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Sylvia Plimack Mangold: The Pin Oak, 1985-2015

January 17, 2021 – March 18, 2021

I have this goal which is to paint the nature of a tree, how it grows, how the limbs extend outward and upward… The trees have more volume and the experience of the painting is closer to what I see when I work. In this way, abstraction feels more real than depiction… So when I get caught in too much realistic rendering of the leaves or the limbs, I catch myself and say ‘OK. Now go at this in a more physical way, push what you want back and pull what you want forward and forget about the detail… the most important thing I want is to have this space that you enter and then come back to the surface after you enter it… no matter how real you make a tree, it’s not a real tree. It’s a painting of a tree.
Sylvia Plimack Mangold (Plimack Mangold, unpublished journal, Winter, 1995, as quoted in Sylvia Plimack Mangold: Landscape and Trees, Cheryl Brutvan, Norton Museum of Art, 2012)

Krakow Witkin Gallery proudly announces “Sylvia Plimack Mangold: The Pin Oak, 1985-2015.” The show, with the broad themes of change, growth and repetition, presents watercolors and etchings that all involve just one tree, a Pin Oak, as studied on the artist’s property in mid-state New York over a thirty year period.

Plimack Mangold described her process this way:
“Here you are forced to look at form in ways that retain the preciseness of the subject… looking anew at what is so commonplace—habitual looking—is a hindrance. I work as if the brush were a scalpel, dissecting and repairing—over and over—trying to forget the conventions of vision so that this tree becomes a great sculptural piece rising above itself to become what it isn’t.” (handwritten note, ca. May—July, 1991, Sylvia Plimack Mangold archive, Davison Art Center, Wesleyan University, as quoted in Sylvia Plimack Mangold: Works on Paper, 1968-1991, Ellen D’Oench and Hilarie Faberman, Wesleyan University, 1992)

When looking at the details in one of Plimack Mangold’s works, a viewer is confronted with the materiality of the ink, graphite or paint, as well as the flat plane and texture(s) of the paper. The artist has left evidence of her actions (obvious and subtle additions, as well as subtractions) so as to create a balanced experience of decisions, processes and illusions. Surface and depth, nature and geometry, planned and spontaneous, as well as both a sense of timelessness and being of a specific moment are all considered equally, creating a dynamic relationship among the tree, artist, artwork and viewer.

Of the same generation as serial-based artists On Kawara and Roman Opalka, yet engaged with the expressive qualities of gesture, Plimack Mangold explores the realities of life: circularity, contradiction, growth, linearity, loss, process, opposition and the expansive opportunities that come from repetition.

This show occurs with inspiration and support from the following generous and talented folks: Brooke Alexander, Ted Bonin, Cheryl Brutvan, Puffin D’Oench, Ann Finholt, Helen Molesworth, John Paoletti, Doris Simmelink, Annemarie and Gianfranco Verna and, most importantly, Sylvia Plimack Mangold. Many thanks to them all.

Summer is all the stages of life and death
Winter is the dormant time
Green is all the tones from naples yellow to cobalt blue
Grass is all the tones from hay to sky
White is all the forms from paint to snow
(from snow to sky?)
and life is all the interruptions from morning to night

Sylvia Plimack Mangold (Plimack Mangold, unpublished journal, July 13, 1977, as quoted in The Paintings of Sylvia Plimack Mangold, Cheryl Brutvan, Albright-Knox, 1994)

Works In Exhibition

Exhibition View

Sylvia Plimack Mangold Exhibition View

The Pin Oak July 2015

Sylvia Plimack Mangold The Pin Oak July 2015 2015 Watercolor and pencil on paper

Image/paper size: 22 x 30 inches (55.9 x 76.2 cm)
Frame size: 29 1/2 x 37 1/4 inches (74.9 x 94.6 cm)
Signed, titled, and dated lower right in graphite
(Inventory #32313)

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Exhibition View

Sylvia Plimack Mangold Exhibition View

The Pin Oak 6/9/13

Sylvia Plimack Mangold The Pin Oak 6/9/13 2013 Watercolor and pencil on paper

Image/paper size: 22 x 29 3/4 inches (55.9 x 75.6 cm)
Frame size: 29 5/8 x 37 1/8 inches (75.2 x 94.3 cm)
Initialed and dated lower right in graphite
(Inventory #32319)

