I paint abstract pictures that assert clarity, order and exuberance. Naturally, someone might ask, “Do you really believe in these things? Now? At this point in history? What planet do you live on?” I can only reply that I see my paintings asserting these things despite myself, despite the fact that we all live with the ambiguity, disorder and terror that mark our times. Some filtered-down platonism must be driving me and my art. I think that’s why I continually return to the stability and eternal nature of geometric forms—squares, rectangles, and for fun, ovals.
More particularly, I am drawn to the early American modernists of the 1920s and 1930s. I know, of course, that the times have changed, and that I can’t just redo their accomplishments. Mass culture has now reached the point where it blunts our philosophical sensibilities with its exaggerated–almost hysterical–celebration of material goods. No matter what I do or think, it’s inevitable that something of the insatiable vulgarity of our popular culture will seep into my painting, even though I am classically driven. It would be futile to attempt to flee from that vulgarity. Besides, vulgarity has its own wondrous energy that I admire, and I want to use it, albeit in a tamed form.
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email Laurie Fendrich