On Simplicity

I've been toggling between complexity and simplicity for awhile now in my work. I love the challenge of creating complex visual structures and resolving their forms. Overlapping elements, transparency, and color dynamics are elements in this mode of working. I might try interlocking two abstract shapes ("Tango") or building a network of lines ("Proposition"). I often aim to create a bit of a puzzle or conundrum for the viewer -- after all, painting isn't "reality." Inside painting, we can resolve unresolvable physical situations or simply let irrational elements be irrational. We bring our own psychology to the making and viewing of art -- are we interested in figuring things out? Can we abide dissonance or absurdity? 

My other pole is towards a sort of radical simplicity. What is needed in a painting? Artists from Agnes Martin to Robert Ryman to Blinky Palermo have explored the edges of this territory and found compelling content in an aesthetic of less rather than more. In my "Truss" series, I have established parameters that guide the painting process: one brush, two colors, and a geometric structure that holds deep resonance for me are all that is needed. Of course, the variables of composition and color interaction are endless--as are the moods they create. From simplicity comes complexity, and the circle continues. 

 

 Truss I, 36" x 24", Oil on Canvas

Truss I, 36" x 24", Oil on Canvas

 Truss IX, 36" x 24", Oil on Canvas

Truss IX, 36" x 24", Oil on Canvas