This series of paintings is about reflected light: light within darkness, also light within light. The images come in part from the patterned silver and gold-leaf paper on the walls of my grandparents’ darkened dining room and the reflected light off the polished silver on the highboy. They also come from a grittier context: foil embedded in asphalt. The underpainting, context, and content, are to a great degree determined by the evening sky, its clouds illuminated from below, and the afterglow of the transitioning sky into darkness.
These paintings invite the viewer to hold in his/her gaze the entire surface—the reflective elements as well as the substrate–simultaneously. The experience is, in part, the substantial effort required by the viewer to hold these elements in equal portion in the same moment.
This group of paintings is about memory and its afterimage. They were inspired by a four-foot section of hedge along Brattle Street and my passion for the work of Lucio Fontana. It is also about location and dislocation. The line to the right locates and establishes the scale for its more active counterpart. In doing so it determines the level of compression with the edge as well as sets the stage for the release and expression played out to the left. Everything that happens is determined by the tension of this line. The specific content of the piece is set in place by the structure and activity of the more fluid lines center and left. The punctures and tears provide a counterpoint and added dimension and the watercolor brings these elements into alignment.
The following statement was written in reference to paintings made between 1990 and 2002 (not shown on website). As many of my recent paintings still address a number of the same concerns, I thought it helpful to reprint this statement in the hope of adding context and history to the more recent work.
“This group of paintings is about light, about the divide between the seen and the unseen, about the moment when an image becomes apparent. Properly lit, the work becomes luminous, giving back the ambient light. It is also about eidetic memory. The work is a convergence of memory and the desire for expression, coming together around a visual cue. Color sets the emotional tone and dimension of the piece.
The process involves a series of steps: locating feelings around an image; rendering a memory of that image; dislocating and erasing the image in order to establish the true dimensions of the memory; and then honing in on the essential underpinnings of the memory–which is no longer a memory, but an expression of an aesthetic.”