Poet Bill Corbett shares his thoughts on Franz Kline with Noah Dillon.
Corbett remarks: "I think he was after the dream of the abstract painters, which was to make drawing and painting one. For these guys — for him, Philip Guston, Willem de Kooning — it was to get the immediacy of drawing, to locate the viewer in that immediacy, and then to make it happen in paint. A work like this, it seems to me, is absolutely recognizable, because it’s a clear, firsthand apprehension of a reality. That communicates to me... He also, I think, wanted to give a sense of the moment, make you feel present. As you pointed out, he used house paint and the image is now getting lost: it’s cracking, yellowing, it’s a conservator’s nightmare. In a way, I think it’s too bad that conservators feel compelled to restore this painting to what it was."
Alexi Worth interviews painter Frank Owen on the occasion of Owen's show Next at Nancy Hoffman Gallery, New York, on view through December 12, 2015.
Asked about beginning his pouring paintings and the influence of Pollock, Owen comments: "I was thinking a lot about Echo: Number 25, 1951; that painting was talismanic for me. In his last years Pollock was struggling to reintroduce imagery, and it wasn’t easy for him. In my own work, I began to feel a similar pressure. I needed to find a gateway out of just being a paint stylist. One idea that was helpful was the notion of a 'field.' An expanse where any number of elements can cohabit. The mere fact that they are assembled makes the painting. That was a kind of permission."
Canier comments: "I have always gone back and forth between painting from life and painting from my imagination. I’ve made figure compositions that were very ambitious and difficult, trying to invent everything from scratch and then I have also always made these little collages. All of these different ways of working fed on each other in ways that I didn’t even understand at the time... I have a lot of ideas about people, things I want to say about people, the places where they live and the way they relate to each other in those places. I am also moved by the way in which people relate to the past and their memories. Memories inhabit places as well and imbue them with meaning, both personal and collective. I don’t feel like I can do justice to this idea without the working representationally... The formal qualities of images communicate ideas, which is where painting has its real power. When a literal idea is imbedded in the formal visual language of a painting, that’s what really interests me. If the literal stuff is all you’re thinking about and the formal is left by the wayside, then it becomes sentimental or cheap."
Dufresne remarks: "I am trying to use some of those strategies that I find in video and music. How can I make painting that is not just navel-gazing, all about paint? I would not stay interested if I didn’t have other things going through my head. Sustained engagement in the work is difficult for many people. How can I stay engaged in the painting, in the process, and in the problems that come out of the process? I need to know that something fun is going to happen in the process of making it. If I just tell you a joke, I’m in and out so fast. I am constantly thinking about movies, politics, sex, love, and beauty – the things we all think about. I want to use those strategies in painting. But a painting must be an experience you could not have anywhere else. Painting is the hardest thing, because you can’t control it; you have to follow it. But we keep trying."
Asked about transitioning to abstraction after years of plein-air painting Werfel comments: "I don’t really feel like I’ve left observational painting behind as much as use it in a different way–collaged and improvisational. So I may start a painting based upon one of my son’s childhood drawings but then I turn the painting upside down to free it up from representation and then I’ll layer it with a segment of the view out of my studio window. I am constantly adding stuff from my everyday environment to free my mind from habitual ways of working- whether it is something incidentally observed like how my shoelaces are tied or the wires around my laptop or some flowers in a vase. The difference now is that I am not committed to one view of a motif but use perception as a tool to drive the work in new ways."
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."
Shaw comments: "It has been said my work is sentimental. I don’t know why sentimentality has to be a negative quality. What I look for in art are the qualities I admire or don’t admire in human beings. And very rarely do I meet people who aren’t sentimental. I have no story, which is why I am a painter. Beckett has a line about itching to make something with nothing to say. You know if you have got the itch."
John Seed interviews painter Lisa Pressman on the occasion of her show Passing Through at Causey Contemporary, New York, on view through December 13, 2015.
Seed introduces the interview by noting that "Pressman is process-oriented and each image represents a kind of gradual accretion of ideas and methods that wouldn't be possible without the broad foundation of caprices and ruminations that preceded it. Her work, which is abstract but still very much inspired by the process of seeing, has a sense of visual 'rightness' that only intuition can validate."
Mink comments: "Anything that I paint, I think, 'What can I hide?' and 'What can I say, without having to really come out and say it?' People don’t always want to talk about the real things. There are so many conversations that cannot happen. Every now and then I get to have intimate conversations. In between, I enjoy painting. Painting offers me everything. I take full advantage of it now. I spent so many years painting in private: paintings I would not show, but which I learned from... I think my obsession with hiding thoughts in paintings will continue to grow. With social media, and media in general, there are a vast amount of stories out in the world. But painting always holds mystery, and you can keep coming back to it. Like the poetry and lyrics I am drawn to, I don’t need answers for them, or plots, or outcomes. I like vague."
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.