Saturday, September 20, 2008

Ed Angell: Untitled Diptych


Ed Angell's unabashed investigation of materiality can be seen on his website. Taking "great pleasure is using the most basic materials offered by the earth", he creates machined objects with a curiously humanistic touch. He's a resident of that beautiful and wet part of the country known as Western Washington.

Ed Angell On Repetition

For as long as I've enjoyed art, the work of Robert Ryman and Agnes Martin have captivated me. Ryman with the color white and Martin with her graphite line have taken Repetition to new levels. As an artist, I've often thought how deftly both these artists use a repetitious theme is their work, to great advantage. As many times as I've viewed both artists works, they never seem to get old or stale and I've always wondered why.

As my own work has matured over time, I find that I too am caught up in Repetition. While subtle, I've begun to notice how important adjacent elements in my work have become. Whether adjacent edges in a singular painting or the color cast that happens between the elements of my diptych's, I'm starting to realize that Repetition is the ultimate quest for the perfect answer.

I sincerely hope there is no perfect answer, I would hate to stop searching.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Thanks to Ken Weathersby for contributing to last week's post.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Ron Buffington:Untitled

16" x 18", oil on canvas panel, 2008

Ron Buffington makes his home in Chattanooga, Tenn. He is a founding member of the artist's collective SEED, along with Jessica Westbrook and Adam Trowbridge(see below). Ron exhibits his incredible paintings nationally but I have the great pleasure of being able to drive down to his studio to see them anytime I want(you know, if I call first). He's just started a blog!

Ron Buffington On Strategy

We learn from Wittgenstein that "one cannot obey a rule privately." If painting can be thought of as a game, there are undoubtedly rules that ensure fair play. Painting’s rules, like that of any game, serve two purposes: to prohibit certain actions; and to permit certain others. Painting is unique among games only to the extent that it requires the player to amend the rules of play. In other words, to make an object that counts as a painting, the painter must both follow extant rules and invent new rules. Moreover, the painter attains significance as a player of the game only by making an important contribution to the rule book.

I’ve always been interested in games; in discovering rules and honoring them; in following them closely; in fully inhabiting them. At the same time, I’ve always enjoyed modifying the rules of a game, not in entirely abandoning proscriptions but in exploring the way the game is impacted by a subtle shift in the rules. Painting provides precisely this opportunity to reinvent play.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Thanks to Pam Farrell and Steven Alexander for the previous week's posts.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Ken Weathersby: 158 (AR)

2008, Acrylic on Canvas over Panel with Removed and Inserted Area, 20" x 16"

"Frustrated Communication". Ken Weathersby makes provocative work of the most rigorous and erudite kind. Here's the website. His work was included in the 183rd Annual Contemporary Exhibition at the National Academy Museum in NY (the show was up since June and closes today, Sept. 7.) He's currently a 2008 fellow in painting from the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation / New Jersey State Council on the Arts. He lives in Montclair, New Jersey which is the hometown of astronaut Buzz Aldrin.

Ken Weathersby On Effect vs. Actual

Effects in painting like unexpected luminescence, twinkling or sparkling, floating after-images or apparent movement, can powerfully, if subliminally, evoke the uncanny or magical. When such seemingly hallucinatory optical phenomena are confronted with presentations of a painting’s physicality (physical inertness [mortality, contingency]) by reversing the canvas, cutting pieces of it out, embedding other surfaces within it, or otherwise making its constructedness and limitation transparent, this visual enchantment effect is challenged by its obvious inseparability from the banality of cotton duck, wood, and paint. Knowledge of the neutrality of means contests aroused hopes of a magical, supernatural dimension.

On the other hand, the emergence of trippy color experience from a demystified, actual physical object might reassuringly remind us how the fantastic pleasures of non-physical movement and frictionless disoriented color effects can still be available in an ordinary waking state (without chemical assistance and without prolonged meditation, fasting or sleep deprivation).

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Pamela Farrell: Vestige

36x36", oil/graphite on panel

Pamela Farrell is from that extraordinary point exactly half way between New York and Philadelphia, Flemington, NJ. Jersey gets dissed all the time, mostly from people who have never spent significant time there. It's a great state and should get more respect. Pamela is an active blogger and extensively investigates the possibilities contained in the medium of encaustic. Please see her blog here and her website here.

Pamela Farrell On Revealing

My work seems like it’s all about revealing…something: remains, lacunae, vestiges, scars, memories, clues, and the subliminal. In addition to being an artist, I am also a practicing licensed clinical social worker and psychotherapist.

In both practices, revealing (revelation?) is a complex undertaking: it must be measured, paced carefully, and with time taken to stop along the way to explore that which has been revealed.

Too much revealed too quickly and the result can be frightening or anxiety-producing; too little, and the pace can feel plodding, boring, and can bring about feelings of discouragement and impatience.

Sometimes what has been revealed is frightening or unpleasant and attempts are made to edit or recover the protective layer. This may produce desirable results in art; in therapy, not so much.

If the revealed does not integrate well into the larger picture, but appears to take on a life of its own and is viewed as “precious,” or maybe something to be regarded at another time, the balance can be thrown off, and it must be discarded—in the case of therapy, perhaps temporarily; in art, that move is usually painful and can be experienced as a loss, at least, initially.

This has been a nice little exercise for me, talking about revealing. Revealing plays a vital role in both my art and my clinical work, as a tool, a process, and a result. And this little piece also is a bit revealing…about me, which brings me to the final point I’d like to make. In both the art and the clinical work, I sometimes struggle with how much of me to reveal. Both are intensely personal and intimate endeavors. In the therapeutic relationship, there are practice guidelines about self-disclosure of the therapist. The therapist revealing too much or the wrong things about the self can be seen as a boundary transgression and/or damaging to the therapeutic process and relationship. In my art, the struggle for me is how much of myself to reveal…and what does that even look like? Could anyone really tell? Is my art about me? Or is it addressing larger, more universal themes and experiences? Maybe both, if I’m lucky.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Thanks to Brent Hallard and Libberta for contributing the material for last week's posts.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Steven Alexander: AXIS

AXIS, 2007, 72 x 60 inches, acrylic on canvas

Steven Alexander resides in my old home state of Pennsylvania. To see more of his beautiful paintings check out his website. It's just the kind of website I like. Straightforward. The work. And I agree with his point, dualities really are interdependent (although we seldom think of them as such).

Steven Alexander

- of light on surface
- of color in relation to color
- of color resonances on perception
- of perception on consciousness
- of consciousness on perception
- of perception on color resonances
- of the painting on the viewer's imagination
- of the viewer's imagination on the painting