Thoughts about painting
All of these pieces were started with no pre-planned composition; each starts with a single isometric cube, and then develops “outward” from there.
I relish the challenge of working through the “composition” as part of the process of making the work. The cubes imply dimensional space of course but I also, intentionally subvert that structure by the use of color, tone and line. The end result of the strategies I employ, I hope, is a unique/singular visual experience that entices the viewer(s) to un-construct the relationship of space and surface
The work I am drawn to making and looking at refers to itself. I’m a reformed Modernist working in a formalist tradition- with all there is to unpack there- who is trying to give contemporary people an experience that’s grounded in their senses, and that they can’t reduce to anything more or less than statements about the same.
I actually think the work of Robert Irwin (not minimalism) is the “logical” evolution of formalist abstraction (he made some good paintings, too- so glad I got to see his retro at Hirshhorn).
I’ve always felt pretentious placing myself in the historical context of abstraction as a project, and not just because the idea of its progression to an end point is bologna (don’t believe me- then ask yourself why jazz still happens as an art form). My point is that just because I take inspiration from a certain school of painting, doesn’t mean I see myself as their lineage or that I’m trying to carve out space in the canon for myself- history decides what is art, not artists (our only job is to create).
I would be thrilled it someone said “I feel like aesthetically this work is halfway between early modernism and early computer age.” The cube is foundational to both and is literally a foundation in this work.
I started painting because it was what I wanted to see in the world. I believe we create the world we want.
These are definitely places in addition to surfaces.
I don’t actively try to compartmentalize illustrating and painting techniques.
A painting is a record of what I was “thinking” for a moment in time. Really, it was intuition- “feel” (rather than knowing in an intellectual sense).
Why is abstraction worth continuing⁃ it shares with all art the desire to see/make something unique.
It is hard to overstate the influence that the group of artists known as Abstract Expressionists had on me during my formative years as a painter. They certainly were not without shortcomings as individuals, specifically their exclusion of some great woman painters who were eventually recognized as part of the canon, with no thanks to many of them. I think the dead horse of the concept of an avant-garde has been whipped enough, too. While my motivations and inclinations about painting are much different than they were when I made my first abstract painting in 1992, and the full historical context of their work should never be ignored, this period of American painting is- I feel- a significant, even pivotal, contribution to the narrative of Western painting. The irony that the project of Modernism found it’s illogical conclusion in this medium is not lost on me.