Zachary Keeting and Christopher Joy talk with painter Yevgeniya Baras at her exhibition Of Things Soothsaid and Spoken at Steven Harvey Fine Art Projects, New York, on view through March 29, 2015.
Baras discusses the works on view, described in the catalog as "small-scale, textured oil paintings reconfigure abstraction as a kind of talismanic skin. Baras incorporates a variety of materials into her paintings: wood, yarn, paper-maché and foil. Her distressed and encrusted surfaces collected gestures, cuts and marks recall the traces of age, devotion and obsession found in ritual objects and textiles of tribal cultures."
Gordon Moore interviews painter Joan Waltemath whose exhibition One does not negate the other is on view at Hionas Gallery, New York, through March 14, 2015.
Waltemath comments: "... verticality can set up a one to one relationship to your body when you are standing in front of it. I’ve done horizontal works, and also squares, but since these works are initially focused on getting a recognition of the body to occur, the vertical format is critical... my work has always been concerned with a physical relationship with the body and how the body negotiates the world and receives a painting – through movement."
Collings comments: "I like making choices and limiting. As much as you’d want to put in, eliminating 80% of that makes it much more interesting... In one of Philip Guston’s lectures at the Studio School he was saying that he would take a year or so off from painting every now and then and only draw during that time. He wanted the immediacy of drawing to come out in his paintings. Or he wanted his paintings to come out immediately the way his drawing did, like an extension of his body. I like that force and activity that happens when you‘re drawing, you have to improvise. So, I think I’m probably bringing that to my work right now, it’s taught me something and I’m trying it out."
Kalm notes that Valentine's "show presents many small scaled paintings featuring the artist's heavily worked surfaces, and rich warn pallet. There's a sly, mischievous quality to the work due to the artist's knowingly tweaking and manipulation accepted painterly tropes, and genres."
Linda Francis interviews Thomas Micchelli about the work in his show Bacchantes and Bivalves at John Davis Gallery, Hudson, New York, on view through March 1, 2015.
Asked to describe his working process, Micchelli comments that it is: "Rather chaotic, less so in the drawings than in the paintings, which are often free-for-alls in terms of intention and technique: picking up and disposing of approaches as they prove useful one moment and useless the next; trusting that some kind of unity will emerge within a body of work without striving for it in terms of form or style. I find myself cleaving away my knowledge of art history to come up with a direct relationship to the paint, something that relates to the unmediated experience of the material on the surface — it’s an impossible task, but it’s my goal with each painting."
Lloyd commetns: "I start with a concept but it inevitably changes in the course of making the work. I can’t conceptualize a whole painting ahead of time nor do I want to. For me paintings have a life of their own. If I leave myself open the painting will usually lead me in an interesting direction. I don’t edit myself much in the studio. If something doesn’t end up working I have the option to not show it.,, I’m in the process of starting a new body of work that will expand on the last one. Right now I’m doing a lot of experimentation. There’s no pressure to produce for a new show just yet so this is a period when I get to try out new ideas or directions. I have no interest in making the same body of work over and over."
Responding to a question about "looking at nature closely as a means of getting out of your head," O'Reilly comments: "I think that it stops me being self-conscious because it’s not something that I carefully set up and have this serious thought about which object goes where or even if it’s just shapes, I can get paralyzed pretty easily with that. If I’m outside, there is all this world of things that I’m stimulated by so when that self-conscious element is gone I’m freed up. I suppose it offers new solutions all the time because you’re looking with a fresh eye even if I go back to the same place over and over, which I do. It’s never the same. It’s a different day, the light is different, something has changed, something got moved; especially in the city. It changes daily and even along the canal it changes a lot. I go out one day and I notice a particular plant hanging over the canal, I go out another day and see a yellow truck sitting by a building, so I’m stimulated by something without a preordained idea of what I’m going to paint. I wander around and think that looks interesting, it presents itself."
James Kalm visits Gary Petersen: Not now, but maybe later at THEODORE:Art, Bushwick, Brooklyn. The video includes an extended interview with Petersen about the work in the show and a short interview with gallerist Stephanie Theodore.
Charley Peters interviews painter Sharon Hall about her work.
Hall comments: "The paintings evolve from a starting point that uses simple geometry for dividing up the overall surface area through an implicit and rational use of proportion. I have always tried to avoid complex mathematical or geometric permutations in my works, and I strive for a kind of structural simplicity that is then made more complex by the colour, and the emerging painterly and optical relationships. The initial geometric proposition serves only as an armature into and onto which colour is loaded. And it is only with the introduction of colour itself that the paintings really begin for me. While geometry isn’t paramount as a kind of mathematical set of relations in itself, it is crucial to define the colour in order to determine how it is perceived, through neutral shapes or spans across the surface. The divisions and parts of the paintings can appear optically as empty space by using close tonalities, and the underlying geometry is sometimes rendered almost invisible. The eventual resolution of the paintings is ‘found’, rather than being predetermined or locked into an overtly rigid map, so they can proceed quite intuitively and imaginatively."
Malone comments: "A painting should be more than proof that the painter had an experience that was personally meaningful to them. The result of their work should be meaningful to the viewer as well. Maybe not in the same way as it was to the painter, but meaningful in some shared human way... I’m simply trying to get back to a kind of painting that doesn’t need a written explanation — that doesn’t need a statement on the wall next to it. I want people to talk about my work. Understanding is up to them. I don’t like explaining. I think there’s more than enough room inside a rectangle to share the world with another person. I want painting to work in its simplest form."
Edited by artist Brett Baker, Painters' Table highlights writing from the painting blogosphere as it is published and serves as a platform for exploring blogs that focus primarily on the subject of painting.