Kevin Appel, Salton Sea (heap), 2012, acrylic, oil, and UV cured ink on canvas over panel, 77 x 66 inches (courtesy of the artist)
Julia Schwartz interviews painter Kevin Appel about his work and career.
Asked about the progress in his work from "straightforward... interiors" to more "fractured" spaces, Appel remarks: "Early on the interest in architecture was motivated by a desire to bring space back into my work. Clean, unpopulated space. Over time the objects in the interiors acted as stand ins for occupants, so I got rid of them. By ’99 I was designing a house specifically for the work and using this design for an installation where the paintings built together to create an understanding of the space. From there by 2004-6 I was becoming interested in home as a more quotidian reference this ultimately exploded into rubble, what I call the pile paintings. I would say the current work takes all of these impulses and pares them down into concise explorations of the same interests. They look to me as if they are combining the vast flat planes of the early work with the dissolution that followed."
Geoff Tuck reviews the exhibition Kevin Appel, Paintings at Susanne Vielmetter, Los Angeles, on view through August 23, 2012.
"There is a photographic base to these paintings – Appel takes pictures of landscapes ('in the landscape,' the artist says) and he mechanically applies them to treated canvas and then by hand he paints over them. (Here I want to keep in mind the insubstantial nature of photographic images.)... looking at Salton Sea (heap), I find black, oily smears, these are veined as though they are spreading or are under pressure. (There are such colored smears on several paintings in the show.) The smears remind me of chemical mishaps that might be experienced using Polaroid cameras, when the developer would squeeze out of the pouch across the photo print. Appel’s paintings, which were begun in the camera, make reference to the photographic process again and again."
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.