Lily Le Brun interviews artist Tess Jaray, curator of the exhibition The Edge of Painting recently on view at The Piper Gallery, London.
Jaray comments: "I was asking myself why I think of these works [in The Edge of Painting] – works that I particularly admire and love – as paintings. They aren’t paintings in the true sense of the word, but nor are they quite defined as anything else. There was a period about thirty years ago when people would say that a drawing is a sculpture. Well actually a drawing isn’t a sculpture, but we like the idea: it has a certain enchantment about it, a bit of fantasy. But we haven’t really found a way of defining art without reference to style or material, and it’s curious that artists quite like to be called painters despite hardly using paint. It’s almost as though artists are aspiring to the condition of painting, even though they don’t use paint. In the same way, is has been said that painters aspire to the condition of music. Of course we can only aspire, we can’t do it, but that’s part of the search."
In the video Gilot comments "When you paint you have to be fast...when you are fast you are better than if you are slow. Because you have to put the energy of your being into the painting - that's the most important." In a beautiful statement published on her website Gilot has written: "if I start a painting from a quasi-embryonic state with forms that I make visible to better exclude them later, I do it mostly to initiate a trajectory. Like the ancient Greek philosophers, I want to prove movement by walking. I feel a kind of vertigo in front of the emptiness of a white canvas, and am ready to do anything to fill its void. But fortunately after my first thrust of energy, a hidden voice within me says, “No, that’s not it at all,” and propels me to make alterations that, even if not valid in their entirety, open the way to more reflections and more imaginative propositions. There is a progression; more and more fragments come into focus and begin to be attuned to one another until the whole purpose clarifies itself and, in an instant of enlightenment, leads to cohesion and unity."
Montgomery comments: "I have since developed a studio practice that facilitates the building of objects that look and act as paintings while I publicly call myself a painter. I assemble the image of a painting from a variety of materials that achieve the component elements of painting (color, form, overlap, transparency, figure/ground, etc.) in three dimensions and without the use of brushes. It is my intention that you see the work as constructed because I want the object to document studio labor in pursuit of formal images. The act of painting is, at this point in art history, only a portion of image creation labor. The emphasis on construction, assembly, and relief act to represent painting and in doing so, define the boundaries of painting’s usefulness. Painting is the object of my study in the studio and a useful tool, but I am hesitant to participate in painting. The incongruity in the categorization of my work by my own dissembling and the presentation of their position should highlight these distinctions."
Kevin Blake interviews painter Zoe Nelson about her work on the occasion of her exhibition at Western Exhibitions, Chicago (through January 25, 2014).
Nelson comments: "The paintings and installation at Western look completely different depending on where you stand in the room, and these shifting states are integral to the form and content of the series. If multiple people are in the room, you might see a hand or head or shoulder through the cuts in a painting, and these people (or body parts) momentarily become a part of the work as well. Blurring the lines between artist, painting, and viewer in this way is conceptually exciting for me, and I think circles back around to how the current work still references back to my initial interests in representing the body and psychological states of being, albeit in a performative way, and while operating within a realm of abstraction."
Matt Smith Chavez interviews painter Vincent Como about his work.
Como comments: "This thing-in-itself, this monochrome, acts as an object rather than an illusion, even if it presents an illusory space due to its depth of surface. That’s an issue with the organ or tool perceiving the object though, not the object itself. This object is a mark, in toto, a statement of information or intention made by human hands to convey an idea. This idea doesn’t necessarily fit within the context of our existing language-structure and so it becomes its own language. The language of painting, the language of abstraction, the language of the monochrome. In this way, I think of the work I make as statements or objects about human comprehension and limitation, the history of painting, the history of modernism, truth vs. belief and the successes or failures of this thing we call 'progress'. "
Matteo Mottin interviews painter Jackie Saccoccio on the occasion of her exhibition Portrait Gallery at the Museum of Contemporary Art Villa Croce, Genoa, on view through March 9, 2014.
In her statement for the exhibition Saccoccio writes: "I want you to tell the whole canvas painting experience, bringing trace of doubt stunts that are part of the creative process, each layer tells the experience of the moment gesture. so the painting becomes a record of the daily changes, a form of psychological Cubism." In her discussion with Mottin she adds: "I have a very loose idea of what the painting will look like when I begin, other than that at a certain point I will pull a presence out of the material. It’s more a guided alchemical experiment. Like sculpture, it’s an additive process. I make the paintings on the floor with liquid paint that varies in consistency and jockey their position to determine flow of the marks."
Lundsfryd remarks: "There are symbols I see in nautical museums, and I sketch them. They might be on the floor at the Met, or in a painting. There are Sassanian symbols that are floral, but also look like feathers. I like when they are ambiguous. There are ornaments from Venice. Many of them have religious or symbolic significance to the people who use them, like suns and solar symbols. I made paintings in which the eight-pointed star shape and the shape of the cross were combined. My intent was that it was about different cultures and different symbols colliding. Different grid structures were combined as well, like a Roman pattern with triangles making a square, and an Islamic floor pattern. It brought me into this place of working with symbols and ornaments from different cultures, different places, different professions, and trying to put them together as some kind of metaphor. I was thinking about a kind of collision, entanglement, but also co-existing. It was about the complexity of the world."
In an article from a special issue devoted to Ad Reinhardt, Margit Rowell examines the similarities and differences in Mondrian and Reinhardt's approaches to color.
Rowell writes: "For Reinhardt, as for Mondrian, the penultimate experiment with non-color incited a return to vibrant primary hues. But Mondrian combined the primaries within a single composition, while Reinhardt restricted himself in each painting to chromatic variations on a single hue. The return to limited color brought with it an increased and explicit attention to light. Mondrian trapped light on his surface through the textural fabric of his brushwork. However, texture and brush-stroke carried connotations of the 'handwriting' of Abstract Expressionism for Reinhardt. Thus he thinned his paint radically, superimposing layer upon layer of color, until not a trace of hand or brush remained. Still, an incandescent glow emerges from the depths of the resulting color haze. 'Not colored light,” as Reinhardt wrote in 1966 to Sam Hunter, 'but color that gives off light.' "
Donna Mintz reviews the exhibition Abstract Part 2 at Marcia Wood Gallery, Atlanta. The show features works by Lorri Ott, Deborah Zlotsky, Clark Derbes, and Amanda Hughen.
Mintz writes that the "lively dialogue among this quartet of artists serves best by raising important questions of form, color and material. Relationships and comparisons emerge to deepen the experience of looking... it is the interplay of each artist’s unique take on abstraction that enlivens the discussion."
After a visit to the artist's studio, John-Paul Stonard muses on several recent works by Howard Hodgkin.
Considering the painting The Sea, Goa (2013), Stonard writes: "Measuring barely a foot across, it seems at first glance to consist of nothing more than three horizontal stripes of scarlet red and cobalt blue, stacked at the bottom of the panel, in landscape orientation... The picture recalls an experience, someone close to Hodgkin told me, of sitting last year on a terrace looking out onto the beach at Goa as the sun set... It stops you in your tracks to see the precision and economy with which the experience has been translated into a combination of coloured pigments, suspended in oil, brushed in three gestures onto an old piece of wood... Like many of Hodgkin’s works The Sea, Goa is a relic of a moment."
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.