James Kalm talks with painter EJ Hauser at her exhibition Amphibian, on view at Regina Rex, New York, on view through December 6, 2015.
Kalm notes that "As a member of the new generation of painters contributing to the Williamsburg and Brooklyn art scene, EJ Hauser has gained recognition for her focused commitment, and experimentation within the medium. With her latest show 'Amphibian', the artist again defies expectations and presents a series of works in which she reduces her means, simplifies compositions and distills her process to a fine level of brevity and elegance."
Zachary Keeting and Christopher Joy visit the studio of painter Georgia Elrod.
Elrod remarks her interest in examining and presenting an inside-out view of the body, "in a way that hopefully anybody can see and understand... then it becomes a poetic space." The press release for Elrod's 2014 exhibition at Novella Gallery notes that her "paintings have become extrapolations, bearing witness to a history through allusion and suggestion. They attempt to include the viewer in the conversation as they both fill in the blanks and create new ones. In this recent work there lingers the anticipation of potential narratives."
O'Leary remarks: "I’m very aware of the collision between the old and new, destruction and rebuilding are very much a part of my practice. I think of how people construct lives and I construct paintings with awareness of the failures and foibles that are part and parcel of being alive. Painting is a language, we push it forward to keep it going, but I’m always aware of its history as I work."
Chris Lowrance interviews painter Tim Tozer on the occasion of the his exhibition The Visit on view at Groveland Gallery, Minneapolis, through October 17, 2015.
Tozer comments: "I’m excited about making paintings that accept all the limitations of paint and surface, and simultaneously try to make this stuff transform into qualities that paintings can only imply; movement, time, volume, light, etc. Of course time exists very clearly in painting, although in the opposite way to music or film; it’s telescoped into the structure of the work, and expands into its constituent elements only after the whole has been experienced. This is why it feels as though building forms and composing the painting are inseparable activities, and when those intentions part ways or lose touch, the whole thing collapses. When it all colludes to support the overall impetus of the painting, it’s done; this can sometimes happen in a surprisingly short amount of time, which makes the solution hard to trust. I think from early admiration of artists like Freud, Auerbach and Giacometti, I find it easier to trust something that comes from sustained struggle, although of course this is as arbitrary as any a priori standard one brings to bear."
Phong Bui interviews painter Alfred Leslie on the occasion of the exhibition Alfred Leslie: 10 Men at Janet Borden Gallery, New York, on view through November 25, 2015.
Leslie comments: "I always felt people are open if you can catch them off guard. You can get them to see something that they may not have been able to see before. The idea was by making the paintings big, you eliminated all of the nuances of prettiness, which could be seen as distractions. If you can get their attention for even one second, perhaps even keep them from moving, just standing there looking, no matter where they’re from, the minute they ask, 'what’s going on?' You’ve got them! If you can get them to think about what it is they’re seeing, what it is they’re thinking about, it can perhaps lead to other thoughts about themselves or the world inside and the world outside. All of which are a part of the human condition for sure."
Zachary Keeting and Christopher Joy talk with artist Helen O'Leary at her exhibition Delicate Negotiations, on view at Lesley Heller Workspace, New York, through October 18, 2015.
O'Leary remarks: "I have a full history of painters in my head that I'm thinking about... and it's my way of coming to that language through a very very different structure, that's to do with my own life, to do with my own system, to do with my own failure. I think of big, heroic paintings a lot and then I think of my way of getting there, which is through mostly revision, small movements, and failure."
Jason Stopa interviews painter Keltie Ferris whose work is on view at Mitchell-Innes & Nash, New York, through October 17, 2015.
Ferris comments: "I want to use painting's full arsenal. You can indulge in incredible color in painting, so why wouldn't you? Illusionistic qualities—I never understood why that wasn't part of the Greenbergian arsenal. It's one of the great things a painting can do. My work tries to include these things—the objectness, a sense of scale, a sense of the hand—all of those things are exciting to me, and I want to keep them all alive."
Lopas comments: "There is a great deal of painting that I love, have looked at, and learned from. But resonance is something different from that. For a painting to resonate it should be with you when you paint. It should guide you when you make decisions. It should occur to you in moments of reverie. For me those are individual artists or specific paintings, rather than periods. That’s because I think all works of art that exist are in some sense contemporary. If you can stand in front of it now, you can experience it totally on your own terms, regardless of its place in history... For me I have learned that painting is a process that produces a state of mind. It is best when no other concerns invade it. The judgment of others or yourself, the reception of the art world, are hindrances. Paintings are best when made from a state of pure absolute personal need. You must give yourself permission and space to get to it and then notice when you are ripe for working well."
Culp comments: "To me, Cezanne made landscape painting into real golem painting. Before that landscapes were usually the background of things. I studied the 17th century Dutch landscape painters for a while along with Cezanne. Dutch paintings are wonderfully dramatic in the light and shadows, the use of the horizon, you feeling apart of the landscape and even the paint. You can see a mountain so many kinds of ways. The Chinese know it too, the mountain continues to elude you. The author of 'Arctic Dreams' writer Barry Lopez says, 'Nature eludes you, it changes its mood so quickly you will never be able to define it.' He says you can go out and pick up a leaf or remember the scent of a bush, or see some scat, he says you try to put all these pieces together of the land that you love and hope to define it. He said, 'The land will always elude you.' And it does. Painting is a slow way of seeing. Understanding what you’re seeing."
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.