As part of his In Process series, Paul Behnke posts a photo-blog about the development of painter James Erikson’s Slow Morning (2012).
Of his work Erikson says: “My paintings are abstractions in the sense that at some point in the painting process I’m abstracting from nature, whether consciously at the beginning or through some experience or memory I bring into the studio during the evolution of the painting. Sometimes the painting reminds me of something, a particular mood or memory of a place and it won’t go away — that becomes the subject of the painting for me.”
Continue reading James Erikson: In Process
Rachel Reese interviews painter Shara Hughes on the occasion of the exhibition Shara Hughes: Don’t Tell Anyone But…, at the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center, on view from April 19 – June 15, 2013.
Hughes comments: “Interiors became the foundation where I could lay all different artists who have come before me into and onto the painting. So I could paint a really detailed Renaissance painting inside of, on top of, a Bridgette Riley-esque type wallpaper thing. It opened up access for me to flow between everything I wanted to do, that I couldn’t do, because ‘that looks like this’ or ‘that looks like that.’ … I would also look back in art history and see what kind of symbolism artists were using. For example, dogs are a symbol of protection. So, I would put a dog in my painting to talk about protection of myself, or some birds, or several other traditional symbols. And then I began to remove them, and I would bring in my own symbolism—broken trees or rocks that have been cut halfway. I continually create my own alphabet from my own symbols as my work progresses.”
Continue reading Shara Hughes: Studio Visit
As part of his blog series In Process, Paul Behnke posts about the development of the recent painting And the Vital Vigor Stood it’s Ground (2013) by painter Matthew Neil Gehring.
Behnke writes that: “Gehring’s use of color and form combine to produce a visual deception bordering on Op Art. However, these works offer more than visual trickery and reveal themselves over time. The hierarchy created by color and form generates a stately presence more akin to Barnet Newman than Bridget Riley.”
Matthew Neil Gehring: Brilliant Corners will be on view at the Dishman Art Museum, Beaumont, TX from April 2 – 30, 2013.
Continue reading Matthew Neil Gehring: In Process
A new video documents painter Elizabeth Murray working in the studio.
In the film, Murray talks about her working process: “What I’m looking for,” she notes, “is resolution. I have it one day and I don’t have it the next day. But that’s what’s so great about being an artist – that you can get that kind of satisfaction. What’s been so hard about these paintings is that I don’t know how I’m going to get them resolved… Usually what happens is when I start to really hate it, it starts to go someplace. It’s almost as though you have to get down into that place where you absolutely hate it and want to rip it off the wall, rip it to pieces, and throw it out, to start getting into it.”
Continue reading Elizabeth Murray: In the Studio
In the first post in a new blog series “focusing on process oriented painters,” Paul Behnke showcases the development of a painting by Deborah Brown, “an accomplished painter who’s works explore the industrial landscape of car salvage lots, scrap metal yards and fabrication shops in Bushwick…”
Brown comments on her process: “While I am working, I often turn the paintings upside down and work on them from another vantage point, which provides me with a fresh perspective and subverts the choices I make habitually and uncritically. This was the case with ‘Slag,’ which changed orientation, color and spatial organization many times. I use vigorous additive and subtractive paint application to alter, conceal and reveal traces of the painting’s history. What emerges is a hybrid of the mechanical the organic—a metaphor for contemporary human reality.”
Continue reading Deborah Brown: In Process
Zachary Keeting and Christopher Joy visit the studio of painter Sarah Walker.
Walker comments: “I’m trying to allow everything in the painting that’s ever been there to still exist visually and compellingly, presently, all at the same time. So, the past in my paintings is always present in some way, and all their movements, and the habits of the paint, and what its done, all the histories are still there, and they’re impacting what gets layered on top and woven into that. So that its not just one set of structures, or one narrative, or one history, but all these things together. and I try to strike a balance to where you can read each of them… at the same level of legibility.”
Continue reading Sarah Walker: Studio Visit
David Reed interviews painter Stanley Whitney.
Discussing color, Whitney comments: “I think artists have tried to explore color but not in a real worldly sense. When I say that I mean that if you go to India, there are worlds and worlds of color—10,000 shades of orange on the street. I really want the hand to be a part of it. I want color to shift if I put it on thicker or thinner. I want the human touch… You know, I love to look at Courbet, or Velázquez, or Goya, it’s like the red slash. I want to have some of those elements in my painting. I never really paint subject matter, I just like what the paint is doing. So for me to go look at, say, Velázquez is really important. I want those ideas about color, light, and touch—I just want all those aspects of painting… If I look at Courbet’s Portrait of Jo (la belle Irlandaise), I might be thinking about the way he painted that hair, the weight of the color. Or, in a Manet, I might look at what the white in the dress is doing. He changed the touch, and it’s a cloud. Those are the things that interest me and that I’m trying to adopt. But it took me a long time to get those kinds of colors. Earlier, I painted marks in a gray field. I couldn’t make a lot of color. I couldn’t really control the space.”
Continue reading Stanley Whitney: Interview
Zachary Keeting and Christopher Joy visit the studio of painter Susanna Heller.
Heller comments: “It took me a good ten years to figure out how to engage the city, how to draw it, how to paint it, how to picture it… it wasn’t exactly about its look, it’s more about its being. If you think of New York as a character, that’s in action all the time, I wanted to make paintings about the life of the city, the way it moves… the weather, the movement and my movement. To me space and time and travel is more the subject of the city than the objects. The objects are there as stopping points, but they’re not the subject.” She continues: “I walk everyday, and I draw when I walk. The idea of recording… these paths that only we’re creating… It’s a crazy world of incredible contrasts. You look down at some old garbage and rust, you look up – seven million people, ten million people. What kind of story is that? You can be really alone and really claustrophobic, things are really clustered and really open and yet the sky and the clouds are so much more massive above it all.”
Continue reading Susanna Heller: Studio Visit
Kris Chatterson interviews painter Tamara Gonzales about her work.
Gonzales begins by describing how she came to work with spray paint and lace: “I began spray painting through lace which gave me the baroque excess and decorative elements I like so much but with an economy of surface. Abstraction has alway played a part in my work, though I believe we met when I was going through a particularly heavy collage faze. Early on I made big messy installations with my paintings in them. Then I put the materials I used in the installations onto the surface of the paintings. These tended to get clunky and hard to stack. Objects constantly falling off or getting crushed etc. After repairing a hole in a canvas with a doily I instantly thought of Judy Pfaff’s work so I spray painted it. Then it fell off and I liked what I saw. It was a breakthrough moment for me.”
Continue reading Tamara Gonzales: Studio Visit
Zachary Keeting and Christopher Joy visit the studio of painter Megan Craig.
Craig comments: “I think of my paintings as records of energy… I think of my own work in terms of its verbalness more than its nominal quality… when something feels closed to me it feels overly nominal like there’s a noun at the front of the painting and I think I’m always aiming for the verb.” She continues: “it’s not about that moment of ‘Oh, I see the thing I’m supposed to see’… it’s not legible in that way. It’s more about having this sense of either mood or life or some resonance that makes you feel.”
Continue reading Megan Craig: Studio Visit