March 31 – June 30, 2012
In an extended series of acrylic paintings, two major divergent historical approaches, no-objective abstraction and representational landscape, merge and intersect. Paul is a Professor of Art Emeritus at SUNY Oswego. His studio is located in Fair Haven, NY.
THIS EXHIBITION IS COMPRISED OF THREE SEPARATE SERIES OF ACRYLIC PAINTINGS:
Naturalistic Landscapes: Based on locations I have seen, responded to and photographed.
Non Objective Abstractions: Paintings which are created thorough the act of painting without preconception.
Junctures: Paintings in which abstraction and landscape converge.
These distinct groups form an aggregate or sum of painting that should be viewed as an n integrated whole. I my studio practice I move freely within the triad, not favoring one mode over another. I fully embrace all three with equanimity.
In my view CONVERGENCE is similar to natural structures found in the leaves of plants and trees; a central core with veins that diverge.
Although I have lived for many years within a hundred yards of Fair Haven State Park, it is only in the last decade that I have come to more fully acknowledge and appreciate its presence.
My daily walks in the park provide opportunities to be in a relatively unspoiled natural space. It is a small but beautiful place with hills, meadows, trees, ponds, swampland, deer, fish, birds, and insects, sandy and rocky shorelines facing one of the world’s largest lakes. Ontario.
At differing times I experience snow, fog, rain, heat, frigid wind, rumbling or subtle sounds, light brilliant, balanced, or dim and smells of all kinds. These sensory stimuli enable me to be alert and more fully sentient. I love these brief daily one hour excursions. It has pulled me in.
Through landscape painting I seek to convey a sense of place, in both appearance and in spirit.
It is my intent in this painting series to create paintings whose meaning unfolds as opposing aspects of naturalistic landscape and non-objective abstraction interacting through convergence.
Antithetical conceptual approaches and contrasting visual elements coexist. Predetermined naturalistic landscape images are juxtaposed with non-objective abstractions. Placed in proximity to one another they may resonate in harmony or interact in notches degrees of tension.
Either the landscape or the abstract image may be painted first. Once the initial image is complete, I work with the other image and try to forget the work just completed. Often I will physically cover the initial image (or images) to further remove it from my conscious awareness as I move forward. This increases elements of chance and forces different thinking patterns.
There are essential objectives which interest me a great deal in this approach.
It embraces in pictorial format two aspects of human existence: that which one can clearly anticipate, plan for, carefully direct and monitor. And the other: dealing with the unexpected.
Through this process of convergence the resulting junctures create visual combinations/associations that would be unlikely to be produced otherwise.
In the end my intent is not to narrate but rather provide a screen for the viewer to read. A reading based upon individual personal experience.
For over forty years I have made abstract paintings. That is a very long time by any measure. Yet working within the modernist tradition of abstraction is something that remains alive and vital to me.
To keep things fresh over a long career I make marked changes in direction periodically. In this current series of non-objective abstractions I chose to work in an extended series of small 10×8 inch paintings which could then be combined to produce works of multiple sizes depending on the number of 10×8 inch units.
When I start a work I have no preconceived idea of what the finished painting will look like. I would not want to know in advance. The most fulfilling part of the process is to find out through the doing:
The starting by starting.
The considered reflections.
The snap decisions.
The starting over.
The setting aside.
The chance occurrence.
The etc… etc…
The finished piece.
In this installation there are sixty-four paintings. I have asked Axom Gallery to install the pieces without my direction as to order or sequence other than to place them within a grid.
What you see is but one arrangement among thousands of possible arrangements.
I like that.