Anthony Kyle Hall
Anthony Kyle Hall is a self-taught and based in San Francisco, California working primarily in painting. He see’s his visual expression as a way to have personal dialogues centered around contemporary issues and trends with possible “at large” implications. Through exploring abstract observations on contemporary life, sometimes placed within specific historical contexts and desired future spaces, Anthony pushes for idiosyncratic visual languages and symbolism to carve out themes and build comparative “worlds” for commentary. His influences are primarily rooted in contemporary music – from conceptual formulation in musical structures to processes in creating patterns of rhythm. The way a story can be told or how instrumentation builds musical tension have informed his creative processes since childhood. Current examples of this include ongoing studies into the instrumental production works of James “J Dilla” Yancey and the compositions/notations of John Coltrane. Anthony has been showing work locally and internationally since 2014.
Review by Dewitt Cheng 11/29/2019
“One of the Surrealists, probably André Breton, declared that everything is connected by invisible lines, a dictum that we ubercapitalist extraction-miners might do well to reaffirm as disaster stalks the planet. Many contemporary artists are making the case for sociopolitical engagement―and implying that art should be judged by its politics. The opposite point of view holds that art is pure expression, and should be judged only in its visual merits. Neither argument seems indisputable, yet much art explores this tension between style and content, the visual and the implied verbal, to great effect.
The paintings and drawings of Anthony Kyle Hall in Tensions are abstract expressionist in general affect, with calligraphy and neuromuscular shapes/gestures set atop white grounds, recalling Frans Kline, Adolph Gottlieb and others, including the graffiti-influenced expressionist Jean-Michel Basquiat. But Hall includes little fragments of reality, as the Cubists occasionally did: drawn renderings of objects and persons, and even strips of paper bearing text: scholarly footnotes, clipped memoranda, or cookie fortunes. We view the compositions holistically, but the fragments assert themselves, causing a push-pull between modes of perception and interpretation.
At the center of my work is documenting my personal narratives in response to current cultural and social climates. Through exploring the gap between existing and perceived spaces of existence, reality vs. channels of distorted information – the goal is to highlight substance in the human experience at large. Themes and subject matter dictate the visual aesthetics and materials used, and over time this is to be the vehicle for visual ideas to deepen and evolve.
Each work is thus a constellation or miniature world of his concerns and interests, including jazz and improvisation, and painterly impulses and improvisations. Three 36-inch square paintings constitute a kind of triptych. “Preservation,” a mixed-media collage, is a collection of disparate sketches and painted shapes, some recognizable, like a black luchador (?) mask, with others abstract, aligned on two sides of a vertical black line, probably, an inch thick; we tend to interpret this as the sketches a painter would have on his studio wall―random, but visually held together by Hall’s eye for balance and contrast: preserved in a painting. “Embrace (Moonlight)” depicts a cluster of boldly drawn black and white circles, probably traced around a receptacle; their spatial interaction, supplemented by the smudged areas where they are concentrated, lends the abstract image drama and density; and is that a drawing table depicted on the far right? “Three Tensions” repeats the circular cluster motif, with the spheres here contained by two slim diagonal lines. “Room” preserves the mask motif (possibly a surrogate for the artist and/or viewer), with colored geometric bars and free-form shapes to depict the artist’s state of consciousness, his mental furniture. In “I Repeat,” “Wild” and “Uncharted Overhaul,” Hall adds cutout text, word by word, in the style of aleatory Surrealist word games, and William Burroughs’ cut-up technique, to harness chance: e.g., growth is free and “The price of delay is steep.”
Everything may be connected only tenuously in real life, but disparate things can be brought together and decisively connected in art through intuition and application.”
-Dewitt Cheng 11/29/2019
“At the center of my work is documenting my personal narratives in response to current cultural and social climates. Through exploring the gap between existing and perceived spaces of existence, reality vs. channels of distorted information – the goal is to highlight substance in the human experience at large. Themes and subject matter dictate the visual aesthetics and materials used, and over time this is to be the vehicle for visual ideas to deepen and evolve.” – Anthony Kyle Hall
1101 Lake Street at 12th Avenue
San Francisco CA 94118