C. Morey de Morand
To me, geometric abstraction carries an immediate shock of its experience. It arises from an order in one’s mind that is then brought into being. Precise relationships carry infinite possibilities with clarity. Unlike representational art, which can fall short or disappoint, straight lines and geometric angles are not a stand-in substitute. A whole experience is created with its own rules and universal qualities, not how much something else can be conveyed.
My concerns are with time, layering, abstraction. Each work carries the essence of itself, of intensity, art, duration. The experienced, lived-through aspect is intrinsic. The paintings are themselves the image and record of their process with a painterly and intuitive investigative approach that follows its own rules. Starting from various sources, which may be intense emotions, evanescent light, chance congress of patterning, or a color, they gradually, through stages and layering of thought, become clarified, creating their own validity.
Using the simplest, clearest expression without anecdote, the paintings connect energy, intellect, feeling and time. There is something unexplored in everything because we are accustomed to categorizing; our eyes are conditioned by the memory of what others have thought before us about what we are looking at. Focusing to the essence enhances seeing as if for the first time—newness.
Made by a kind of intuitive synthesis, the paintings float in infinite space, shifting layers that are neither figure nor ground, or are both figure and ground, while always being of the surface– i.e., no deep illusionist space as in figurative painting. This space is a density, a tangible property of the surface which is then destabilized by the grids and shifting planes. Drawn in through the layers of the painting, the gaze weaves in and out of these layers.
Using a very focused and concentrated technique of layering with marble dust and various acrylic mediums, juxtapositions and repetitions are explored in a contemporary context inspired by geometric classicism. With extreme attentiveness to the material conditions, each painting reveals itself. Gradually the destination of the painting is dictated by the work. It is a dialogue, continuing until it feels right; the painting itself is the determinant. All the combinations of activities and traces are preserved in the interest of contemplation.
From Constructivism to Modernism, my paintings build on that strong influence and historical development. From Malevich, Mondrian to the present, there are clear connections. Matisse, Barnett Newman, Andy Warhol, Patrick Caulfield, Bridget Riley–those are some of the artist influences, but there are many more undoubtedly. Everything I look at. What is in the air now.
The paintings take a long time to do. Leading up to each work is a slow concentration, both in the thinking, sketching, decision-making, developing time; then in their layering, constructing, intense painting. As I do one layer or section, I then react to that and proceed from there. They are about layering and then revealing. The apparent simplicity is the result of rigorous focusing. Ultimately this creates time and space banking up immense energy.
The work is ongoing. Every stage leads to infinite possibilities. Working every day, as I do, I am completely immersed in the present of the piece, and then, by itself, the work changes, leading me on to another development. It is work-driven in that the paintings have their own lives. Although I am painting and making the works, I am also in a way an observer–as much surprised at every turn as anyone else. That is the creative impulse that leads.
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