John A. Hiigli
Throughout the history of art, geometry has been equated with perfection of natural order, and light has been perceived as the vehicle for spiritual transport. My work continues this tradition, using polyhedrons as a metaphor for nature (as “spatial panorama”), and color as a mode of transcendence. By transport I mean movement of the eye through the picture plane; by transcendence I mean going beyond the limitations of opaque oil paint through the use of transparent pigments. Thus the viewer is provided a “window of transport” through space, into the nucleus, and thus into infinity.
The process involves both simple structures and complex constructions. In the complex constructions, increasing numbers of polyhedrons having a common nucleus are embedded in a vector matrix. Within the largest structure is embedded a smaller structure, which encloses an even smaller third structure, and so on. This decreasing volumetric relationship (change of scale) between the structures produces the illusion of deep space as well as a sense of time.
Transparency is the key to the visual effect. The process of layering transparent paint plays with the formal constraints of painting. Geometric forms are perceived as flat like the picture plane, and are also perceived as volumetric, allowing the eye to enter to the focal center or nucleus of the complex polyhedral construction. “Passages” or the linkage of planes, which occurs with the layering allows the viewer to perceive geometries as both self-contained and constantly shifting. The comprehension of the form is linear and concrete, yet translucent and tenuous. These oppositions reveal the structure as process; and process, in turn, is inseparable from time. Time makes the concept of physical and spiritual transport complete!
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