February 8 - April 4, 2024

Reception for the artist Thursday, February 8, 6-8PM


Parks & Recreation


oil and acrylic on linen
78 1/2 x 85 inches



In 1849, the composer Richard Wagner proposed to create a gesamtkunstwerk – a total work of art – by merging all forms of art in theater. Between 1907 and 1912, the painter Wassily Kandinsky produced Klänge, a “musical album” comprising semi-abstract woodcuts paired with prose poems in an effort to attain artistic synthesis. In the 1920s, the physicist Albert Einstein labored to combine all of physics in a unified field theory, striving to reconcile the forces of electromagnetism and gravity. 


In very different ways, each of these men recognized the value of rejecting conventional distinctions, seeking meaning by experimentally integrating the apparently incompatible.


From an early age, before she knew the work of any of these innovators, Naomie Kremer spoke two languages, which gave her the ability to express herself in two ways while paradoxically recognizing that neither could carry her full meaning. This realization led to a philosophy of radical inclusivity. 


Kremer has spent a lifetime mastering modes of expression from drawing and painting to writing and musical notation that can be creatively combined to convey more than any can say in isolation. Her “urge toward inclusion” reaches a new level of intensity in her newest body of work, where many techniques are combined, as are myriad points of view.


MODERNISM is pleased to present Fugues, a selection of seven paintings and one video that evoke the gesamtkunstwerk and unified field theory, and especially the Klänge and abstract paintings of Wassily Kandinsky. (His intuition of artistic synthesis emerged from his condition of synesthesia, which made paintings musical and music painterly.)


The source of Kremer’s new work is aptly linguistic. “I had been reading A Tomb for Anatole, a series of poems in French written by Stéphane Mallarmé after the death of his 8-year-old son,” she recalls. “The poems are so resonant that I had the urge to physically write them myself.” Embellishing the writing in the tradition of illuminated manuscripts, Kremer discovered a wordless language that translated into boldly graphic black-and-white paintings such as Totem


“Then came the question of color,” she says, “bringing together the worlds of drawing and oil paint in a unified field.” The process is inherently dynamic. Inclusivity encompasses juxtaposition and paradox. Although the field may be unified, it’s anything but uniform. “The search is the content,” she explains.


In paintings such as Parks & Recreation and Rhythm & Blues, calligraphic marks score abstract landscapes, suggesting that they might be read or performed. They are brushes with synesthesia. 


The countless ways of experiencing these works confirm Kremer’s attitude of acceptance. The paintings are radically inclusive. The search begun in her studio continues with the viewer.  


Reception for the artist, Thursday, February 8, 6-8PM.