flower, heart, or hyperreal water droplet may emerge, reminding us the warmth and pure feeling emanating from these creatures is inherently Earthly.
Liz Trosper’s works combine glitched photographs of chunky lines of brightly colored paint with what appears to be the real thing. Are the monoprints squeezed directly from the tube, while the paint is a facsimile? Is it l’oeil that is being tromped, or le cerveau?
This exhibition seems to capture the mood of the moment precisely; in times such as these, to have everything we think we know about the world called into question is not an entirely unfamiliar feeling. In this context, however, there’s a sense of joy in it, and comfort in the recognition of shared experience.
Vision Pool continues at Eugene Binder (218 N. Highland Avenue, Marfa, Texas) through Winter 2o23. The exhibition was organized by the gallery.