“Mira!” Experiments in Figuration: Opening Reception Fri. September 10, 5-8pm
I love the formal challenges of composition, color, and craftsmanship involved with painting in oil on a canvas in 2 dimensions. But what I love most of all is figurative imagery – trying to express something interesting about a (usually human) form in space and time. For my last show, I concentrated on using mostly classical painting techniques to create intimate realistic little portraits of the women in my family. As a newly retired person with (finally) more time to paint, I am now trying to figure out what kind of painter I’ve become in the interim.
So, this show re-plays some ideas from the past (mirrors, patterns, spatial ambiguity), re-purposing some old canvases in new ways, and experimenting with more spontaneous, stylized types of representation. What holds it all together is a desire to find new and interesting ways to think about figuration and see where that leads next.
The first painting, “Self-Portrait in My Studio” is an old painting done soon after I graduated from the post-bac program at SAIC, about 25 years ago. All the other paintings are recent, but have to do with “looking,” in the same vein as that painting – examining what it means to make and see art in new ways. The mirror that appears in many of the paintings is meant to portray that act of self-examination. All these paintings are simply documentation of that experimentation in self-examination.
The painters who have most influenced me are also diverse—Charlotte Saloman, Alice Valenstein, Eduard Vuillard, Jorge Castillo, and the Bay-Area Figurative painters from the 60’s—just to mention a few. I am grateful for all those artists and their visions, who have in turn inspired mine.