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The Pin Oak 4/13

Sylvia Plimack Mangold The Pin Oak 4/13 2013 Watercolor and pencil on paper

Image/paper size:  22 x 24 inches  (55.9 x 61 cm)
Frame size:  29 1/4 x 31 1/4 inches  (74.3 x 79.4 cm)
Initialed and dated lower right in graphite
(Inventory #32318)

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The Pin Oak 4/11/10

Sylvia Plimack Mangold The Pin Oak 4/11/10 2010 Watercolor and pencil on paper

Image/paper size: 18 x 24 inches (45.7 x 61 cm)
Frame size: 26 1/4 x 31 3/4 inches (66.7 x 80.6 cm)
Initialed and dated lower right in graphite
(Inventory #32317)

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Exhibition View

Sylvia Plimack Mangold Exhibition View

Exhibition View

Sylvia Plimack Mangold Exhibition View

The Pin Oak 4/09

Sylvia Plimack Mangold The Pin Oak 4/09 2009 Watercolor with pencil on paper

Image/paper size: 22 x 30 inches (55.9 x 76.2 cm)
Frame size: 30 1/2 x 38 1/2 inches (77.5 x 97.8 cm)
Initialed and dated lower right in graphite
(Inventory #32316)

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Pin Oak Crown

Sylvia Plimack Mangold Pin Oak Crown 2006 Drypoint and etching with aquatint

Edition of 34, 10 AP
Image/paper size: 17 3/4 x 23 3/4 inches (45 x 60.3 cm)
Signed, dated, and numbered lower right in graphite
(Inventory #32547)

The Pin Oak, 7/11/05, 8/13/05

Sylvia Plimack Mangold The Pin Oak, 7/11/05, 8/13/05 2005 Watercolor and pencil on paper

Image/paper size: 22 1/4 x 29 3/4 inches (56.5 x 75.6 cm)
Frame size: 29 3/4 x 37 1/4 inches (75.6 x 94.6 cm)
Signed, titled, and dated lower left in graphite
(Inventory #32315)

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Exhibition View

Sylvia Plimack Mangold Exhibition View

Exhibition View

Sylvia Plimack Mangold Exhibition View

Pin Oak

Sylvia Plimack Mangold Pin Oak 2004 Drypoint

Edition of 20, 10 AP
Image size: 22 1/4 x 28 inches (56.5 x 71.1 cm)
Paper size: 30 x 36 inches (76.2 x 91.4 cm)
Frame size: 32 1/4 x 38 5/8 inches (81.9 x 98.1 cm)
Signed and dated ‘Sylvia Plimack Mangold 2004’ lower right, numbered lower left
(Inventory #32314)

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Winter Pin Oak

Sylvia Plimack Mangold Winter Pin Oak 1999-2000 Drypoint with aquatint

Image size:  22 1/4 x 28 inches  (56.5 x 71.1 cm)
Paper size:  29 1/2 x 36 inches  (74.9 x 91.4 cm)
Edition of 30, 10 AP
Signed and dated ‘Sylvia Plimack Mangold 2000’ lower right, numbered lower left
(Inventory #28911)

Exhibition View

Sylvia Plimack Mangold Exhibition View

Exhibition View

Sylvia Plimack Mangold Exhibition View
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The Pin Oak, State II

Sylvia Plimack Mangold The Pin Oak, State II 1991 Drypoint with aquatint

Image size:  13 x 17 inches  (33 x 43 cm)
Paper size:  22 x 28 inches  (55.9 x 71 cm)
Edition of 25, 10 AP
Signed ‘Sylvia Plimack Mangold’ and dated lower right, numbered lower left and titled lower center
(Inventory #25624)

The Pin Oak at the Pond

Sylvia Plimack Mangold The Pin Oak at the Pond 1985-1986 Drypoint, aquatint, and spitbite aquatint from four plates in blue-black, umber-black, pink, yellow ocher, and raw umber on Somerset paper with deckled edge

Edition of 50, 12 AP
Image/plate size: 17 7/8 x 22 1/4 inches (45.4 x 56.5 cm)
Paper size: 26 x 29 1/4 inches (66 x 74.3 cm)
Signed and dated lower right, numbered lower left in graphite
(Inventory #32074)

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