Quin comments: "... in my day-to-day experience, the landscape seems to intrude most and calls out more for its recognition and observation. Whenever I make a painting of any kind, whether it’s landscape, figure or still life, I have to have seen that situation in the world. I have to have experienced it. Even if it’s just momentarily, even if it’s just a drive- by event; if I have seen it, then I can believe it and I can develop it, or try to, at least. That pertains to the landscape, figure, still life, whatever. It all starts from there. ... I enjoy painting more if I can develop pictures in the studio based on plein air sketches and then make the compositional choices and color changes that the painting suggests to me. So, at that point, it’s not what is dictated by allegiance the actual motif, and studies from it, but what happens after those initial encounters. I want keep the life and quality of the motif alive, but I don’t want to be tethered to it. I want to be able to change it and move things around. I’m more of a studio painter in that sense ..."
Sharon Butler blogs about the exhibition Craig Taylor: Enface at CB1 Gallery, Los Angeles, on view through April 11, 2015.
Butler writes: "Craig Taylor empties traditional portrait bust forms of facial detail and fills the silhouettes with strata of small marks and brushstrokes. The effect is to make visible the unarticulated anxiety behind our carefully crafted facades."
Alexander writes: "These paintings dive head first into the history of great painting -- the all-over space of Pollock, the shape-making of Gorky and Kandinsky, the playfulness of Klee -- and emerge looking utterly fresh, direct and personal. Grill's touch is completely tuned in to the nuances of the paint and the linen, creating fields of marks and shapes that accumulate to a state of utmost sensuality ... Grill has found a zone, an intimate space and a beautifully poetic vocabulary. The paintings seem to have sprouted, fully formed from her hand."
For the show, Zinsser created new work in response to abstract expressionsit painter Theodoros Stamos. Commenting on the process Zinsser notes that half of the challenge was "[a]pproaching how we create these romantic mythologies with these artists. But the other half is: What was it that launched our own painting out of the issues of abstract expressionism? For me, it always means making paintings that are event-driven, something where you’re looking for an image that will emerge out of the painting process itself. Also, materiality. Or moving things into large scale. So all of those are specific painting issues carrying directly over... I wasn’t looking at the specific paintings that were going to be in the show when I painted my paintings. I had more of my own idea of what a Stamos painting looked like. I mean I had looked at catalogues and monographs and so forth. But it was more an imagined idea of what they looked like. So it was surprising that when they actually came together, they did have these very specific resonating compositional and color relationships. Which is great. It really made it much more a present-tense open thought-inquiry that makes you re-see Stamos in a surprising way. I hope."
Sultan writes: "There is so much life in these drawings; they don't stay still politely, but have a continuing pulsing energy. The drawings remind me of the looser forms of Asian calligraphy, which require many years of study in order to have the knowledge to use free brushwork... I see a similar sensibility in the Lyric Suite drawings and the Open series, with their forms inhabiting large spaces, floating within them. There is a great respect for the ground plane and its strong presence; the artist's entry into it is as collaboration, not dominance."
Garrett comments: "I’m trying to include all of the possibilities of perception at once... There are all of these parallel ways of thinking and knowing, mistaking and perceiving. So how do you work from a place where you have a memory, but are in the process of forgetting it as you go? Or not having fully remembered all of the details in the first place, and working within that place?" She adds: "I want to be vulnerable in the work in some way. I mean, look at Guston or Morandi! You can really feel them in their work. The form and the emotional content is incredibly specific. There’s a great deal of personal risk."
John Seed interviews painter Nathan Lewis whose exhibition Light is the Lion is on view at Fernando Luis Alvarez Gallery, Stamford, Connecticut through April 18, 2015.
Lewis comments: "I've always loved exploring abandoned spaces. 2011 is when I first decided to paint them. I've always been more of a figure painter and object (form) oriented. The factories were a departure from that mode of thinking and more related to settings. Although figures are in most of the paintings, the architecture and composition play a larger role in the psychology of the piece. Some of these spaces that are collapsing provided an experience of light that was uncommon and made me contemplate anew the strangeness and beauty of light. I think that is what prompted me to the series of works. The unfamiliar forms provided the challenge of inventing new personal translations of what I saw and felt into the formal language of painting. The factories themselves are ruins of an industriousness that is foreign to us today."
James Kalm films a recent panel on contemporary painting hosted by Hunter College and the Brooklyn Rail. The panelists include: Phyllis Tuchman, Alex Bacon, Carrie Moyer, Greg Lindquist and Amei Wallach and are introduced by Phong Bui.
William Eckhardt Kohler reviews Jack Davidson: love, mistake, promise, auto crack-up, color, petal at THEODORE: Art, Bushwick, Brooklyn, on view through April 12, 2015.
Kohler writes: "The warmth in Davidson's paintings is both related to the strange and inventive forms and color ideas they contain and to subtle decisions such as repainting by hand edges that were initially made using tape. Davidson describes this as the difference between haircuts with electric shears and scissors -- a difference more felt than visually discernible. And, notwithstanding the moments of paint blotting, or some intentional brushwork, the latter often copied from the painted marks in collages, the work is remarkably clean, while being, dare I say it, soulful. Davidson has expressed that there was some risk in exhibiting this variety of types of imagery, but for this viewer it has made for an exhilarating experience and a relief from the bland seriality of many contemporary painting shows."
Christopher Lowrance interviews painter Stephanie Pierce, whose show Radiant Welter will be on view at Alpha Gallery, Boston from April 4 - 29, 2015.
Pierce comments: "I love getting to the point where the realization of the space has happened, and that I can then begin to let go of things, dissolve, shift, and then make it full of so much at once that it’s overwhelming as an experience to look at it. That might not even begin to happen the way I want it to until I’m deeply into the work–about 3/4 of the way through. I really love the last stretch of a painting where everything is moving incrementally, slowly, and intentionally; when I can see it’s finally a painting, rather than the frustration period of many routes taken that haven’t come to fruition as something that matters yet."
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.