Always tinkering

Update 1/17

Been wanting to revisit some of the characteristics and qualities I saw in an earlier work at pre-completion stage (the first images of a painting below which became this finished piece) as the studies I’ve been doing make me think color, tone and line more. Obviously going a bit more vibrant this time…

As soon as I got the drawing onto the canvas, I recognized a strong diagonal from lower left to upper right. I responded by cutting a stretcher for this one that has 2 corners that are slightly obtuse. Still working out which edge to make square to the room (row 4 in the gallery below), leaning towards the right edge (first image in that row).

I decided the cartoon line needed to be a light tone which I think makes it more of a distinct compositional element. And that the edge to make square/plumb is the left edge. Also adding a thick isolation layer which will also give some underlying texture to the final applications for all the cube “faces” that for now appear orange, stay tuned for that.


Update 11/19/21

All of the works below are created by disassembling and re-“mixing” cubes from previously completed paintings (see if you can spot them here and here). I call them remixes for several reasons- they are re-assemblies of components of prior work, which are always re-assembled differently, and the word or phrase “re-mix” is a reference to its use in the world of popular music where it refers to a re-visiting of the hook from a song (not to be confused with a “mash up” which is a remix of more than one song, but I digress).

The main image for this post is illustrative of how these works take shape. The cubes, whether individual or sections/groups, are then mounted to foam core or illustration board, then reassembled on the wall after they are composed on the floor. They are mounted by “pinning” the cubes to the wall via a cut nail- the flat edges of the cut nails keep them from turning once installed.

Beyond the obvious relationship to working with the physical cubes, and despite the fact that they are being presented as compositions, they seem to me to ground choice as prime in a way that my more conventional, rectangular-format paintings can’t (not that this difference makes these stronger, just… different). To me, the act of intuitive “play” without a known objective is what makes much formalist abstract art, well, non-objective. Here are some of the original takes…

I made all of the above in late 2020 and early 2021. I was intrigued by the way overlapping cubes which were, in terms of application, distinct implied that they co-existed in some other, shared space which is not defined compositionally, in fact, the opposite (referring here to the white of the wall). I did think of the work above as finished pieces at the time, rather than a project, or as site-specific installation art. I think the appeal of these has a lot to do with my on-going interest in the aesthetics of cellular animation, and how the visual “snap” that stacking of image layers to create space is unique.

More recently (during the last half of 2021), as the work with the cubes took shape more clearly, I began re-thinking these remixes should be re-mixed (so, expect future iterations to incorporate the same elements, but in new configurations).