Steve Karlik

Brooklyn, New York, USA

Visual tension is the key element that holds a painting together and keeps it tough, keeps it interesting and sincere.

In reductive abstraction I see painting as sets of relationships that structure a surface; geometric forms provide the structure that permits a degree of push/pull between the art object’s two-dimensional space and its objecthood.

Tension and Compression

In 2010 I began taking painting apart, first metaphorically, then actually, reassembling color and form beneath, between and atop sheets of glass to see how form and structure worked with and against each other in response to the surface. The result was a bi-dimensional project where weight and form hover as an intact space with form breaking its predefined surface orientation.

Tension and compression describes a structural underpinning that keeps bridges standing; in the studio it becomes a game and through the work a bit of dance, a bit of play. I am, however, looking specifically at tension and compression as an answer to a structural concern, employing it to tilt and to hang, to provide illusion making the work float, letting the concept shape the work and define an aesthetic.

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