Lane Banks

Dallas, Texas, USA

My work is insistently abstract, mathematical, conceptual in origin and geometric in appearance. It does not derive from perception, but is entirely constructed from numerical rhythms and proportions; it is concept made visible, a thought construction. The content of the work resides partly within the work itself and partly in the viewer’s apprehension of the mathematical structure that is made visible through geometry and not disguised by other subject matter. The color palette is limited to black, various greys, white, metallic silver, and granulated metallics, further distancing the work from observed colors in natural forms. These hues enforce the inherent geometry and are less likely to reference imagery or subject matter outside the concerns of the work. Silver, for example, due to its reflective properties, does not allow the eye to penetrate past its surface into spatial or illusionistic depth, but rather catches light and casts it back into the viewer’s space. The hues lend themselves to multiple readings in the relational context of the work; completely separate works placed in close proximity can visually unite across space.

Despite the fact that purely abstract art was invented nearly one hundred years ago, many viewers are still resistant to it, still wedded to the notion that art must derive from nature and must contain some vestige of appearance. Even though many of the ideas embodied in my work are not new, they are still challenging to many who believe that art should serve only the eye and not the mind.

The brushwork is as flat and anonymous as possible, increasing the distance from the artist’s hand toward objectivity and universality.

The work operates in the gulf between the direct experience of the work and the expectations established by the use of geometry. Geometry is inherently presumed to be pure, absolute, and stable, always yielding a predictable outcome. These works show that the use of geometry can result in multiple, unique solutions incorporating variety in a single system. The supposed certainty and absolute purity of geometry is ironically used to create ambiguity and shifting interpretations. Geometry is used to indicate that the work is a conception and invention of the intellect rather than a depiction of optical vision and the making of images of objects that can be seen in the physical world. Geometry therefore removes the idea that the work of art is the subjective expression of the artist’s feelings or emotions and replaces that notion with the idea that the work of art is a rational product of a concept that objectively generates the work.

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