Plimack Mangold comments: "I think I would have never taken on painting a tree like I do now when I was younger because it really is art. And you might think it’s an accomplishment to paint a ruler or a piece of tape or anything that’s flat, but it isn’t. If you want someone to get satisfied, take a piece of wood and try to paint it. It’s not hard. But if you’re trying to make a painting that’s really interesting in terms of how the paint comes together to form the image, to me that is very hard. It should be so that there’s a balance, so that the image isn’t stronger than the paint, but the space should be overall... I try to not have anything I don’t need in those paintings. And I do try to not overdo something. I want it to be something to experience completely as a whole. If I look at something, and it seems to jump out at me, I remove it... I would say that the experience I want the viewer to have is to enter the painting, and then come back to the surface."
Yau writes that the show presents "11 paintings by artists committed to working from observation. Chronologically, the artists span five decades (or generations), with Lois Dodd and Lennart Anderson, born respectively in 1927 and 1928, being the oldest. The youngest include Gideon Bok, Anna Hostvedt, Sangram Majumdar and Cindy Tower, with Bok and Tower born in the 1960s, and Hostevedt and Majumdar born in the 1970s. The other artists are Susanna Coffey, Rackstraw Downes, Stanley Lewis, Catherine Murphy, and Sylvia Plimack Mangold, who were born between 1938 and 1949. Together, these artists — a number of whom have been influential teachers — suggest that observational painting is a vigorous, various, and imaginative enterprise that continues to fly under the radar."
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.