Franklin Einspruch interviews painter Walter Darby Bannard on the occasion of an exhibition of Bannard's Minimal Color Field Paintings, 1958-1965 at Berry Campbell Gallery, New York, through April 18, 2015.
Bannard comments on the period of his work in the show, noting that his interest was in "[s]implicity that’s not Cubist-derived. Mondrian is Cubist-derived, and Bauhaus is Cubist-derived, and Malevich and all the Russian constructivists all came out of Cubism. It was taking cubism to an extreme. Me and Frank and Frank’s buddies, Carl Andre and Hollis Frampton, didn’t have any interest in Cubist-derived simplicity. Ellsworth Kelly was doing it and Rauschenberg was doing it in a way with his early, simple stuff. Gottlieb was doing it. There was this impulse to put a simple thing right in the middle of the picture and it wasn’t Cubist simplicity, it was presentational simplicity. Something was staring right back at you like it was another person. That idea just fascinated me. I thought, this is the best way to present color – make it into a painting, but just barely."
Zachary Keeting and Christopher Joy visit the studio of artist Donald Baechler.
Baechler comments: "I don't see [the work] as happy or upbeat... I think of [the objects in the paintings] as very isolated... the isolated ice cream cone, for me it's a kind of melancholy thing, it's not really a happy thing. In some sense it's a surrogate for a self portrait ... and I think the flowers are as well, it's the lone individual in the universe."
Lara Saget interviews artist Cordy Ryman whose exhibition Chimera 45 is on view at Zürcher Gallery, New York through May 7, 2015.
Ryman comments: "I think anything and everything that is going on in your life, if you are open in your process, will make its way in and have an effect. I think we should allow it to... At this point, I know how to make a nice painting. There are certain things I know will look right, but may be boring or something. I have to be able to be free. If I work on a lot of things, I can be free and take chances. The chances of magic happening are greater. There is something that happens, I don’t know exactly how to define it, but it’s more likely to happen if I am not tightened up and afraid.... If I am making something — and I am a human — and it is interesting to me, and I keep making it over years, the chances are that it will be interesting to other people."
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 ..."
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."
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."
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."
Jan Dalley visits the studio of painter Gillian Ayres whose show New Paintings and Prints will be on view at Alan Cristea Gallery, London, from April 13 - May 30, 2015.
In the interview Ayres comments: "To me painting is a visual thing. I find this terribly important... People like to understand and I wish they wouldn't. I wish they'd just look; it's visual. I'd go further - I don't want this sort of understanding. There is no understanding."
Tulsa Kinney visits the studio of painter James Hayward.
Kinney writes: "I ask [Hayward] if painting is a physical thing for him—I have this vision of him in his studio vigorously slathering globs of thick crimson onto a canvas with a paintbrush in one hand and a bottle of wine in the other. In my mind he’s wearing only his cowboy hat and cowboy boots, and a pair of red boxer shorts—the same color as the painting he’s working on—and Hank Williams is blaring in the background. He answers, 'The physicality is part of it, but the heart and soul of it is the marking. In my monochromes I try to avoid there ever being a special place. There’s no chosen place. It’s totally proletariat, the marking. I want the corners to be as important as the center and I want every mark to be equal in terms of importance. Ideally, the last marks just kind of blend into the earlier marks and disappear.'"
Kalm notes: "Beginning with her studies at the Art Students League in the early 1940s, Schloss found herself in the center of what would become known as the 'New York School'. Just as that phenomena was attaining world wide recognition, she left New York to live in Italy. Initiating, maintaining and continuing relationships with many of the most significant internationally recognized artists of her era, Schloss nevertheless, developed her own broadly inclusive practice that manifested as painting, collage, watercolor and assemblage, over a career spanning nearly 70 years."
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.