March 30 - May 1, 2016
Friday, April 1
Sunday, May 1
“Perhaps one could say it’s not an accident, because it becomes a selective process which part of this accident one chooses to preserve.”
— Francis Bacon
Over time, my working process has come to feel more and more like my path through life. It is a mix: of actions, sometimes focused and intentional and sometimes exploratory, tentative, and vague; and of accidents — meaning, things much too complicated, or too deeply and inscrutably given, for me to fathom them more than dimly or predict their outcome. There is no pretense of full control or of clearly imagining beforehand.
My newest works, while remaining photo-based, have become far more abstract — painting-like images that subsume their photographic raw material. In the course
of my working process, multiple photographic images contribute to the developing work in all kinds of ways, but the photographic images themselves become largely unrecognizable. These are pictures, but not pictures of something. When their titles seem to claim otherwise, what they are really expressing is a discovery or an intuition that I chose to pursue in the process of working. The titles are more supposition than description. Lakeside Lake is not a place, it is a condition of being. In the works themselves the digital and its distancing function are overtly acknowledged, and the gestural is declined. Yet, like graphite marks through a layer of oil paint, a world strikes through, and a life — all that that is.
Anecdote of the Jar
I placed a jar in Tennessee,
And round it was, upon a hill.
It made the slovenly wilderness
Surround that hill.
The wilderness rose up to it,
And sprawled around, no longer wild.
The jar was round upon the ground
And tall and of a port in air.
It took dominion everywhere.
The jar was gray and bare.
It did not give of bird or bush,
Like nothing else in Tennessee.
In his poem Wallace Stevens describes a moment of recognition. On a hill, surrounded by wilderness, he writes of his awareness of the contrast between a man-made object, the jar, and the natural environment. The paintings present this moment of seeing abstracted nature surrounding and declaring its difference from the measured, manufactured form.
The ceramic pieces embody the idea of the poem in a different way. They are jars. They are “round upon the ground” but the regularity, the symmetry of the wheel-thrown form has been manipulated into something more irregular. They are bent and molded to suggest organic forms, the surfaces marked, incised, stamped and stained to echo the natural environment.
Collected and composed ephemera chosen despite or because of the tangled, ripped, bent, broken, run-over, emptied, twisted, decayed, rusted, tattered, and compromised forms.