MacPhee comments: "I have to feel like it’s organic to what I’m doing. I’ve done diptychs and triptychs and sewn canvases together, but never gone off the rectangle. It has to seem as if it’s inherent in the direction of what you’re doing. It can’t be an add-on. I’ve always been very suspicious of myself. You have to understand the difference between embracing something because it makes sense in terms of what you are doing versus grabbing something that doesn’t make sense in terms of your own work and confusing yourself... I like to be surprised. To be surprised is the highest aesthetic category."
Real States featuring paintings by Tom Burckhardt, Clare Grill, and Sangram Majumdar is on view at Steven Harvey Fine Art Projects, New York, from February 10- March 13, 2016.
This is the final weekend to see Real States at Steven Harvey Fine Art Projects on the Lower East Side. The show features paintings by Tom Burckhardt, Clare Grill, and Sangram Majumdar. The works of each of these artists engage with the notion of image, but also confound it. The press release notes that the artists "all make paintings that engage abstract or abstracted forms on the armature of an implied grid. However, these forms and shapes are simultaneously allowed to fall away from any such structure."
A panel discussion titled The Abstract Image, moderated by art historian and critic Jennifer Samet, was held at the gallery on February 28, 2016. With their paintings around them, all three artists started off by talking about their process and it's relation to image-making.
Sangram Majumdar commented that moving away from recognizable imagery is "a way to arrive at a place that's a bit more unknown. I think there's an anxiety about looking at things. The longer I look at them I start disbelieving... so the painting process for me becomes a way to get closer to what ... drew me into that imagery."
Clare Grill responded: "I want my work to feel specific... [the source material] provides a mood, or a feeling, or a reason to make a painting. And that's it. And then it becomes something else - it becomes a painting."
Noting that Majumdar and Grill work from something that exists in the world, Tom Burckhardt commented: "I work in the opposite way... In terms of the image-making, I really start from absolutely nothing - it's akin to ... surrealist automatic writing ... and out of that generality what I eventually move towards is specificity." Referring to working on cast supports, he continued: "But my relationship to the support is incredibly specific from the beginning... if you [Grill and Majumdar] are working from something in the world, something that has a representational life somewhere, for me the only thing that's like that is the sculpture of the painting."
Zachary Keeting and Christopher Joy visit the studio of painter Joan Waltemath.
Discussing her Torso/Roots paintings, Waltemath comments: "They're roughly based on the torso proportions of the body, so that you can have a physical interaction with them as opposed to an intellectual or an image-based response... the physical being in the world is a primary way of knowing the world... I'm really interested in how the body understands the world and how we perceive through movement. It's not a static thing. Photography privileges the single viewpoint but for my work I need multiple viewpoints for you to see it... for me it's a way to keep... your audience awake..." She continues noting the significance of percieving the paintings from multiple viewpoints and in different light: "... you're going to notice that something's different and you'll see it, because when things stay the same in your environment they just become a function of memory and not of perception."
Jennifer Samet interviews painter Carrie Moyer whose exhibition Sirens is on view at DC Moore Gallery, New York through Mar 26, 2016.
Moyer comments: "What is political about my painting, if we can even say that, is that it is experiential. They are abstractions based on my own history, even though they address the history of 20th-century painting, or at least certain parts of it. I’m also positing ideas about pleasure — both pleasure for me, and pleasure for the viewer. This feels decadent right now, because it is not about the work being a commodity, it’s about the pleasurable experience of looking. Hopefully the paintings operate at degrees, meaning people who aren’t involved with the history of painting can get something out of it. I’m not interested in intellectual opacity or 'enlightening' the viewer. I’m going for beauty, seduction, and play — a physical experience, an optical experience. However, my first audience, the one I’m thinking about in the studio, is always other painters and people involved in the history of painting. What dialogue am I in with painters from the past? I think about painting in terms of the politics of who is making it, and when it gets made. For instance, isn’t it interesting that we are living in this moment when there are a lot of prominent women abstract painters? This is very unusual."
Zachary Keeting and Christopher Joy visit the studio of painter Annie Lapin.
Lapin shows her recent paintings which achieve a delicate balance between found and willed form. Having been inspired by cave paintings, she combines a rorschach-like technical approach with a sensibility for creating complex images that results in compositions that feel specific, surprising and alive.
Robert Kushner interviews painter Robert Berlind who passed away December 17, 2015.
Berlind comments: "Delacroix said that art goes from soul to soul. This counters the notion of the importance of language and semiotics, that something leaped across all of that and there’s a real deep occurrence. I’m interested in the phenomenology of looking at art: what happens when we’re really affected, in time, in space, in our psyches, in our unconscious, what is it that’s really happening ... I insist that painting is a time-based medium. And looking at it is a time-based endeavor. Whatever you get all at once, that’s part of it. But what you get after years of looking is even more.
Beavers comments: "I will make a painting from any source. I try to be very democratic about it. If it seems interesting, I’ll make it ... If I painted directly from the photograph, I would just paint photo-realistically. But, I was looking for some kind of painting language, and painting around, underneath and in reality, against these built-up forms, became a formal strategy for me. Photographing these paintings while I work on them has also become a part of my process. I really like the way the relief casts a shadow; it makes the piece look almost uncanny, like it’s animated. I experience my works a lot through photographs, even though they are meant to be viewed in person. I like that there are two ways to experience my work – one of them is online in a photograph and the other is to be in real space with it. It lives online and in person, in the same two ways as we do."
Zachary Keeting and Christopher Joy visit the studio of artist Mandy Lyn Ford.
In her artist statement Ford writes: "My paintings are remnants of my life, tactile diaries. I beat them into submission by working them over and over and over; laying them on the floor, and dragging them, and applying and unapplying, cutting into and copiously giving to. They become strong and tuff and solid. I treat them aggressively until they prove they are worth being paid attention to and softly labored over. And sometimes the loving touches cause them to fail and have to begin again."
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.