Friday, May 30, 2014

From Real to Abstract

Is there a relationship between these two paintings?
An on-site watercolor and a studio work on paper?
When I work back and forth between "reality" and abstraction I like to think
that the shapes and abstract linear elements come directly from my observation of nature
during the act of seeing and painting what I see.  They also come from everyday
visual phenomenon such as when certain light conditions force shapes to pop in and outof
 the landscape in a totally unrealistic way, but that makes the scene more surprising and dynamic.

Here is a paragraph from an article by the painter Carroll Dunham in Artforum magazine on the 
occasion of the Alexander Calder exhibition a the Whitney Museum of American Art in 2009.

"There can seem to be a generic modernity to Calder's work, almost a New Yorker cartoon
version of biomorphic abstract art (a quality Jean Arp certainly shares), but this is the flip
side of something cloaked deeply essential in modernism: the somewhat cloaked use of nature as a conceptual and philosophical platform. The organically inspired forms that become increasingly central to Calder's work place him in a stream that runs through modernist thought, past worldwide war and the dawn of the atomic age on it's way to more recent (or less obviously cataclysmic) times, when it may appear to have run dry. But it stems from an archaic impulse, and it will be interesting to see if events in the world soon outpace our abiltiy  or need) to effect its denial."

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