Laura Sue King

Brooklyn, New York, USA

As much as they are geometric abstract paintings, the Flower Targets are cultural icons and self-portraits.

The image is centered on a wood panel, with the petals of the flower growing out of the largest circle, pressing almost to the outer edge of the support. The colors shift and alternate from darker and/or more saturated hues to gradually becoming lighter in some rings. The color steps create a viewing experience that is surprisingly slow, considering how limited the palette at first appears. The circles are precisely drawn in pencil with a compass and ruler. The acrylic paint is opaque and flat, carefully brushed on the plywood panel after it is coated with clear matte medium. No masking tape is used.

The grain of the wood is left to be itself, a familiar material that is simultaneously natural and man-made. The wood grain refers to nature both physically and metaphorically. It is a tree, while also being a picture of a tree. The acrylic is so solid and plastic that it reminds viewers of a certain era of a decal on a VW van. I did have a groovy childhood in California, with my bedroom walls plastered with silkscreened rock posters, a Madras bedspread billowing from the ceiling, and hand carved and cast animals from my father’s head shop scattered about.

While working on the paintings on wood I have concurrently developed a series of watercolor paintings. The works on paper present a soft, attenuated visual experience. Although the watercolor paintings are monochromatic, they can appear polychromatic because the layered washes create saturated centers and progressively lighter outer rings. The paper around the image is left unpainted and the drawing process is made evident by the residual lines of graphite. The bloom of watercolor washes, where pigment hugs the edges of pools of water as they dry, functions like the organic lines and shapes of the wood grain in the panel paintings. The viewing experience is both numinous and luminous.


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