After five years in seclusion, Holton Rower is emerging with a solo show in New York City. His pour paintings, on display at The Hole through May 26th, are vibrant displays of acrylic paint left mostly to its own devices. Standing above large planks, Rower pours paint down thick wooden protrusions, allowing the paint to grow, or not, as wood blocks and other obstacles permit. Though at first the method seems simple, Rower has refined the process and his technical skills to an extent that intention and spontaneity are evident in equal measure in the work.
Upon entering The Hole, visitors are welcomed by the simplest of Rower’s works. The paintings in this room consist of fewer colors, layered in rings up to an inch wide. The paint retains its separateness from the surrounding rings, resulting in smoother lines and more definition. The works in the second room employ more colors applied in thin rings, with colors mixing and forming intricate designs, begetting a comparison to a topographical map of mountainous lands. The third room contains five titanic works, some with protrusions, cut-outs, and seemingly several points from which paint was applied, creating contiguous, vaguely defined abstract rings of color. This room feels a bit like the grand finale on the Fourth of July; the biggest, brightest and most complex work of the show is here, though these are not necessarily the most thoughtful or compelling pieces.