Wednesday, 19 April 2017

[MORE] SURFACE TENSIONS: CURRENT WORK IN PROGRESS what happens when the piece you are working on, no longer looks any good, but isolated areas look beautiful? This piece has been constantly evolving - on and off - for two years. It's a 60 by 60 acrylic on canvas, and I don't know whether it's because of the size or proportions, but despite scores of revisions, it has never looked satisfactory to me. 

You've seen from previous posts that I am fascinated by what is happening on the surface of my paintings. I love holding a painting in my hands, and playing the light across it, reading it from side to side like an engraving, or a piece of lazer-etched nanotech, or a 3D topographical map. To me, they look like buildings, cities, or even worlds.

This is how minimalism probably started: Cameras got invented, and artists inevitably would document their work, focusing on details of interest, and then come to the same conclusion that I have - that the details look better than the actual painting.

I used various new techniques to get the paint to behave differently. I like to degrade the surface to keep it from looking too smooth. I want it to look both rigidly uniform, but weathered, like a piece of modernist architecture that hasn't been maintained.

I asked my studio colleague for her opinion the other day, and apart from finding the current colours 'revolting', she observed that it's not the composition that seems to interest me, but the lines on the surface. She said it's no longer a painting, it's an installation. 

I find that perhaps it's more like a sculpture, because I'm constantly attacking the surface with a knife, or peeling bits off, or waiting until the paint is like a kind of plastic cement, and trying to mould it.

Since these pictures were taken, the painting has changed again, which is why I won't show photos of the whole piece. And also because I assume people will find it as anticlimactic as I do.

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