I finished the last gouache painting this weekend. These are all 6.75″x9″and painted on watercolor paper. Here it is.
Category Archives: Minimalism Elite
Here are 2 more gouache and acrylic paint on paper pieces. The last one that I’m going to do is a gouache reproduction of The Pleasure of Deceit.
I finished a new gouache and acrylic painting last week called Tone Float that is part of the same series as The Pleasure of Deceit. Like The Pleasure of Deceit these paintings reference a partial viewing from the isometric perspective drawing series A Theory of Forms and Ideas. This continues my exploration into optics and perspective that I started with Opposition and Sister Squares are Reconciled. Right now I have 4 paintings planned of which The Pleasure of Deceit is the first. I’m going to make 4 small gouache and acrylic paintings on watercolor paper and then make them again larger. I’ve decided that I don’t want to continue to make the series the same size as The Pleasure of Deceit (36″x48″) but to instead make them a 24″x32″ due to storage concerns and cost restraints; The Pleasure of Deceit hangs nicely over my fireplace but I’m afraid that, like the rest of the work that I make, the rest will be left to languish in deep, deep storage.
Here is a photograph of Tone Float and a photo of The Pleasure of Deceit above my fireplace.
Here is what I wrote for the show at Way Out Gallery.
- 1. of or designating a verb tense or form indicating that the action or state expressed by the verb will be completed by or extended up to a time in the future.
- the future perfect tense
- a form in this sense
These works were gleaned from two separate but related projects that I’ve been working on for the past 8 years: Minimalism Elite, which re-imagines the past, and Future Living Projects, which imagines the future. They are similar aesthetically but differ in context. Minimalism Elite began as a collection of work that looked for inspiration from the past, at a short period of time after the prevailing trends of Modernism but before the post-capitalist strategies of conceptualist art, driven by collectors eager to consume and invest in a new growing corporate art market. Future Living Projects started as an exploration of art that existed somewhere between design and architecture, a theoretical construct to organize potential possibilities for both a utopian and dystopian future.
The sculpture series A Theory of Forms and Ideas takes its name from Plato’s concept of idealized form which postulates the existence of a “reality” inhabited by the ideal or archetypal form of all things and concepts. The sculptures posit themselves as anti-monuments, an articulated set of organized possibilities that inherently create an awareness of scale that shifts the viewer’s relationship away from traditional, monumentalized work, toward a position of enhanced intimacy. Their form is perceived in one instantaneous and inseparable way as mere simple objects concealing the planning and craft needed to complete the final product.
The painting The Pleasure of Deceit offers a mental construction of an insidious fantasy, a projected form that intuits the cynicism of human nature while Journey Into the Realm of Reason, Burning From the Inside and From Safety To Where…? expose the ambiguity of space–between knowledge and fiction and disorder and the Cartesian grid–distorted by unending vanishing landscapes. Perspective is used as a marker of spatial infinity, a visual reminder of the simultaneous existence of both a theoretical probability and physical impossibility, the antinomic dialectic between an optical glitch and mathematical certainty.
The Architect’s Tomb functions somewhere between sculpture and furniture and hints at the possibility of an intrinsically temporal dimension, a space that is internal and external in which nothingness eternally asserts itself as a permanent unknown. Light becomes a hypothesis of suspended physical transformation where mass and energy collapse, imposing a new, more solid and immanent objectuality, an entombed immobility of a future that is both present and past.
Yesterday I finished the painting The Pleasure of Deceit. It is 36″x48″ and is made with a gray acrylic latex background and green gouache.I started by drawing the image first and projecting it onto the canvas and marking all of my corners and intersections. I used a ruler to make my lines and then used very thin tape to mask out the white lines that make up the object; I usually don’t use tape to make my lines because it leaves a raised edge that I don’t like, which is what happened here, but time was of the essence as they say. I back painted over my tape with white paint and then rolled gray paint over the whole painting. After it dried I pulled off the tape, filled in any areas where the grey paint bled into my lines and then painted my green gouache over the white. I couldn’t get the blurring effect that I wanted between the acrylic latex and the gouache so I ended up using water to thin out my edges and I allowed some of the green residue to remain on the grey background which created a glowing effect. I originally planned for the image to be the other way around but I found that when I flipped it my eyes wanted to switch the perspective of the object which is what I had initially intended for the piece. I made the painting because there was a space at the back of the gallery that needed to be filled and I wanted to make a painting that incorporated the painting techniques that I used for Burning From the Inside and From Safety To Where…? and the optical illusions that I was dealing with in the series Opposition and Sister Squares are Reconciled. The image is taken from a section of A Theory of Forms and Ideas Isometric Perspective Pen and Ink Drawing #17.
