Dittenber comments: "In my painting I inquire about the intersection, overlap, fusion, collision of representation and abstraction. Accuracy in drawing or representation is not my exclusive objective, but is offset by other aims … playfulness, for one, and the pursuit of undiluted instances of striking color interaction. Some of my favorite paintings are more about “wrongness” than rightness and I try to let a similar instinct lead in the studio."
Einspruch writes: "... Hammershøi began painting unqualified masterpieces while still in his mid-twenties. It’s not excessive to say that Woman Seen from the Back (1888) recalls Vermeer’s treatment of women in the midst of domesticity. But it’s Vermeer with Scandinavian austerity measures. The subject’s back faces the viewer and the table is bereft of clues that would set the scene. Is she reading a note? It’s none of our business. Her posture, matronly proportions, black dress, and white apron convey her whole personality. The gradation of light on the unadorned taupe wall speaks of the reserved tenor of life in this house. The picture necessitated four tubes of oils. As much as its reductive modernism resembles Whistler’s, the artist appears to have arrived at it mostly on his own."
Durrell writes: "What is happening here is that [Carothers], trained when Abstract Expressionism ruled the art schools, in his own work turns to representational depiction and makes abstraction an ingredient but not the reason for being. Carothers’ paintings pull the viewer in, are not quite literal so produce the feel of fiction, of stories not yet completed. Windows have been a frequent element although he’s not using them as often just now. He says they are 'a way for art to take you to different places' and was drawn by the way other artists used them and their metaphysical suggestion of 'inside and outside, imagined realities and their combining structural internal space.'"
Yau writes: "[Ray's] cropping also reminds us that every view is partial. We cannot step back and see everything; we can only get closer. Within these demarcated areas, Ray uses a lightly textured skin of paint to delicately register tonal changes, compelling us to look even closer, to see that the painting is both an architectonic space and physical paint. She wants us to recognize the dialogue that paint can establish between surface and space, which to some people means that she is a conservative artist. That designation ignores what is radical and resistant about Ray’s work. There is something moody and quietly haunted about her paintings, a sense that everything you see is visited alone, imbuing the views with an awareness of mortality, a depth of feeling that is all too rare in much of today’s art."
Wood remarks: "It is about how you set up a challenge. Sometimes you only need a couple things to challenge yourself, and other times you need one hundred. I like to have a lot of things going on in the studio the same time – different images and sizes. They are built up at different rates. I like to have options, to not feel there is only one thing I can do. Usually I have one or two big paintings going, and I offset that by working on smaller things — drawings and prints. I like to have something started as I’m almost finished with something else. Finishing a piece is fulfilling, but it can also feel hollow and empty. You might think you are awful when you finish it. Then, a couple of weeks later, maybe you think it’s not so bad."
Lopas comments: "There is a great deal of painting that I love, have looked at, and learned from. But resonance is something different from that. For a painting to resonate it should be with you when you paint. It should guide you when you make decisions. It should occur to you in moments of reverie. For me those are individual artists or specific paintings, rather than periods. That’s because I think all works of art that exist are in some sense contemporary. If you can stand in front of it now, you can experience it totally on your own terms, regardless of its place in history... For me I have learned that painting is a process that produces a state of mind. It is best when no other concerns invade it. The judgment of others or yourself, the reception of the art world, are hindrances. Paintings are best when made from a state of pure absolute personal need. You must give yourself permission and space to get to it and then notice when you are ripe for working well."
Celeste Moure blogs about the exhibition Guy Yanai: Ancienne Rive at Ameringer McEnery Yohe, New York, on view through August 14, 2015.
Moure writes: "Yanai’s pieces look pixelated, in keeping with the digital age in which they were created — and the artist doesn’t shy away from mentioning computers, Photoshop and Instagram in conversation — but they are also reminiscent of objects made using centuries-old crafts, like needlepoint or weaving. His style, he says, 'references a lot of ancient things but also a lot of new things.'"
Gordon Stillman interviews painter Jane Irish whose show Faience and Firenze was recently on view at Locks Gallery, Philadelphia.
Stillman introduces the interview by noting: "I am drawn to the way Irish works, painting en plein air and creating her own source material to remake on ceramics and large canvases. This allows her to re-see, and therefore rework older material to make it new again––to make the past relevant in a new way to the present and to develop new connections between people and places. The work in Faience and Firenze consisted of en plein air paintings from Florence, ceramic bowls, and several larger canvases painted with the natural light in her studio."
Yau writes: "[Judith Russi] Kirshner gets to the heart of Fish’s paintings when she advances that the artist’s 'close focus allows her subjects to become unhinged from their referents, to become inexplicable.' I would further advance that in reaching the 'inexplicable,' Fish exposes most realism as a devolution into a style, demonstrating that close looking – which she shares with such artists as Dan Douke, Peter Dreher, Catherine Murphy and Sylvia Plimack-Mangold – can supersede style (or branding) and become both an examination and a translation of attention. It is this quality of scrutiny – of looking with such focused intensity that the commonplace things in the world become mysterious – that I find compelling. Fish is able to revisit the familiar in paint so that it moves closer to its original state of incomprehensibility."
Garwood notes that "Simonian demonstrates a genius for color, texture, and the exploration of spatial conundrums. Twenty canvases, worked in acrylic, range in size from a mere eight by ten inches to as much as six foot by five with subject matter that cycles between categories of comparable breadth. There are what I’d describe as optical-illusion still lifes, domestic interiors, travel theme — on earth and in space, and nature studies. It’s a roomy, mixed bag of themes... Simonian’s paintings ... knit luscious pictorial fields that tease cognition, along with the senses."
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.