Mark Wiener keeps the door of his studio open seven hours a day, six days a week. Working in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan, he invites the public to visit not just his ink spattered work space, but also his artistic thought process. He is interested in the effect his daily work has on whoever might walk through the door. As Wiener describes it, “Every piece of mine is the beginning of a conversation.”
This openness to feedback and serendipity is central to Wiener’s process of painting. He is influenced by Abstract Expressionism, a style of painting that is anti-figurative, emotionally charged, and spontaneous. As the American art critic Harold Rosenberg says of abstract expressionism, “What was to go on the canvas was not a picture but an event.” Wiener believes that each of his paintings is born of his immediate experiences; the work is an ongoing dialog between himself and the world around him.
The strength and beauty of “Spiral,” as in much of Wiener’s work, lies in the pairing of gestural drawing with geometric structure. Here there is a magnetic dance between chaos and order. The swirling axis of energy in this painting nearly buzzes with sound as it unleashes itself from the grid. Wiener believes that the composition of a painting should work regardless of how it is hung. There need be no right side up or upside down; the integrity of a painting should stay intact regardless of how it is viewed. Many of his pieces make you feel as if you are lying on the ground looking up at the sky, imagining what lies beyond. —Adelaide Tyrol