work in progress: 2017 - 2018
Currently I am rethinking and reworking ideas that, in essence, evolved from a work made in 1964 (see below). The painting, oil on board, was based on a photograph shot from above of a woman treading water in a swimming pool. Initially, my intention was to render a realistic representation. But, as the painting developed, the 3D image became abstracted and flattened with certain elements gaining in significance: in particular, the edges of the form and the lines around and across the swimsuit. The finished work was square with a composition defined by the edges of the swimmer's arms, legs and torso thus dividing the format into three segments.
I enjoyed this exercise in abstraction that developed into something of a preoccupation with undulating lines. Out of this work came a series of small paintings focused on movement. The format was square; the colours limited to three or four, and the compositions mere arrangements of lines that generate strong negative spaces. The series was acrylic on canvas, a medium more suited to the process than oil paint, and one I have stayed loyal to ever since.
For about ten years, the move away from representational imagery influenced a succession of ideas and images that permeated my two and three dimensional work. Above, two paintings are shown in black and white as the colour slides became so faded that, even after digitization and manipulation in Photoshop, true colour could not be resurrected.
Most recently, my work has been developing from an acknowledgment that even the representational content of early 2017 is haunted by ghosts from the mid-sixties. In essence, I have rediscovered that certain elements and colour choices hold as much interest for me now as they did fifty-plus years ago. The difference today is that, in the intervening years, my experience with materials, mark making and surface quality has evolved. No longer am I restricting myself to flat colour or content so minimal as to suggest that each work has no history beyond that of a simple, fixed plan.
Perhaps I should have seen this coming when, in 2013, I revisited ideas from the late 1970s. Five years ago, my interest was simply to recreate the original works in miniature, but with materials and surfaces more lively than those of their antecedents.
Unlike their 60s to 70s roots, the newest work embraces processes that, materially, are less a monologue and more a conversation. For now, however, a visual record must remain unpublished.
In the hope that this sounds interesting, stay tuned.