Linda Francis, study for “Interference,” 2010 – 2012 (courtesy of the artist)
Ben La Rocco interviews painter Linda Francis on the occasion of the upcoming exhibition Linda Francis: We Can Build You at Minus Space, Brooklyn, on view from February 15 – March 23, 2013.
Asked about her newest work, Francis comments: "I digitize the images then I see all this other stuff happening on the computer—fantastic—and what’s fantastic about it is that I get the computer noise: the stuff on the computer that wasn’t there in the image. So in a certain sense it became a brush to me. So here, this image started to have things that were there because of the tool that I was using and I really love seeing this invisible stuff that I never knew existed. So I decide to incorporate it into the image. It’s a structure, you know. The closer you look at it the more you realize it’s an on/off structure. There are sort of substructures that happen. Certain kinds of rectangles, certain types of squares, certain kinds of dots. I’m not just talking about pixels, but things that happen to build up to other patterns."
Hassell writes: "To put it simply, Francis’s work is something of an intellectual feast. She is one of those people whose baffling understanding paired with a grasp of such a wide range of ideas allows her to distil profound notions into rather approachable terms. Seemingly simplistic at first, when prodded to explain, her thought process becomes clear in such a way that the truth of her statements seems inescapable. Her work is very similar, which makes perfect sense. The abstractions she chooses to pursue are derived of massively relatable notions reduced down to concise forms, which then open back up to their originally far-reaching impact given a little investigation by the viewer."
Ted Stamm, a painter who exhibited widely in New York and Europe before his untimely death at age 39 has been largely uknown in recent years. A small, but significant show of paintings and drawings at Minus Space in DUMBO offers a tantalizing re-introduction to Stamm’s paintings.
The exhibition features a signature work from each major phase of Stamm’s oeuvre including the "Dodger" and "Zephyr" series, a "Tag" drawing, and polaroids of Stamm’s abstract graffitti "Designators" - black forms from his paintings that he spray painted onto buildings in New York.
Ted Stamm, DGR-37, oil on canvas, 33.5 x 128 inches (courtesy Minus Space & Estate of Ted Stamm)
Two large paintings in the front room dominate the space. It's difficult not to be struck initially by the unique notching and dynamic curves of Stamm’s carefully constructed, shaped canvases. Spatially, Stamm was interested in aerodynamics and in conveying speed though painting. The graceful curves of the paintings’ edges (a curve dominates each large work) yield to the painted divisions within - creating a sense of extension into the surrounding architecture.
Although his palette in this show is limited to black and white, Stamm was a subtle colorist. In the smaller paintings his blacks are oily, yet bright and play off cooler, luminous, polished whites that are reminiscent of both Mondrian and new car paint. Stamm’s blacks in the larger works are matte and undeniably industrial with the grit and sparkle of asphalt playing atop the dazzling glue-sized canvas. The entire effect is celebratory and full of light.
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.