Winter Extrapolations




THE SHORT TAKE: These new, ongoing WINTER EXTRAPOLATION paintings are a fresh venture into already generated forms. Why abandon these forms when they are still suggestive and stimulating, when they still beg questions? Why not take a next step rather than starting anew and reinventing the wheel? In the background hums an idea to paint, for real (whatever that means) with oil on canvas. It has been quite a while, my mixed-media work for some time having positioned itself loosely within a spectrum of drawing-printmaking-painting.

Stepping back into the studio after returning from Budapest, the impulse to paint settles on some already prepared paper. Out come the rows of acrylic tubes, the brushes and plexi palette. One of the “FULL TRACES ” of the just completed “TOVÁBBI EXTRAPOLÁCIÓK” series now taped to an easel beside the painting wall, I begin painting; scrutinizing, analyzing the linear form. Holding a long-handled, coarse thin brush, arm outstretched, legs engaged, feet planted on the floor, looking from subject to painting to subject to painting. Powerful assertion! Hold that brush, take that stance!   (…continued in THE LONG READ below images)

Click on any work for a sequential viewing of larger images: More to come soon!

THE LONG READ:   Instead of the anticipated canvas, I pulled out four unfolded brown paper bags already gessoed some time ago and awaiting use. Why not? Cut to the chase! Brush and paint! As I work, the raw, trembling black and white and grey searching lines are applied over and over, incised into the paint surface with coarse, small-tipped brushes; the long handles extended at an arm’s length, feet planted wide, as body and gaze move back and forth from drawing to painting to drawing…
Painting from these previously drawn abstract tracings, I suddenly recognize that I am working from sight exactly as though working directly from model, still-life, interior or city-scape. Hunting for and analyzing structure and form, dissecting visual matter with the same breathless tension, experiencing the same strenuous effort as when, in past decades, I worked directly from life. In vivid flashback I remember how the definition of one final fragment of finger or knee or fold would hold an entire painting hostage, until that last critical brush stroke would resolve itself and finish the entire painting! So it is again exactly, although these painted lines represent nothing more or less than a revisiting of essential abstract structure.
Black and white lines incised repeatedly into the bed of grey overlapping marks remind me of Giacometti’s insistent pursuit of elusive form. That association pleases me.
Reminded too, of Mondrian’s earlier analytical linear paintings, also black on white, also seeking clarification of structure of junction, paring to the bones of it all. Negotiating daily 21st century chaos, I draw inevitably from 2Oth century teachers long embedded in my eye.
A friend mentions Dubuffet, so I revisit his works – the later ones with those idiosyncratic skeletal black lines. Individually those pieces seem to laugh but piled high into huge congested constructions they express a three-dimensional chaos… does it laugh, or mock, or do they shriek? Postwar darkness as expressed through sixties’ language of play.
Thoughts about work upon awakening from dreams in the studio. Analysis and development. A surge of expression then a studied, dispassionate pursuit of the bones of the thing. Drawing and painting to discover structure in a metaphysical sense. You’re an engineer! exclaimed a Hungarian colleague just recently. So it seems. Has there been a shift? If so, it was towards discovery and analysis of previously generated work as object, with the extrapolating process itself as subject.
Process with purpose. The aim, pure discovery
– Vermont (2.20.23)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s