Webster comments: "I get a lot of the forms from the world - from an old piece of glass, a detail of Mantegna, the shape of a muffin or an old Roman helmet. They come from a huge store pile of things I see and make drawings of. Lately, I have been making drawings that remind me of Kachina dolls, old Mexican churches, pointy things and A.R. Penck. I use color by instinct... Color makes a narrative atmosphere for the paintings and gives them oomph."
Yau writes: "The structure that Webster is here exploring is a stepped form that owes something to Navaho blankets. He uses a thick line to make the form’s border, appendages and interior lines. The thickness of the line confers gravity, as well as a sense of slow forcefulness... For all of its weight, the forms seem animated, as if they might pick up and move elsewhere. By focusing on one form, which he never repeats exactly, I got the sense that the artist is trying to consolidate what he knows and attempting to learn something else at the same time. Webster certainly knows how to make an interesting and often mysterious form, but he has seldom put it somewhere believable. Now it seems that he wants to expand the premise of his work, to go beyond the realm of mysterious things and make places where such things might exist."
Photoblog studio visit with painter Chuck Webster, showing works in progress related to the current exhibition Chuck Webster: Paintings at ZieherSmith, on view through May 25, 2012.
The gallery notes that Webster's new paintings "Further deviating from previous paintings which were each an idiosyncratic image often on a smaller panel, the final surface on this body of work is a skittering, plangent line, with a consistent language throughout the group of mostly large scale paintings. Lending immediacy to the lush texture of the under painting's countless layers, these looser, brushy contours alternately resemble the ancient footprints of excavated villages and a contemporary cartoon aesthetic reminiscent of Phillip Guston, Carroll Dunham or Jonathan Lasker."
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.