I’ve continued to expand the quantity of “proxy brushstrokes” that I need for my cube-based “automatism.” I’ll continue to update this post as I make new compositions (all of which remain temporary).
Each composition (is that the right word- installation maybe?) starts with 4 to as many as 8 cubes which have sawtooth picture hanging hardware on the back, which hung off of flat-head screws mounted into the drywall of the workspace I use in my studio to have exploration time. The cubes can be tilted because they’re hung on one screw. From there (after the initial cubes are hung, which is based on good ole’ fashioned painter’s instinct) I begin to stack cubes I select from my “palette” based on size, chroma/tone and the character of the wood grain and intersections there of on one or more of that cube’s face(s).
Since I’ve pre-made a LOT of compositional choices by limiting possibilities, I focus on the tension(s) possible because of the viewer’s belief in gravity.
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). The main image for this post is an example of how they literally take shape. The cubes, whether individual or sections/groups, are then mounted to foam core or illustration board, then reassembled on the wall*.
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 the other paintings don’t (not that this difference makes these stronger, just… different).
As I first started making these late in 2020 and early 2021, I was intrigued by the way overlapping some the cubes implied they existed in some other space, with a relationship to each other spatially, but which is not defined (the white of the wall). The viewer’s desire to make sense of the spatial relationship between cubes is of continuing interest to me.
My reason for revisiting these mid-2021 was two-fold. I started thinking about above again as I was working through how to have a gallery mount these (or sell them to a collector!) because I was applying to a lot of shows. *Currently, they almost all are mounted by “pinning” the cubes to the wall via a cut nail (the flat edges keep them from turning once installed). As I did so, I looked at how important the shadows are as compositional elements. So I dropped an image of one piece into Paint to try to sketch out how if would look to both mount the cubes in a permanent solution on a solid substrate (probably will be plywood), including painting some “shadows” under some of the cubes. So, that’s where this is going next…
I continue to hope I’ll get the opportunity to show them all together so I can see how the ones composed with cubes from multiple sources look in the same space with ones that all came from the same original source.