Alex Queral

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

I paint with line and color or line and tone because I enjoy the challenge of trying to create a visually compelling piece within very limited parameters. It’s kind of like knowing only one language, but learning to use that language to its fullest potential for expression. Working in black and white is exciting to me because it’s a further distillation of the process. There’s also something beautiful about black and white and the tones in between that is different from color, much the same way a classic black and white movie is different from one in color.

The work is improvisational. Starting out, it almost doesn’t matter where the lines fall, but by the time the painting is close to completion, each new line takes quite a bit of time to find its place. Somewhere during the middle of the creation of the painting, it starts to tell me what to do next.

The work hints at or alludes to a primordial, pre-elemental, pre-geometric “world” where light particles are bouncing about and colliding at high speed. As they do so, they leave a line in their wake that will eventually in some future time coalesce with others to create the first square, triangle, etc. In this existence, the curvilinear line has yet to occur. The first particle to collide with another particle in a way that results in a curved trajectory has yet to happen—at least, that’s how I rationalize the lack of curvilinear geometric pre-shapes.

The work is process oriented, and I believe that was influenced by my stint at printmaking, which is very process oriented, when I was in graduate school.


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