Sunday, January 8, 2012

Piled Up Perceptions

This phrase -- piled up perceptions -- has been stuck in my mind.  I think I made it up but when it floated into my head recently it felt so important , like the answer to the impossible question : what am I trying to to paint?   

I'll try to put it into some words and examples.  It has to do with the content.  Piled up or accumulated memories -- but not a specific memory of a one time occurrence -- rather the compilation of the same thing happening over again (i.e. sitting at the table in fall with a cup of coffee, walking down my street in the winter)  Trying to express the sensations of these rituals in regards to the weather, light, smells, perspective etc.

Second is trying to formally replicate these perceptions.  Picturing this swimming image in my mind I use color, composition, etc. to try to express this.

I find myself creating compositions where everything is stacked on top of each other, or floating around the perimeter. I use graphic patterns as a relief from this -- as somewhere to latch onto and rest -- as I see it in my mind.  Everything is a bit blurry but the pillowcases' checkered pattern. 

This search is why I respond so immediately to these artists and works:   

Kyle Staver Before Breakfast 2003

Jonas Wood Gus's Room 2007 (look how space collapses right in the middle of the painitng!)

Pierre Bonnard, Nude in the Bathtub, 1935

Tshuta Kimura, The Fountain in the Clos-Saint-Pierre, 1972

 Mamma Andersson, Untitled, 2009

David Park, title and date unknown

Elisabeth Cummings, The Shearer's Kitchen, Mt. Murchison, 2011

Chie Fueki, title and date unknown


derrick quevedo. said...

There is definitely constant movement in all the examples you use, and in your own work as well. The perspective play in all the objects makes everything feel disparate yet harmonious in arrangement. The compression of "stacking" into the compositional space adds an exciting tension to scenes we don't generally think of as thrilling.

Aubrey Levinthal said...

Yes...constant movement! That's interesting...I do love when it seems like a piece just keeps changing as you look at it. And yes, I think trying to show things that are commonplace in a way that they seem odd and/or pertinent in some way is important to these artists and my work too. Thanks Derrick--wish your studio was just across the hall still!

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