Keane writes: "Freilicher’s still-life paintings have a large-scale, panoramic quality associated with landscapes. Conversely, her landscapes focus on nature’s compactness and textures so that they convey the intimate solidities of still-life. The eleven stellar selections on display in [this show], cast their spells from some impossible threshold between outdoors and indoors merging the two genres in riveting and memorable ways... this current, smaller show of work across four decades helpfully turns a spotlight back on her under-appreciated distinctiveness. Though her work shares the unassuming frankness and heady optimism found in the work of the leading First Generation New York School poets, her art parts company with those poets’ sensibilities in that it never traffics in surrealism, pop culture, fragmentation or collage. Freilicher’s foundational valuation of transformational solitude is a further departure from the high-octane, expressionistic New York School poetry, as well as from the work of many of its leading painters. Her pictures seem to be oblique self-portraits of the painter blissfully alone in a room of her own."
An extensive post about painter Lennart Anderson, including an apppreciation by Susan Jane Walp and and interview with Anderson by Larry Groff and Kyle Staver. The post also includes several videos about the artist.
Anderson remarks "When I was painting in the 50′s I was into what I call 'kissing color', things that were so close that you could hardly tell them from one to another, hardly tell them apart, what they were… I was into that and you could have something that was orange or pink. Well, de kooning was into that stuff too… maybe I got some of that from that kind of painting. But that is what I was doing to some extent… You can’t say that (about my work as a whole) on really essential pictures like Barbara – no one would say that I’m cheating cutting back down (on a full range of color value) on her… but I am because there’s no black. This is something I take on, what is the word… like a religion. The way I’ve taken it… there’s got to be space in the picture so there’s no black, the black is in the tube – once it goes out it’s part of the room, as it moves back into the picture it can’t be black..so that’s something I’ve used as my… sort of a rule...You can’t have a black if you’re painting nature."
Zachary Keeting and Christopher Joy visit the studio of painter Lennart Anderson.
Giving a tour of his studio, Anderson discusses a range of topics from the painting currently on his easel, to a painting he has been working on for 30 years, to working in spite of diminishing eye sight. "The idea that my eyes are bad makes one think that you're going to paint like an expressionist or sloppy or something," he comments, "but I found it was just the opposite. I was closer to Ingres than I was to Soutine or Kokoschka... it's very intense holding on to the line that has been measured."
Altoon Sultan muses on the "commonplace... gathered in perfect balance" in the paintings of Chardin and John F. Peto.
Sultan notes: "When you look closely at a Chardin painting, like this one at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, you marvel at the tenderness and care taken to paint these details: the hair of a rabbit, the shine of silver... Chardin's simplest paintings touch me the most...They also remind us of the fragility of life. These small pleasures, generally so fleeting, are given us to enjoy in a way that is beyond the physical... The paintings of an American, John F. Peto, have a similar sense of longing and loss as those of Chardin... It is partly because Chardin and Peto have such a command of form––of color and light, structure and space, and a consummate command of brush and paint––that their images of quite ordinary things become transcendent."
Samantha Alanna Wittwer interviews painter Anna Valdez about her work.
Valdez comments: "I think people are products of their environments. What you tend to surround yourself with can become who you are, but it’s also the people you’re interacting with and the things that you’re experiencing. It’s all sort of a back and forth, not a one way street. So I definitely believe that my still lifes function as self-portraits. In archeology you reconstruct history from the little pieces of garbage from peoples lives. You’re making a story about who they were, based off of their objects, their remnants the things they made and the things they left behind. That knowledge stays with me in everything I do. It makes sense to me – the objects that I surround myself with and the things that I’m interested in are the story that gets left behind to represent me. To put a face to something can isolate it, it becomes so specific. It’s a language, of symbols and motifs where people can form their own connections."
Carr comments: "I find those three lumbering genre terms… ‘portrait’, ‘still life’ and ‘landscape’ interesting but also enjoy watching images slip fluidly and disrespectfully between them. A lot of my work plays with ambiguity, and our perception of scale, so I’m naturally interested in the slippage between 'landscape' and 'still life', but even within the word 'portrait' there isn’t much certainty. The way Rembrandt’s knobbly nose erupts from the front of his face seems to me as ‘landscapey’ as any of Cezanne’s rocky outcrops."
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."
Judy Glantzman considers Dawn Clements' Peonies (2014).
"Dawn Clements’ giant watercolor on paper, capturing dying peonies, is achingly beautiful. Her touch is light, her eye, and hand in a lock step; the drawing is a placeholder for where the peonies once were. The power is Dawn’s intense scrutiny, the quiet power of an unnamable truth... The peonies stand like two, heroic giants, “Before” and” After”, “Front” and “Back” as if their once beautiful bodies sag with battle wounds. The drawing is quixotic, the melancholic impossibility of containing an ephemeral life force. The paper’s folds make an irregular grid, a trellis for the writhing peonies. Gaps and overlays, paper cut out and replaced, we experience the many facets of time at the same time as we experience the drawing as one instant."
Einspruch writes: "Heliker arrived at his figuration having sampled surrealism at its height in the ‘40s and abstraction at its height in the ‘50s, and having befriended a circle of New York artistic innovators including Merce Cunningham and John Cage. Thus the works he produced on Great Cranberry, despite that some of them could fairly be called New England genre scenes, possess enormous sophistication, a profound contemplation about the nature of art that joins sensitivity, training, and erudition in a manner that hardly anyone calling himself an artist today can match."
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.