Joanne Mattera

New York , New York, USA

My paintings are succulent in color and reductive or repetitive in composition. The grid has provided an underlying structure for much of my painting career. In an “aha” moment several years ago, I reoriented that grid on a diagonal axis. The skew allows me to think about composition and space in a way that I hadn’t before, quite literally to look at and think about my painting from a different angle.

In the ongoing Chromatic Geometry series, I apply diagonal thinking to a square field marked by the horizontal division of two hues. Compositionally you see triangles, but I’m thinking about the division of the diamonds into greater or lesser amounts above and below that division. Each little angle is a fulcrum that affects the equipoise of the field. It’s not mathematical, but it is precise, allowing me to resolve relationships of color and shape in a way that is new to me.

In Diamond Life I set the square en pointe. I like the way the corners push out while the painting paradoxically retains a state of perfect equipoise. As in Chromatic Geometry I have faceted the composition. In some paintings, the grid appears to be quietly disassembling; in others, all the pieces seem to have clicked into place.

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