Carl Belz essay on artist John Goodyear, republished on the occasion of the exhibition John Goodyear, Perspectives/Six Decades, at Berry Campbell Gallery, New York, on view through January 2, 2015.
Belz writes: "John Goodyear’s way not so much makes art as allows art to happen, as if art were somehow there all along, as if latent, awaiting activation. Within the rhythm of this way, art experience and lived experience intersect and are continuous with one another by virtue of constantly informing one another. Within their interaction, at the same time, they are not the same, not interchangeable, for the identity of each – its viability in doing what it does and meaning what it means – is ever grounded in an acknowledgment of the separateness of the other, a separateness in which they are finally bound. Such, for me, is the way of John Goodyear’s art."
Halasz writes: "In the 1980s, Jules Olitski & Larry Poons were dominating the discussion within color field circles by making somber, 'close-value' paintings, heavily laden with gel. Perehudoff wasn’t. Instead, he was creating bright, always radiant and sometimes positively bouncy pictures with vivid color contrasts and only the occasional (though always dramatic) dash of gel. These paintings can often give the viewer a lift—being somehow as free and open as the prairie skies."
Hands writes: "It’s worth saying that I was drawn to visit this show, via receiving the press release and seeing his work on-line (how else?), because the apparently abstract imagery is derived, to some significant degree, from digital sources: but I could not really connect with the work from digital reproductions and felt that I really did need to see the originals ... Loesch’s approach, to producing paintings in this instance, might be more accurately defined as Conceptual and/or Post-Painterly. If there is an element of teasing (my interpretation), I mean it in an ironical sense of requiring the work to be experienced as materially painting (by various means), and as continuing the long tradition of painting as we understand it, but in relation to the non-material, digital environment" Hands adds: "Loesch’s paintings are exquisitely made, with brush marks applied with precision, and ink-jet layers are added to each composition in a variety of configurations and colour schemes, part-covering the various ‘brush marked’ surfaces. For the digital printing to be applied perfectly the surfaces are carefully prepared and this attention to immaculate production is carried through to the final gallery display in smart, well engineered, aluminium frames. All, this might suggest, is mere surface – and digital depth is shallow, despite an approximation with traditional painting."
Mir writes: "Baltzell started her career as a still life painter and teaches courses in it at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, but she says she no longer paints directly from objects. She relies on her memory instead and her understanding of space and light. An athlete when she was young, Baltzell has said that she stopped with sports when she started painting. Now, her athleticism shows in her work, with its long, improvisatory lines... Baltzell knows the artistic legacy from which she comes, but never simply repackages earlier strains of abstraction. A unique combination of painterly knowledge, a commitment to the physical act of painting, and an improvisatory instinct runs through her entire career."
Sharon Butler photoblogs a visit to the studio of painter Hermine Ford.
Butler writes: "Innovative and expansive on multiple levels – line, color, shape, surface – her own work is uniquely prepossessing and only rewards further contemplation. Building irregularly shaped, sometimes even jagged, oil paintings from exquisite smaller watercolor studies (one is pictured above), Ford forges subtle connections that may at first seem fanciful, yet are grounded in real-world blessings and fears."
John Seed talks to Michael Klein, curator of Grace Hartigan: Works From 1960-65, on view at the X Contemporary Art Fair, Miami from December 1-6, 2015.
Klein comments: "... some of Hartigan's paintings of this period are pure abstractions such as Saint Valentine or Pomegranate; others like Grey Eyed Athena have a figurative element to them. It was typical of Hartigan to bring figurative elements into play within an abstract vocabulary and this is why the influential critic Clement Greenberg so opposed to her work. Hartigan was not aiming for a singular style but instead was exploring the options of what was available to her when it came to painting. This raises a question: why was it permissible, in Greenberg's thinking, for de Kooning or Pollock to make reference to the figure but not for Hartigan?"
Failing writes: "To evaluate the artist’s assertion that some of his ideas deserved 'survival on more than one stretch of canvas' requires a deep dive into his complex vision of relationships between mind, hand, and painting as an 'instrument.' ... In the exhibition’s catalogue and earlier publications, [curator David] Anfam cites evidence that Still conceived 'the real' from the vantage point of Platonic idealism, where 'the visible world is but an imperfect replica of the realm of ideas…. It’s the idea that’s fundamental for Still,' he emphasizes. 'The idea exists in the mind’s eye and in the imagination. Even if it springs from something observed in nature in the first sense, it lives within him on a metaphysical level. Physical printouts, as it were, can be done at will.'"
Asked about transitioning to abstraction after years of plein-air painting Werfel comments: "I don’t really feel like I’ve left observational painting behind as much as use it in a different way–collaged and improvisational. So I may start a painting based upon one of my son’s childhood drawings but then I turn the painting upside down to free it up from representation and then I’ll layer it with a segment of the view out of my studio window. I am constantly adding stuff from my everyday environment to free my mind from habitual ways of working- whether it is something incidentally observed like how my shoelaces are tied or the wires around my laptop or some flowers in a vase. The difference now is that I am not committed to one view of a motif but use perception as a tool to drive the work in new ways."
James Kalm talks with painter EJ Hauser at her exhibition Amphibian, on view at Regina Rex, New York, on view through December 6, 2015.
Kalm notes that "As a member of the new generation of painters contributing to the Williamsburg and Brooklyn art scene, EJ Hauser has gained recognition for her focused commitment, and experimentation within the medium. With her latest show 'Amphibian', the artist again defies expectations and presents a series of works in which she reduces her means, simplifies compositions and distills her process to a fine level of brevity and elegance."
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.