Larry Groff interviews painter Ann Gale about her work. Gale's paintings will be on view at Steven Harvey Fine Art Projects, New York in January.
Gale comments: "I am very curious and sometimes obsessive about observation ... The search becomes part of the subject of the painting. The figure is so familiar, it is challenging to see past prejudged ideals of the body and face. Measuring can provide an objective lens for perception... Some of it is very much about the grid ... I think it helps to measure against it. To see a gesture compared to a vertical is much more sensitive ... Other things are not so much a grid but a linear movement where I’ll follow something that is like a ribbon through space. I think it’s the direction my eye is taking. I might go from the floor, over someone’s lap and into the background. I think of it as kind of a path through the painting and through the figure ... As I’m observing, I’m trying not to follow the things with names, I’m trying to follow my way between them and through them ... During the adjustment of the figure, the space and the light itself becomes an emotional character. While there is a precision to the measuring, there is also an intimacy that is revealed and equally crucial to the process. Though the figures are abstracted through this process, they are not neutralized as subjects."
Robertson comments: "I’m presently dividing circles into multi-coloured sections which nevertheless still form an unbroken circle. The wonderful thing about a circle is that it always remains whole. For a couple of years I’ve been adding these divided rings running around the edge to create a sense of movement within the painting, so your eye starts to move around the circle in an almost kinetic way ... I’m interested in rhythms and measured logic but I’m interested in subjective systems too. I want colour to read as light and disrupt the geometry."
Jennifer Samet interviews painter Judy Rifka about her work and career.
Rifka comments: "In dance, you are in a place, then you think about where you want to go, and then you go there. You make a body out of your intentions of where you want to go, and that is a physical connection. In painting, you put one thing down, then you think about where you want to put another thing, and so on. After that, it looks like some kind of space is built up. Hans Hofmann talked about this. However, there is no actual space in painting: that space always becomes an emotional connection. Making a physical connection of your intention is the same as growth, the same as how any form works, how a pseudopod works, how evolution works. You decide where you want to go, you go there, and then you build a body to go there. This becomes the form. So the space disappears, and a form, or a body, comes out of it.... Socrates said, 'I listen to my oracles.' That idea — that we have a voice inside our head telling us what to do — you listen to that. In painting, I listen to it."
Chris Lowrance interviews painter Kathy Liao about her work.
Liao remarks: "I think of the formal issues of painting, of lines and colors and composition. I think of painting as a medium, as materials, as objects – the texture, the touch and the body of paint, the way it runs, drips, build up, get scraped away. But it is equally important to me that there is a REASON for painting. A reason that this image must exist, why it must be painted, why it came together the way it does. I allow a lot of room for the spontaneous, the unexpected in the making of my work, but often times, that one idea, that one feeling, or that one narrative is my guiding star. The painting could go to hell and back as long as I remember that initial idea. THAT to me is more important than painting a pretty picture, more important than the most formally successful painting, more important than every mark and every color being in the right place. I do not consider myself a 'Conceptual' artist, but to me, it is important to know why I am making the work. I chose painting as my medium to execute my idea."
Zachary Keeting and Christopher Joy visit the studio of painter Marina Adams.
Adams comments: "I don't like to dictate too much, I like to 'allow.' ... [in abstract art] you create a space for thought as opposed to dictating a thought... The work feeds itself; the work leads me along. So in that respect it's very different. There is work where people have an idea and then they fabricate it, and that's one way of working. This work is not produced in that way... I have ideas about things but I do also like to have the work inform me."
Ashley Garrett interviews artist Ann Craven, whose work is currently on view at Hannah Hofman Gallery, Los Angeles through December 20, 2014.
Asked about working in series, Craven comments: "... in a way for me it’s like how a poet revisits a poem, and then wants to change a certain word or a comma or a fluctuation in a sentence or something but then doesn’t. In a way I feel really lucky to be able to revisit something again and again and again, being each time that it’s different – it’s a different time, it’s a different place, it’s a different motion, it’s usually an attempt at all the same colors, although it’s always a different mixture but it’s very similar, and I want always to have that availability to go back and revisit and re-mix a certain color. But – everybody does this! I really feel that every artist, and everybody who is practicing things in terms of form, I feel that people revisit their ideas, you revisit your notions. I paint from life, like the moon, but each painting is done on the same 14 x 14 inch canvas, so I do have a system there – I have rules that I can break within the surface of the canvas."
Christopher Joy and Zachary Keeting visit the studio of painter Paul Behnke.
Asked about the pleasure inherent in the experience of pure color, Behnke comments: "I think of my color as more anxiety... color can serve as a segue into the work... the color makes them more accessible... an then ... when things settle down and you spend more time with the piece it starts to be a little grating." Expressing a preference for more traditional picture space versus an all-over approach to abstraction, Behnke notes: "I don't like a lot of chaos ... I want there to be important forms and then lesser forms, important colors and lesser colors. I want there to be that hierarchy in the imagery."
Larry Groff interviews painter Ann Lofquist whose work was recently on view at Craig Krull Gallery, Santa Monica.
Lofquist comments: "I think many of us have had the experience of a stab of joy and longing when looking at nature; I certainly have and I’m trying to recapture those moments in my paintings... the ever-changing subject is the great challenge of landscape painting. When painting outdoors I feel a manic urgency to absorb as much information as I can as quickly as possible — a kind of hyper-concentration — and I suppose this results in a kind of vitality in the painting. In the studio, freshness is not a big priority for me. I think of plein air paintings as having the “freshness of youth” while studio paintings can have a more mature kind of beauty born from slow consideration."
Nicole Rudick interviews artist Gladys Nilsson about her work, on view at Garth Greenan Gallery, New York, through December 6, 2014.
Nilsson comments: "Sometimes my people [in the works] know exactly what’s going on, and other times they’re just going along and suddenly they realize that there are little corner pockets that have some awfully strange stuff going on. When I’m playing with collage, I’m thinking about contrast and juxtaposing odd things. And because of the size of these particular pieces, I was able to find some bigger figures in my history books that I could cut up and play with. I might have a Greek sculpture sitting next to a Renoir figure or something like that. And it’s great when I can find a little bit that has the appropriate glance, look, direction. I love that. So I’m interested in building relationships between contrasting images and making it work visually. I start out with the big figures, and then I boil it down to smaller and smaller figures—tiny people who are doing silly stuff. It’s about getting the larger figures in place so that I can unleash these tiny people who are risqué and haughty."
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.