'Conquest', 2021 acrylic and oil pastel on board 8 x 16’. Courtesy of Gronk and Craig Krull Gallery, Santa Monica

‘GronkOne’ by Gronk @ Craig Krull Gallery

December 16, 2021

What are the merits of originality? It is often-times neglected in the fine arts world to ponder what the motivation is to begin a work of art towards its artistic abandonment. That, truly, the goal of the extension of the artisan into the beyond, towards generating media which is imperceptible to all other human subjects, is in delivering us sweetness and light otherwise impossible to be collected. This spiritual activity at the bedrock of all western media – from the Promethean men of the caves towards the Hellenic Divine idolatry – imposes onto other minds a sense of the permanence of physical beauty. Thus, the originality of physical beauty is the task that the artisan must fulfill, to do so as permanently as possible.


‘Untitled’, 2021
acrylic and oil pastel on board
24 x 24” by Gronk @ Craig Krull Gallery. Courtesy of the artist and the gallery.


And this is the enticement of the artist Gronk’s exhibition at Craig Kull Gallery. We do not have a tincture of bitter aftertaste which can be suggested in several of Basquiat’s own morbid, albeit innocent, scatterings.


‘Warrior’ (1982) Medium Acrylic and oilstick on wood panel. 72 x 48″. Jean-Michel Basquiat. Source: Wikipedia


The exhibition’s dominant color of Gronk’s choice – red – delivers unto us a proud confidence in the imaging of art which nevertheless is not intrusive in making its presence known. The animation, in other words, has a difficult feat in balancing viscosity with stasis, to present to us a harmoniously sweet molasses of awe upon its introduction to our visual senses.


‘Conquest’, 2021
acrylic and oil pastel on board
8 x 16’. Courtesy of Gronk and Craig Krull Gallery, Santa Monica


I am particularly fond of great works, which showcases an artist that is, quite simply, bold in gathering the subject’s mind and to concentrate it upon a self-certain beauty. Conquest, is its own marbled excitement which nevertheless has an appropriate measure of subtlety, tempering its punctuation, thereby not spoiling the room with bombast. Similarly, Faces give us a certain healthy primitiveness to the objective; this simplicity nevertheless does a masterful job in not reducing the forms to nonsensical crudeness, as if the artist is still in retention of the transcendental beam as it pours through his nerves and sinews; contrasted with the barbarous spirits submission to uncontrollably Dionysian thrusts in ejecting truth onto the mind’s stage.


There is, in other words, a discernible balance achieved in the ostensible flurry that is occurring on the collages and wood panels. Is this due to not overriding our sense of the idea with some makeshift ideas which brutishly intrude? There is, therefore, gentleness, a softness that gives the art a certain refinement to its electrification. It breathes, not screams, to welcome us into its rudimentary completeness.


Gallery Inquiries:

Craig Krull Gallery

2525 Michigan Avenue, Building B-3
Santa Monica, California 90404
Tel: (310) 828-6410



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