Jennifer Samet interviews painter Jason Stopa on the occasion of his exhibition Double Trouble at Hionas Gallery, New York, on view through April 25, 2015.
Stopa observes: "At the end of the day I am most interested in [the paintings] being read as formal images. I am less interested in images that are solely based on ideas. I do not accept the idea that language prescribes how we are supposed to see a thing. I think it is the opposite. When you go back in history, language comes out of the visual. It comes out of people making marks — symbols that become metaphors, allegories, narratives. I think that we understand and respond to things first on a sensory and somatic level. Then we place conceptual and philosophical ideas on what we have seen."
Maria Calandra visits the studio of painter Jason Stopa.
Calandra writes: "I was first taken by blasts of color, animated brush strokes, and confectionery connotations. After spending more time with them, Stopa's paintings' unique relationship to language reveals itself, recalling Haiku poetry in particular. They have a similar directness of description, even in their abstraction, that almost hovers above their subject matter. With as few as three parts coming together in many of his newer works, he is able to simply but potently construct a perspective for the viewer, similar to the way a poem would for a reader. And his use of certain symbolic characters as a verbal punctuation mark is a perfect way to signal the moment that the juxtaposed elements coalesce."
Corio begins: "One of the things I like best about the resurgence of abstraction in New York is the shear number of shows. The quality is uneven to be sure, but that’s the point; one is given the luxury of exercising judgment. I can remember several junctures not that many years ago when there were so few exhibitions of abstract painting that you were sort of starved or blackmailed into viewing them in a positive light. One could always recharge at the museums during the drought periods, but the idea that little was being added felt gloomy. The new year opened in New York with a veritable avalanche of abstract paintings."
Valerie Brennan interviews painter Jason Stopa about his work.
Asked about the inspiration to begin a painting, Stopa comments: "It comes from anywhere. I just pick up on things around me - the feeling of a neighbourhood, places, things or people that mean something to me. I like to let intuition guide what I'm doing. Sometimes I'll be watching a movie or I'll read a line in a book that resonates with me on a personal level. From there I kind of obsess over that thing, whatever it may be. Then I want to paint. But, the painting is always something else. The painting is about describing an abstraction - space, atmosphere and sensation."
Bradford comments that the show, featuring one work each by eight artists, is meant to "celebrate a time when painting with humanist impulses and intimacy and personal stories is very much in the air and of interest."
Kalm notes that Bradford herself, as an educator and an artist, has inspired "approach and content more interested in a painterly empathy with people than a calculated theory."
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.