Yesterday I installed at a gallery up in Rensselaerville called Way Out Gallery that will be showing from September 27th to October 12th. The curators came to see my studio about 8 months ago and they liked the A Theory of Forms and Ideas Small Scale Sculptures and the gouache paintings and some of the other minimal work that I had been working on so I decided to center the show exclusively on a minimalist aesthetic, combining work from both Future Living Projects and Minimalism Elite. I knew right away that I wanted to show The Architect’s Tomb, Journey Into the Realm of Reason and From Safety To Where…? since I had never shown them before and was excited for the opportunity to exhibit them together. I decided that I wanted to remake Burning From the Inside but make it the same size as From Safety To Where…? and using the same gouache and acrylic latex technique. I destroyed the first Burning From the Inside when I moved from my studio in Brooklyn because of dark spots that showed up after I varnished it which for me ruined the flatness of the surface. I also wasn’t happy with the hard edges or the plastic feeling that you get from acrylics.
I decided also to make another new painting for the back wall that is approximately 3’x4′ called The Pleasure of Deceit. The image comes from a section of one of the isometric perspective pen drawings from A Theory of Forms and Ideas series. I was originally interested in making a painting that used the same distortion of optical perspective as the Opposition and Sister Squares Are Reconciled Pen and Ink Drawings but settled on an image that, although I thought only partly created the illusion I was looking for, was nonetheless more interesting. I was originally going to make it black and white so that the only color in the show would be Journey Into the Realm of Reason but I decided that wanted it to have a specific color combination and to sacrifice the original concept for the show in favor of making a better and more interesting painting. I actually haven’t finished the painting yet and I plan on finishing it and installing it right before the opening.
I’ve been working on some statements for each piece and I’m calling the show Future Perfect which means “of or designating a verb tense or form indicating that the action or state expressed by the verb will be completed by or extended up to a time in the future.” I’ve been having a difficult time creating a context for putting Minimalism Elite and Future Living Project’s together so I think that it will be easier to just say that they’re from 2 separate but aesthetically related projects. Burning from the Inside and From Safety To Where…? actually exist in both projects.
Below are some photos of the show at the end of the installation. I framed all of the A Theory of Forms and Ideas Gouache Paintings individually and installed them so that 16 were on one wall and 8 were on the other. Ten of the A Theory of Forms and Ideas Small Scale Sculptures were installed in the middle of the gallery on 3 pedestals. I also decided early on to not install anything above The Architect’s Tomb to give it space and the curators snuck in one panel from the ICB series which I brought as an alternate for one of the walls. It turns out that it yellowed and the blue pen has started to fade but we hung it up anyway. At the bottom is a computer simulation of what The Pleasure of Deceit will look like.
I recently finished these four drawings from the series Opposition and Sister Squares are Reconciled. I made these for a call out for a show on “realism”, a term that I find troublesome, especially in the arts. I thought that it would be interesting to make “realistic” drawings of abstract objects in order to skew the line between what is seen as “real” and what is seen as “abstract”. The shaded areas create the illusion of three dimensional space while the isometric perspective creates a brief confusion, forcing the viewer to reconcile the visual disjunction.
I sent these 4 drawings as well as 4 drawings from the series A Theory of Forms and Ideas.
Here’s a small sculpture that I made at the beginning of February called Useless Machine. I made it out of 1/8″ balsa wood by first cutting two 1/4″x 5″ strips and spray soaking them with Windex which has ammonia in it and breaks down the cell walls for easy bending. After repeatedly bending them I clamped them to a bottle and let them dry overnight. In the morning I unclamped them and glued the two sides together. After it finished drying I sanded it, wood-filled it and sanded it again before painting it.
“They are useless because unlike other machines they do not produce goods for material consumption, they do not eliminate labour, nor do they increase capital.”
The design for the sculpture comes from Dieter Rams‘ design for a record platter cover. I originally wanted 3 rings but, after doing some experiments, found that it would be impossible to get them to look the way that I want them to.
Here are the backsides of Opposition and Sister Squares are Reconciled #1,#2,#3 and #4. I reshot them when I re-photgraphed the front sides.