Markell writes: "The epitome of Gandy’s oeuvre culminates in his floral paintings. The workman-like stance that inhabits his cityscapes, combines in these still lives with a reverence for the natural world. Pigment bubbles up like some gurgling spring, exuding the essential essence of a delicately fragrant sensibility. Yet these blossoms are encrusted with substantial weight. Their surfaces mask a tremendous burden, exhausted by an exquisite finality. Its as if the slightest additional mark might result in a psychic collapse. This art has reached a peak state of painting that cannot be exceeded. I believe Brodie was a naturalist at heart. His figurative work (both animal and human) inevitably leads to a humanist celebration, but always in the context of architecture as a naturally occurring phenomenon."
Bernadet comments: "I don't care especially about painting, even if this is what I'm doing and even if I like a lot of painting as a viewer like any other. There's no position in what I'm doing, I'm not defending or advertising anything. I didn't choose painting versus something else, I just probably found myself comfortable doing it in order to say what I have to say. I see narration in my works on two different levels: as you point out, there's a lot to read in each painting. The gestures, the actions, the erasures etc. are all recounting the history of the making, the failures and the successes, the time spent in the studio, the bad days and the good ones. Secondly, what is present within the works I'm making and developing is a common quality that I strive for in every painting. This being distance, a mise en abyme, a loss of integrity balanced with a strong presence and attractive aspect. It is the product of decisions I made through the years, and at the same time, something I observed retrospectively. I think I want my paintings to be solid and hold a wall, act on their surroundings and on the viewer in a very physical way, imposing silence, clear as a sound, but at the same time I want them to appear as if they are on the verge of disappearance, corrupted like memories, unstable like feelings."
Valerie Brennan interviews painter Lisa Denyer about her work and process.
Denyer remarks: "Allowing myself time to notice things in my surroundings is important. I'm interested in the idea of entropy and nature reclaiming the man-made, so details such as broken bricks or peeling paint on buildings really appeal to me. I don't make sketches, although I do sometimes take photos. I think that everything I see informs my practice whether I'm consciously aware of it or not. I try not to plan out work too much or have a set idea of what a finished painting is going to look like."
Noah Dillon interviews artist Robert Janitz about his work. Janitz' show Stick Shift Heaven was recently on view at Team Gallery, New York.
Janitz comments: "I’m still tackling how to deal with paint. For some of the earlier works I was using a blowtorch to blister the paint layers or scraping layers off. It was an aging process that takes the work a little bit out of my hands or out of a painted universe. The ones I’m making now, their translucent waxiness starts becoming opaque during the first couple of days. The rest comes in very slow. That slow solidification is archaeological in a way... The marks function in a way that local colors interact and force themselves. It’s all very toned down, but it comes to the forefront. Their thickness and texture appear like casts. They’re archaeological things. It looks like they’re carved out, rather than building from the inside out. In a way, that silly, stupid vertical gesture becomes ancient."
James Kalm visits the exhibition Gary Stephan at Susan Inglett Gallery, New York, on view through April 26, 2014.
Kalm writes that Stephan's paintings are "constant jaunts into unexpected fields of painterly investigation. With this exhibition of new work, Stephan shows his almost droll sense of compositional design and a uniquely austere color sense." The gallery press release notes: "In Stephan’s canvases familiar paint and palette handling along with figure and ground relationships are inverted. He privileges shadows, outlines, parts that make up wholes. Displacements are commonplace in these works. He uses vacillation as a subject, creating punctures in the canvas that provide progressive openings from background to foreground. Some works originate in landscape, others in architecture and some are informed by the making and unmaking of the work itself as different types of space and perspectives come into view."
Paul Behnke photo blogs a visit to the exhibition The Indexical Mark at Life on Mars Gallery, Bushwick, Brooklyn, on view through April 6, 2014. The show features works by Karin Davie, Ben LaRocco, Joel Longenecker, Mike Olin, Fran O’Neill, Ben Pritchard, Susan Rothenberg, Karen Schwartz, Whitney Wood-Bailey, and Etty Yaniv.
Michael David, in his curatorial statement, notes that the "essence of the practice of painting, what is essential and most uniquely specific to that medium, is painting’s ability to leave a record of material transformation (via the immediacy of hand) to create a recorded act that is immediate, while it at once expands and compresses time sequences, revealing the depth of an endless pictorial space.No other medium can do this. Whether it is in the push and pull of the incredible fat paint/color vibrations of Hans Hoffman, with his constant reversal of positive and negative spaces, or the sublime, infinite transparencies found in Vermeer that build forms out of light and an angel's touch, it’s the paint - the essence, the schmaltz of paint that creates both a physical record and an illusionistic space."
Tom Berlangero reviews the exhibition Surfaces + Structures: Works by Ashlynn Browning and Eric Mack at Whitespace, Atlanta, on view through March 29, 2014.
Berlangero writes that the show "teases out parallels in the two artist’s practices, while allowing them to remain decidedly distinct. In concert with each other, the two bodies of work begin to speak to the way in which forms grow, move, and multiply, either in fields of textured and fractured shapes or in cumbersome yet self-assured forms that establish themselves in fits and starts... In both artists’ work, composition in the sense of structure and placement seems less important than processes of growth. Overall, the show is less about the provisional structures that populate the work as it is about generative processes that overflow their boundaries. Works seem to follow either the momentum of a formal progression or the internal inclinations of a form."
Paulina Perlwitz reviews the exhibition Smart Painting at Artspace, New Haven, curated by John O'Donell, on view through March 22, 2014. The show features works by Blake Shirley, Sharon Butler, Deborah Dancy, Zachary Keeting, Ben Piwowar, Jenn Dierdorf, Rob D. Campbell, Derek Leka, Clare Grill, and Tatiana Berg.
Perlwitz writes: "The way Smart Paintings is organized might not be in line with the principles of 'casualist painting,' (an underlying theme of the show), but the friction between the stylized niche these works are said to be fitting into and the almost heavy handed organizational structure utilized by the curator is provocative and unnerving. O'Donnell uses the works of several different artists and opens up a dialogue between the paintings. The show professes to gather together the work of several painters who are asking similar questions about the definitions and properties of painting. However, it seems that O'Donnell's concerns may lie more in using the works of other artists to create one larger piece of art unto itself More than a show about paintings, this is a show that utilizes space to let paintings talk to each other."
Jennifer Samet interviews painter Chris Martin about his work.
Martin comments: "Painting is a physical activity. We don’t distrust the kind of pleasure we get from cooking or dancing or yoga. In fact, we trust there is great intelligence in the body. But we don’t always trust what the body did on a painting, without being able to explain or justify it, without being able to construct an armature of French linguistic theory around it. It is hard for people to say, 'I don’t know why I put that blue in the corner,' or, 'The orange tipped over, and I ended up with this.' But that kind of a physical joy is contagious and it communicates. That is why we love painting. In that way, painting can be very naked. If you make a painting and you are bored or constricted, then it’s going to be a boring and constricted-looking painting. Other people aren’t going to enjoy looking at it either. Consequently, when you look at a seven-year-old’s painting of a sun, you get it; that energy is communicated."
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.