My paintings show my interests in formal composition. Strictly geometric shapes and flat colors are mingled with organic lines and amorphous color. They evoke an illusive space and thus allude to objects, landscape, even the figure. Yet they remain abstract, never specifically representing anything other than the painted surface. I want my paintings to be metaphorical in the sense that although they depict nothing abstracted, they are “as-if” alternatives to our experiences in the world.
One of the frequent themes in my work is centered on an urban or architectural order of form where shapes fit and stack like girders and blocks and yet are somewhat askew, bending and tilting like a figure or something alive. I want to show the orderly under the stress of chaos and try to combine them into a dynamic presence. At the same time I try to create an image of perfect openness to our desires for it. I want my paintings to be as though anonymous and empty of meanings. I think of them as our willing surrogates. They become what we wish and they reflect our meanings.
In another way I sense the burden of art history in geometric shapes. What weary duties they have performed as the vehicles of portentous theory and lofty idealism! I like to think of them as children, given freedom from the strict classroom of earlier modernism to play and make-believe. Thus I make room for play, subversion, and impulse as I paint, but there’s always a rule that holds, somewhere.
contact & information
more information about the artist
email William Conger