Charlotte Burns profiles painter Howard Hodgkin on the occasion of his exhibition From Memory at Gagosian Gallery, New York, on view through June 18, 2016.
Burns writes: "Hodgkin famously paints up to the very edge of the painting, often covering the frame. It is a form of control, making sure that the object’s completeness cannot be interrupted by a frame placed around it by somebody else. For similar reasons, he paints on board instead of canvas: 'A firm surface won’t answer back. It just remains there, and that’s very important to have. So much of my working isn’t fixed, so it’s wonderful that this is fixed, it’s firm; there it is. I’ve always thought that the first thing that painting should be is a thing – paintings should be like objects that exist firmly.' Why is that so important – because everything else is so fleeting? 'Probably, yes. They have to be complete in themselves.'"
Interview with artist, painter Tamar Zinn whose exhibition At the Still Point is on view at Kathryn Markel Fine Arts, New York, through May 7, 2016.
Zinn comments: "I keep going as long as the painting continues to irritate me; I often don’t know what is off about it, only that it hasn’t yet arrived. Both the geometry and field are modified repeatedly over many painting sessions, until the moment when, as if by magic, everything seems to have found its place. That magic is the moment of the ‘still point’—for me, it embodies tension and complexity along with quiet, clarity along with uncertainty."
Bill Jensen and David Hinton discuss "Eastern philosophy, Chinese poetry and painting."
Jensen remarks: "Early on, I realized that I could not paint very strong aesthetic events just by looking out at something. I thought that if I could somehow make my art a living tissue, that everyday I could go to the studio and be dragged a little further; so that now, twenty years later, I look back and see that I could have never dreamt where that living force would take me. You need a high tolerance for embarrassment and anxiety, but I really wanted it to be a living force that can drag me to places that I never could dream of going. That’s what connected me to the Taoists."
Paul Behnke photoblogs images from the recent exhibition If Color Could Kill, curated by Jeff Frederick, on view at the Salena Gallery, Long Island University. The show featured works by Paul Behnke, Trudy Benson, Patrick Berran, Robert Otto Epstein, Keltie Ferris, Brooke Moyse, Gary Petersen and Craig Taylor, and will travel to Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, NY later in 2016.
Phong Bui interviews painter Marcia Hafif whose exhibition The Italian Paintings, 1961–1969 is on view at Fergus McCaffrey Gallery, New York through June 25, 2016.
Hafif, who has engaged for decades with monochrome painting, recalls painting a still life while studying with Richards Ruben: "I began using a single color and digging into it and making a kind of radiating form, treating it plastically rather than as flat. I would literally move the paint so that it was thicker in some parts. So what you’re seeing is the light, shadow, and so on. I think I was moving away from painting towards something more three-dimensional, without crossing over into sculpture."
Fishman comments: "... it has always been a problem for my career that I am one, queer, two, a woman, and three, doing plain old abstract paintings. There's not the subject matter that you see in other lesbian work—subject matter makes things more accessible and easy to write about. Abstract painting is not easy to write about. However, being outside of the system allowed me to separate myself from everything out there, and to develop how I wanted to... there's a lot that comes out of my studio that's just me."
Smith writes: "Mr. Kitchen works fast and loose on tablet-size canvases, reducing painting’s proclivity for grand gesture to a series of intimate scribbles, lines, dots, notional marks and hints of initials and artists’ signatures, as well as landscape studies and textile design. They have wonderful palettes and exude an effortless, tossed-off charm that is easy to underestimate. Seeing them in a group, however, emphasizes a careful system that accommodates a startling amount of variety."
Kalm notes that Guston "was an essential member of the New York painting community, achieving major institutional and critical recognition during the 1950s. Despite this success, in the late 1950s he began questioning many of the propositions of Abstract Expressionism with which he’d become associated. Organized by Paul Schimmel, this selection of 36 paintings and 53 drawings, traces the development of Guston’s work during this transitional period from abstraction to the beginnings of his iconic figurative works."
Christine Hughes interviews painter Ellen E. Rand on the occasion of Rand's recent exhibition at Figureworks, Brooklyn.
Rand comments: "Years ago, when I was at the Met, I saw a Manet painting of a sailor in a boat with one or two women. I like to read some of the information about a painting – when, where, who the artist knew, but the card next to the painting said that the artist painted out the original placement of the rope and put it in a different place because the 'dynamics of the diagonals of the expressions of…' and on and on. I thought, no! He painted it out because he didn’t like the way it looked! I do feel that an awful lot of art now is just an illustration of a thought or an idea, not something that comes from inside."
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.