Lita Barrie visits the studio of artist Roland Reiss whose work will be on view at Begovich Gallery, California State University, Fullerton (November 8 – December 11, 2014) and Diane Rosenstein Gallery, Los Angeles (December 2014).
Barrie writes: "In the Floral Paintings, Reiss uses the flowers as a scaffold to create in-between spaces where surprising things can happen. The flowers float in the center of these paintings like a galaxy. Reiss juxtaposes multiple perspectives of space, as both flat and infinitely deep. Viewed from afar, the human-scale flowers, bursting with vibrant translucent color, are experienced in a body-scale relationship. Viewed from a close focus, tiny surprising details are discovered in the gaps between the flowers. The play on large and small scale, telescopic and microcosmic perspectives, resembles a zoom camera lens that keeps the viewer's attention moving up, down, around and across the painting, making perceptual connections between the 'clues' in the background details and the beauty of the dramatic flowers in the foreground."
Zachary Keeting and Christopher Joy visit the studio of painter Ashley Garrett.
Garrett discusses her work and her interest the ability of painting to uncover and activate the interrelationship of objects and memories. She comments: "Maybe painting is more alive than real life ... painting has the possibilities of everything that anybody could ever imagine and ever think of." She notes that a thing as it is in the world is "confirmed in its form for now, but painting is completely open, you can start from zero."
Herd writes: "Dramatically combining elements of abstraction, figuration, textuality and landscape (or more precisely cityscape), McNairn’s canvases are exquisite fusions. Her art is radical because it is energized and enervated by the combination of disparate elements. The American artist Jack Tworkov (1900-1982) once wrote of his own practice that he felt 'a certain inclination toward the monstrous… it is common to think of expression in relation to art and we miss how much is really suppression'. In her looming figures and shadows, peculiar spiral-patterned bulges and skinny leafless trees, much of McNairn’s work also seems to occupy the tightrope above 'suppression' and 'expression', a tightrope that also animates another unstable dichotomy in her work between the 'monstrous' and the 'beautiful'."
Anthony Smart, Emyr Williams, Robin Greenwood, Sarah Greenwood, Alexandra Harley, Patrick Jones, Desmond Brett, Helga Joergens-Lendrum, David Lendrum, Sam Cornish, Mark Skilton, Hilde Skilton, and John Pollard participate in a group studio visit with painter Anne Smart.
Sam Cornish: I think Feather Ledded and Broiderie Landings both seem to have quite a natural, I don’t want to say 'naturalistic', feel, almost a natural light. There is a sense, not of a representational painting, but of light that you might experience... I think with their 'Impressionistic' colour and the light, they are elusive and they appear out of the corner of your eye. There are different effects, and I kind of sense them changing all the time."
Helga Joergens-Lendrum: " In Feather Ledded ...the painting looks as though it has been painted by chance. It appears to be, but of course it isn’t, there is a bit more scraping then painting, whereas if you look to the right hand side you see the yellows, my impression is that you find more marks of the brush, where you deliberately put on marks and dots here which integrate... It is almost like a contrast of more chance and will, although the chancy areas are willed as well."
Robin Greenwood: "I was looking at [Broiderie Landings] this morning and thinking: you go from one passage to another to another, you’ve got the whole thing working together and I had this weird thing, where the colours just start to really come on fantastically strong; it’s like it wasn’t white any more. We know that Anne uses lots of white, but this was coming on as a really powerful, intensely coloured thing, because it was all working together. This painting never lets you down anywhere, it goes on and on. You can move around it forever…
Susan Silas reviews Carl Ostendarp: BLANKS at Elizabeth Dee Gallery, New York, on view through September 6, 2014.
