Referring to his earlier still life paintings Lewis comments: "I’ve always thought of the tabletops as stage sets (but not in an obvious way) and now I think of the streets as stage sets too—a place where I enjoy observing daily life... I like to discover places to paint. I like to be stimulated by something that I have seen as a starting point for a work. It’s not practical to make the large graphite drawings/collages outdoors but I prefer the experience of being on site."
Pardee comments: " I combine work inside and outside the studio. I’m really concerned with perception, with observing, through painting on site, which I then combine and edit in the studio. That editing process goes in two directions. One is going in and dissecting the painting by using colored patterns to break up the image or enlarge on it. The other is putting several of these paintings together in a grid, and letting one interact with another to create a composite image. In the studio I’m also constantly observing the effect of one color on another and making changes... When you’re looking at something you’re in the space, and your body is in there and you have movement — which means rhythm and your sense of where things are, and how big and heavy things are. That is where I want to start — with your own body in relation to what’s around you."
Yau writes: "[Ray's] cropping also reminds us that every view is partial. We cannot step back and see everything; we can only get closer. Within these demarcated areas, Ray uses a lightly textured skin of paint to delicately register tonal changes, compelling us to look even closer, to see that the painting is both an architectonic space and physical paint. She wants us to recognize the dialogue that paint can establish between surface and space, which to some people means that she is a conservative artist. That designation ignores what is radical and resistant about Ray’s work. There is something moody and quietly haunted about her paintings, a sense that everything you see is visited alone, imbuing the views with an awareness of mortality, a depth of feeling that is all too rare in much of today’s art."
Tuchman writes: "Though he exhibited with the Impressionists—and even underwrote some of their most important group exhibitions—it was the modernity of Caillebotte’s compositions, not sketchy stylistic traits, that qualified him for inclusion in this movement. His propensity for rendering select details is better appreciated today. The scores of cobblestones and dozens of windows he depicted in Paris Street; Rainy Day and the rivets that you can count that hold the Pont de l’Europe together certainly set him apart from, say, Claude Monet, Auguste Renoir, and Edgar Degas, all of whom he collected. But these elements also make Caillebotte something of a proto-Minimalist. Take another look at On the Pont de l’Europe. The geometry of the bridge is a cross between Anthony Caro and Chris Burden. Caillebotte was ahead of his time, not lagging behind. It’s we who are finally catching up with him."
Shaw comments: "It has been said my work is sentimental. I don’t know why sentimentality has to be a negative quality. What I look for in art are the qualities I admire or don’t admire in human beings. And very rarely do I meet people who aren’t sentimental. I have no story, which is why I am a painter. Beckett has a line about itching to make something with nothing to say. You know if you have got the itch."
Jeff Jahn reviews Seeing Nature at the Portland Art Museum (PAM), Oregon, on view though January 10, 2016.
Jahn writes that the show, "drawn from Paul Allen's collection ... is a kind of survey of landscape paintings throughout history and as such maps the shifting expectations that viewers have for looking at what we consider the outdoors. One thing I very much like about the exhibition is the way it treats cityscapes as a part of nature and the landscape, thus to 'See Nature' we have to see our own role in it."
Anna McNay reviews Lowry by the Sea at Jerwood Gallery, Hastings, on view through November 1, 2015.
McNay writes: "Mention LS Lowry (1887-1976) and most people will picture grim, industrial cityscapes from Britain’s north-west, with smoke-belching factories; men bent nearly double, hastening along crowded pavements; grey drizzle; and children playing in the street. But Lowry was as inspired by the coast as he was the city." This exhibition, she notes, "showcases Lowry’s intense relationship with the ocean. Spread across two small, dark rooms – which echo the mood of the works – visitors gain not just an overview of an aspect of the artist’s work that is usually overlooked, but also an intimate insight into his character, thoughts and self-perception."
Mark Sheerin speaks to curator Katy Norris about the exhibition Sickert in Dieppe, on view at Pallant House, Chichester through October 4, 2015.
"The 25-year-old Sickert was an apprentice of Whistler. But in Dieppe he fell under the influence of Degas... It was Degas who felt himself to be the better role model [than Whistler] for a young painter and, given the place he holds in art history, we might today agree. Sickert 'learned draftsmanship from Degas and watched minutely what he was doing'. The older painter, in turn, 'really thrived off that idea of a young artist still interested in what he had to offer'. But Sickert never abandoned the expressive lessons he learned in Whistler’s studio. 'He loved the viscosity of the paint and using rich paint, which was not like Impressionism,' says Norris. 'So he never really sat totally with the impressionists; he hung onto his beginnings all the time as well, you know, the early training under Whistler.'"
Lopas comments: "There is a great deal of painting that I love, have looked at, and learned from. But resonance is something different from that. For a painting to resonate it should be with you when you paint. It should guide you when you make decisions. It should occur to you in moments of reverie. For me those are individual artists or specific paintings, rather than periods. That’s because I think all works of art that exist are in some sense contemporary. If you can stand in front of it now, you can experience it totally on your own terms, regardless of its place in history... For me I have learned that painting is a process that produces a state of mind. It is best when no other concerns invade it. The judgment of others or yourself, the reception of the art world, are hindrances. Paintings are best when made from a state of pure absolute personal need. You must give yourself permission and space to get to it and then notice when you are ripe for working well."
Adrian Margaret Brune blogs about Elizabeth Livingston: Night Fell at Lodge Gallery, New York, on view through September 6, 2015.
Brune quotes Jason Patrick Voegele of the Lodge Gallery: "Liz takes great pleasure in peeling back veneers of suburban order to capture intimate moments ... Her most recent body of work evokes all the same cinematic emphasis on visual scrutiny and moments of false security -- much like a Hitchcock or Vermeer. There is a shared suspense in these voyeuristic moments, a sense of the quiet before the storm or the last rays of light before night arrives."
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.