Tuesday, January 18, 2011

New Year : : New Work

"An emblem representing either impersonal rationality or otherworldly spirituality,
the grid offered an endlessly self-generative starting point to which the artist
could return anew."
-- Susan Rosenberg, in Warren Rohrer (exhibition catalogue,
Philadelphia Museum of Art), p 13.

Essence, oil on canvas, 32 x 32 inches, © 2011 Diane McGregor

My first painting completed in this New Year is a breakthrough painting, the kind of focused realization that all artists hope to stumble across as they move forward on their creative evolutionary path. I have been working with the grid since 2006. My most recent process-driven paintings have been using the grid as the foundation of the whole enterprise, in that their surfaces are slowly built up of vertical and horizontal brushstrokes. But the grid has not been part of the work in an obvious way, it was more theoretical than visually manifested. The other day, inspired by one of my favorite artists, Agnes Martin, I decided to make use of the grid as the focal point of the composition. Through the interface of the permanent with the accidental, these paintings employ the discipline and repetition of the grid while referencing the essence of Nature and the landscape. Implications of infinity and vastness echo the visual and emotional experience I have of the New Mexican landscape.

Below is a detail of
Essence. The work is extremely labor-intensive, but I thoroughly enjoyed painting each little rectangle, as if it were it's own minimalist abstract painting. This work continues my efforts to bring a meditative quality to both the process as well as to the visual impact of the finished painting.

Essence, detail, © 2011 Diane McGregor