Samuel Jablon interviews painter Tamara Gonzales on the occasion of her exhibition Winter is Coming at Klaus von Nichtssagend Gallery, New York, on view through December 8, 2014.
Asked about how the "forms relate to the patterns" in her work, Gonzales responds: "Partial abstractions? Non perspective art? While I don’t consider myself a formalist in that my primary concerns are all about a certain color or line doing a certain thing with regards to the other things contained in the picture plane—all those activities are going on in the background when I am painting, and I have a good understanding of color so they are very important considerations. The patterns are like different brushes…a palette of there own. For instance with the lunar skywalkers there is a figure ground relationship and the right foot steps forward. A right footed Kouros emerging from a pattern with a sense that he or she or it can easily dissolve back into the pattern. There is a youthfulness conveyed. Hopefully a playfulness too. Within the context of Winter is Coming I like to think of the sound fresh snow crunching underfoot."
Zachary Keeting and Christopher Joy visit the studio of painter Tamara Gonzales.
Gonzales generously discusses her process which involves lace and spray paint. She shares an interesting perspective on the physically demanding nature of spray painting in relation to traditional oil painting, as well as other differences and advantages the technique offers including speed and a uniform surface. "Even though it's a real additive process," Gonzales remarks, "you don't feel it… they have a certain ease."
Gonzales begins by describing how she came to work with spray paint and lace: "I began spray painting through lace which gave me the baroque excess and decorative elements I like so much but with an economy of surface. Abstraction has alway played a part in my work, though I believe we met when I was going through a particularly heavy collage faze. Early on I made big messy installations with my paintings in them. Then I put the materials I used in the installations onto the surface of the paintings. These tended to get clunky and hard to stack. Objects constantly falling off or getting crushed etc. After repairing a hole in a canvas with a doily I instantly thought of Judy Pfaff's work so I spray painted it. Then it fell off and I liked what I saw. It was a breakthrough moment for me."
Butler writes: "Presenting uncharacteristic work by abstract artists Jonathan Allmeier, Tamara Gonzales, EJ Hauser, Stephen Truax, and Maria Walker that is conceptual, formal, and sincere all at once, Moyse is interested in the objects' history, the mark-making, and the way that the artists combine the two to create powerful new experiences, linking the 19th-century Symbolist movement, mysticism, and transcendental experience to recent approaches in contemporary abstract painting."
Sharon Butler blogs about the exhibition Love curated by Stephen Truax and presented by Art Blog Art Blog, on view at One River Gallery, Englewood, NJ, through December 21, 2012.
Love, featuring work by a diverse group of Brooklyn painters, celebrates the emotional attachment both painters and conceptual artists have for the medium, a 'love' that has returned painting to the "forefront of innovation in visual art." Butler writes that curator "Truax says the artists he has selected have 'a romantic and emotional engagement with painting and its history,' At the end of his essay, he even suggests that Conceptual artists are adopting painting as a strategy, too... Believing that all painting, no matter how seemingly intuitive, has conceptual underpinnings, Truax makes a case that the old saw "dumb like a painter" no longer applies."
Panero writes: "It’s too bad that the language of music cannot apply to visual art. We all know there’s a difference between a tenor and a soprano, yet we value them equally. In fact, opera is rather dull without both. The same holds true for the voices of painters or sculptors. With its concentration of abstract artists, 'To be a Lady' suggests, in particular, why women’s voices have been essential to the evolution of modernism. Even without pivotal figures on display like Helen Frankenthaler, the lady who made the men look like boys, 'To be a Lady' suggests how women have advanced an abstract language that is thankfully free of distracting male quavers. Without macho bluster, the works here can settle into contemplative, often symmetrical compositions."
Thomas Micchelli writes about the exhibition To be a Lady: Forty-Five Women in the Arts curated by Jason Andrew, organized by Norte Maar, on view at 1285 Avenue of the Americas Art Gallery, New York through January 18, 2013.
To be a Lady, Micchelli notes, is a show of "startling scale, ambition and quality: a museum-caliber exhibition unenclosed by museum walls." He continues: "One of the ironies of To Be a Lady (implicit in its title, which Andrew asserts is meant as a provocation) is that the pieces derived from traditional notions of domesticity — 'women’s work' in the not-gender-neutral term — are often the most aggressive... Aggressiveness is on full display in conventional media as well, with tough and jagged paintings by Pat Passlof, Elizabeth Condon, Grace Hartigan, Mira Schor, Brooke Moyse and, with a marked acidity, Elizabeth Murray."
EJ Hauser blogs images from the exhibition Tamara Gonzales: Unititled at Norte Maar, Bushwick, on view through April 29, 2012, as well as photos from a visit to Gonzales' studio.
The gallery notes that Gonzales' new paintings "spring to the optical extreme through her unique process of spray painting through found lace tablecloths, doilies, and curtains. Vibrant and witty, layered and textured, the artist combines large gesture with tight pattern to create compositions that at once mimic the grand heroic gestures of the postwar painters, while capturing all-over free spirit found in the graffiti that appears daily on the streets near her Bushwick studio."
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.