Silas writes: "In the show at Elizabeth Dee, we are presented with paintings that are fields of color. A salmony pink in the first room, a glorious yellow and a saturated orange in the second. And on these fields of color are our two playful icons, two letters or characters, subject to a strange gravity, rolling downhill, levitating themselves, bouncing up and down like the ball in a sing-along. We can anthropomorphize these letters as easily as we can anything else. They are signs, and they are part of the alphabet. The press release asserts that they are 'effectively "ruining" the monochrome field.' I don’t think 'ruin' is the word I would choose. The letters seem more like a way to playfully cajole us into a reevaluation of the monochrome field... the juxtaposition of the historical paired with a keen interest in the experience of the present, either in the act of creating a ground for other artworks or in the act of disrupting the monochrome field, seems to be a strategy of redefinition."
Adam Milford reviews works by Sandra Blow at Newlyn Art Gallery, Newlyn and The Exchange, Penzance, Cornwall, on view through October 4, 2014.
Milford writes: "On heading out of the gallery, you encounter the huge painting Swimmer, 1987. It’s predominantly blue and grey, with white dry-brushed marks and coloured collage emphasising a bulging blue area on the left. Again, many revisions are apparent across its surface, adding to a sense of meniscus-like tautness or containment... Blow is an artist whose work often invites comparison with a number of others. Burri and Matisse are often evoked, usually followed by a statement on the use of non-art materials or brightly coloured collaged surfaces. While there is validity in both observations, there is an excitement about Blow’s paintings – asymmetry, dynamism, or tension perhaps – that works without an overarching reliance on pattern or elegance"
Andy Parkinson blogs about the exhibition Pareidolia at Pluspace Gallery, Coventry, on view through September 14, 2014. The show features works by Ralph Anderson, Louisa Chambers, Frances Disley, Jack Foster, Rachael MacArthur, Ellie MacGarry, David Manley, Phoebe Mitchell, and Andy Parkinson.
Parkinson writes: "With pareidolia a vague visual stimulus is perceived as something clear and distinct, like the horrifying face I always saw within the pattern and folds of my bedroom curtains when I was a child, or that image of Mother Teresa in a potato I was amused by this morning. Something more than the pattern is read-in, or projected... How we interpret abstract paintings, and the strangeness of sense-making, seems to be what Pluspace curator Matthew Macaulay is exploring by bringing together the work of these nine artists in the exhibition."
Lorraine Rubio interviews painter Gillian Ayres on the occasion of an upcoming exhibition at Alan Cristea Gallery, London, on view from April 16 – May 30, 2015.
Ayres comments: "There are many artists whose work I admire—Miro and Picasso especially—but really too many to list. Ultimately though, although I may admire an artists’ work, theirs doesn’t directly influence my own. I live and work surrounded by nature, and, in some way I suppose, that filters into the work, although not in a figurative way. The paintings are not a direct response to any particular moment or subject, and I don’t expect people to all have the same feeling when looking at them. Like looking at art, what inspires one is very personal, and sometimes one doesn’t know or doesn’t want to reveal where it comes from."
Sharon Butler photo blogs a visit to the studio of painter EJ Hauser.
Butler notes: "Hauser operates in a systematic sequential fashion, turning drawings into digital prints, enlarging the images into paintings, and using images of the paintings to begin new prints and repeat the process, cannibalizing earlier imagery as she goes. Her practice hinges on a robust dedication to simple drawing."
Julie Karabenick interviews painter Dan Ramirez whose work was recently on view in the exhibition Dan Ramirez [Epoche] Recent Paintings at Zolla/Lieberman Gallery, Chicago.
Asked about his motivations, Ramirez comments: "I’ve never been someone who can begin a painting by saying, 'I’ll begin with a couple of circles.' I’ve always had to have something to investigate, something to explore and get me started. It might be an essay or poem I’ve read, architecture or painting from another era, or a piece of music that moves me... I love to paint, and for me there’s also mystery in the process itself. When I paint I experience a constant back-and-forth between ideas and feelings, materials and techniques. Something comes to mind that leads me to make a literal move on the canvas. As I add more elements, the painting becomes more interesting to me. New things arise, there are surprises, and I discover more and more implications of my original thoughts and intentions. It’s a continual process of creation and discovery."
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.