THE TABLETOP SCHEMATICS

One of the catalysts for my work comes from an old red circular steel Coca-Cola sign that I rescued from the facade of a New York coffee shop slated for demolition. I did this not for its collectible, Americana appeal, but rather for its particular visual qualities. The sign was so clear and forthright, so visually clean and established in its Egyptian like iconography - the green Coke bottle with its umber liquid against a red field - the white Coca-Cola logo emblazoned across the center.

These tabletop paintings explore the mute persistence of common forms that are so inexorably familiar and commonplace that they become part of our everyday visual vernacular. Removed from their normal context or function they become part of a new visual strategy, more factual than lyrical

My current work, “Not There – Here”, (Barnett Newman) presents an arrangement of motifs randomly dispersed over a lyrical composition of grey elements. The incisive color forms that inhabit these geometric motifs comprise a third compositional layer. If these color forms coalesced, the resulting image would be a hard edge, color field painting, mindful of Ellsworth Kelly, Al Held, Kenneth Noland and others whose work is steeped in that tradition. The three compositional entities are clearly independent, yet engage in a dialogue with one another..

In “The Enigma Variations“ (Edward Elgar), varying forms emerge through a contemplative stream of consciousness, each form insisting upon its own individual autonomy. They float freely in a time/space dimension of white infinity, not given to pictorial spatial illusions. We each create our own myth of reality to live by.  Interesting to note, “The Enigma Variations” is the title of a classical composition by the English composer, Edward Elgar. Originally titled “20 Variations on an Original Theme”; the said theme is never heard. When musicologists questioned Elgar whether the theme actually existed, he offered no response.  For a great majority of museum curators and art historians, myself among them, art remains a phenomenological entity - an enigma.

The series “Of Rhetoric and Reason” draws from the I Ching philosophy of change and chance. Two schematic line drawings of objects engage each other by chance. The metamorphosis that results from the juxtaposition of objects and abstraction creates rhetorical counterpoint and dissonant harmonies.

All images are created on a tabletop structure that functions as a sculptural form.  The painterly graphic elements that occupy the tabletop project into the surrounding environment. This tabletop form has that quality of objecthood, that the German philosopher, Heidegger describes as “the thingness of the thing…the thing - being of the thing.” [1]

 

PAINTING MEDIUM:

gessoed plywood, acrylics, ink, graphite leads, edged with formica laminate and spray varnished.

 

 

[1] Heidegger, Martin. Philosophies of Art and Beauty, "The Origin of the Work of Art." University of Chicago Press. Chicago, 1964.