Paul Behnke photo blogs a studio visit with painter Richard Timperio whose work is on view at Andre Zarre Gallery, New York through May 9, 2015.
Behnke notes: "Timperio's bold color and interlocking forms lay the groundwork for the paintings' formal concerns and create a backdrop for primed canvas outlines, imperfections in the surface, and scumbled whites. These elements work together with the newly found solidity of some forms to illicit a certain transcendent excitement."
Mark Skilton, Hilde Skilton, John Bunker, Nick Moore, Sam Cornish, Robin Greenwood, Sarah Greenwood, Anne Smart, Anthony Smart, Ben Wiedel- Kaufmann, Noela James, and Emyr Williams visit the studio of painter Patrick Jones.
Jones introduces the work noting that "the paintings, to me, are to do with the fact that I work very, very thinly, on bare canvas. I don’t prime them at all, and I work with stained, thin acrylic paint ... I’ve always used acrylic, and I was brought up with it and I like it. It’s inert, and it’s not something I have to mess about with a lot to get it to do what I want. But that’s what I see the problem with the painting as being. Trying to work with virtually nothing on the canvas until the weave is filled, and then it changes. It’s a technical problem; it’s how to keep a painting varied and lively and interesting on that surface... it’s HOW to paint is the most difficult problem."
John Goodrich reviews In the Studio: Paintings, curated by John Elderfield, at Gagosian Gallery, New York, on view through April 18, 2015.
Goodrich writes: "In the Studio may be a rambling journey, but as [curator John] Elderfield writes, it’s intended not as a survey but as a speculative 'essay on the history of studio painting.' It gratifies as such, its thesis illuminated by major and lesser works alike. One could, however, draw a different argument from the selection of work — that what it really illuminates is the enduring powers of great painting in all its guises. 'Artistic greatness' may sound quaint in 2015, but how else to describe the one-in-a-million eloquence, courage, generosity, and curiosity expressed in painting’s most basic elements? "
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."
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."
Christopher Joy and Zachary Keeting visit the studio of painter Fran O'Neill.
Thomas Micchelli, writing about O'neill's work for her recent show at Life on Mars, observes that “O’Neill’s art is something you take in with your whole body… [her] blunt, tough-minded, ecstatically convulsive oil paintings are endlessly revealing: pigment and binder, solvent and surface fuse and split, continuously reconfigured under the constant pressure of the artist’s agitated eye and restless hand. The colors cling to the picture plane even as the translucent fields they inhabit unfurl to reveal the depths of space churning below.”
Anna Heyward reviews In the Studio: Paintings, curated by John Elderfield, at Gagosian Gallery, New York, on view through April 18, 2015. The show features paintings of the artist's studio by Wilhelm Bendz, Honoré Daumier, Thomas Eakins, Lucian Freud, Jean-Léon Gérôme, William Hogarth, Matisse, Picasso, Constantin Brancusi, Alberto Giacometti, Louis Moeller, Alfred Stevens, James Ensor, Jacek Malczewski, Diego Rivera, Jean-Baptiste-Siméon Chardin, Carl Gustav Carus, Adolph von Menzel, Jim Dine, Philip Guston, Jasper Johns, Richard Diebenkorn, Helen Frankenthaler, Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Rauschenberg, Larry Rivers, Jacek Malczewski.
Heyward writes: "There is an Eakins from Philadelphia, a Freud from Tate London, and Diego Rivera’s The Painter’s Studio or Lucila and the Judas Dolls, which has never been shown in the United States before and is on loan from a collection in Mexico City... The show’s works range from early pictures of artists at easels, such as a Hogarth from London’s National Portrait Gallery, to the abstraction of high modernism (two Picassos), to the studio walls of Lichtenstein and Diebenkorn."
Stanley Whitney, Bodyheat, 2012, oil on linen, 96 x 96 inches (courtesy of Team Gallery)
Stanley Whitney: Care of the Brush
There are some artists for whom formalism appears effortless. Their formal rigor, while apparent, dissolves quickly before your eyes into something natural and lifelike. Stanley Whitney is one of these artists. He sets forms in motion and they maneuver themselves into place.
Whitney may work hard in the studio to achieve the ease exuded by these works, but they feel free even when their color and compression suggest dissonance or cacophony. Their abstraction feels familiar rather than distant.
The bold simplicity of Whitney’s paintings is disarming, and they speak to the liveliness that the simple act of painting can invoke. In his paintings, working within given parameters towards a novel resolution feels fresh again and this freshness comes from clarity and the courage to commit to an essential concern - in this case color.
Any painter knows how difficult and how dizzying the world of color can be. Whitney himself recalled seeing “10,000 shades of orange on the street” in India. Limiting the palette is the time-honored method used to reign in the unruliness of color, to subjugate it and task it with reproducing mundane retinal experience; yet Whitney lets color loose and trusts it will organize under the care of the brush. “In a Manet,” he has said, “I might look at what the white in the dress is doing. He changed the touch, and it’s a cloud.”
Maria Calandra visits the studio of painter Wendy White.
Calandra writes: "I was first struck by the stature of White's paintings and their captivating trophy-like qualities. Their sides were a slick reflective yellow gold and they were leaning stoically against the wall, safely positioned on hand trimmed rugs saturated in neon colors. I could envision them hidden behind the closed door of one of those sacred sports rooms that your friend's dad has—if it wasn't for their larger than life size. The futuristic versions of team colors that Wendy uses make the seconds in time she is capturing all the more heightened and surreal. And her signature airbrushed marks, that move in and out of text, are as satisfyingly immediate as the goals that win the game (and the pitches that lose them). I soon realized that the images of figures that begin as inkjet prints—before being painted into—are frozen in either a euphoric or sorrowful state, the kind that only sporting events can evoke... [White reverses] the typical portrayal of gender in the media, showing men in moments of vulnerability and woman in moments of glory and victory. A reminder that in reality women and men have equal triumphs whether the camera, or whomever, catches it or not."
Yau writes: "There is the faintest hint of anguished tension running through Belcourt’s paintings, which belies the solid planes of color filling her surfaces. At one point, I began focusing on the fissures and gaps spreading through her tightly constructed compositions. Later, I isolated her discrete paeans to light, as in the elongated, buttery yellow, geometric slivers seen on the tops of two blocks in 'Mound 3' (2011–12). My attention kept shifting and refocusing. Her paintings are full of particular instances embedded within larger views. The strain between unity and disruption is ceaseless, but, contrary to what you might expect from such pressure, it leads to all kinds of visual celebrations, odes and, yes, even lamentations. There is a depth of feeling to these paintings that, much to her credit, Belcourt has refused to trivialize."
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.