Christopher Joy and Zachary Keeting visit the studio of painter Albert Kresch.
Kresch comments: "Light is maybe the second most important thing in a painting for me... space [is first] ... I studied very early with [Hofmann] I was 18 in 1942 and 43... Push and pull didn't interest me... I wanted to hurl the spectator off the surface [into] space."
Goodrich writes: "What does it mean to paint representationally? For a Photorealist, it means a point-by-point recapitulation: the fixed, dispassionate vantage point of a camera. For a more tradition-minded painter, it involves a weighting of masses and details, an eliding of some elements and emphasizing of others: in short, a process of limitless characterization. Such a painting can end up anywhere on the spectrum of complexity, from bare minimalism to baroque embellishment. But a convincing traditional representation depends most of all on making elements count – on a disposition of forms that gives weight to masses, tension to gestures, and a resolving energy to detail. Lois Dodd, as her admirers know, is a painter who makes things count. For over six decades, she has presented unassuming subjects – typically her garden and interior scenes – in singularly taut compositions animated by circumstances of time, light, and point of view."
Porges writes: "[Belzer's] intention, it seems, is not to disturb the viewer, but to simply observe, interpret, and record. She describes her experience of studying the canal as being akin to 'looking through an adjustable telescoping lens, seeing things that were both profoundly disturbing and exquisitely beautiful at different scales.' In the end, though, that which is disturbing has been muffled by the beautiful. Whether this is a side effect of its passage through the artist’s ‘lens’ or simply because her desire is to show and not tell, the effect is the same. As we find our way through these hybrid landscapes, we have to make our own decisions about places like this, and what they mean both in the present and in a future in which there will be so many more of them, as we continue to push ever further into transforming the world to our liking."
Yau writes: "Dodd’s sensitivity to light, atmosphere and color — and the way they complement each other — is understated and precise. This is because she largely eschews the dramatic moments of light favored by the 19th-century American Luminists, avoiding the deep, striking shadows that made the Luminists’ work so theatrical. Look at all the different greens, and their varying densities — punctuated by irregular red and reddish-orange circles (the apples) — that she brings into play in “Apple Tree through Barn Window, September” (2015), and you realize how formally sharp Dodd is in her work. And then consider the raindrops on the glass panes in “Rainy Window” (2014) — and how her tans, browns and grays complement each other and the subject – and you get a sense of Dodd’s mastery. Even when she is working with a circumscribed palette on modestly sized paintings, all less than 20 x 20 inches, as she does in the night views from her Lower East Side apartment window, there is so much she is able to convey through the varying densities of paint, from scumbled and brushy, matter-of-fact surfaces to the mixture of grays defining the sash and casing."
Robert Kushner interviews painter Robert Berlind who passed away December 17, 2015.
Berlind comments: "Delacroix said that art goes from soul to soul. This counters the notion of the importance of language and semiotics, that something leaped across all of that and there’s a real deep occurrence. I’m interested in the phenomenology of looking at art: what happens when we’re really affected, in time, in space, in our psyches, in our unconscious, what is it that’s really happening ... I insist that painting is a time-based medium. And looking at it is a time-based endeavor. Whatever you get all at once, that’s part of it. But what you get after years of looking is even more.
Truax writes: "Twelve large-format canvases—all of which feature interlocking zig-zag patterns (a shorthand for the crests of water on the surface of the sea?)—were made exclusively inside his studio, a departure for Walker, who regularly begins his works outside and only finishes inside. By employing this familiar composition as a platform for his investigations, Walker is free to build a series of pictures that foreground his concerns about painting in general... Painting exclusively in the studio, it seems, has given Walker a different kind of freedom; his drawings and collages freely exchange ideas, while working from memory has relieved his attachment to his subject."
Elena Sisto's summer 2015 interview with painter Robert Berlind. Berlind passed away this past December.
Berlind remarks: "There’s a point where I don’t even know I’m painting. You just work, you’re just doing—you look and you know what to do next and you just keep doing what you need to do. And then you back off and you think about it, or somebody comes in the studio and you talk about what you do and you conceptualize things that didn’t necessarily come out of any clear plan... a field of vision depends on what’s in your mind ... what you really see is not just how you’re painting or what it looks like. It’s how you are looking. So that ultimately that becomes a subject—not too self-conscious, hopefully, but that becomes a subject. And so you’re painting. I guess we’re all working on what it’s like to be alive in this world today, how we experience that in the most vital way that gets us actually doing something and tangling with it and wrestling with it and whatever else we do with it. And so painting requires a heightened desire to be painting."
Christopher Volpe blogs about the exhibition Eric Aho: Ice Cuts at the Hood Museum, Dartmouth University, on view through March 13, 2016.
Volpe writes: "A stark, angular void edges out the largely blank, skewed border of remaining white space in the canvases of Vermont painter Eric Aho’s series of Ice Cut paintings. To call these paintings abstractions would not be incorrect, nor would it be accurate. The paintings depict the hole cut in ice, or avanto, as it’s called in Finnish, intended for the bracing plunge following the heat of a Finnish sauna. Aho, of Finnish descent, first painted the motif (to scale) in 2008, during his family’s regular recreational outings to a frozen pond in New Hampshire. Since then, he has immersed himself in a multifaceted investigation of the dark void produced by sawing into the thick ice."
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.