Past meets Present
Having mounted 3 retrospective exhibitions over the past 4 years, I have enjoyed the opportunity to revisit many of the hundreds of the works I created over a 30 year span. For each retrospective, I included new works along with historical ones and was surprised to find many threads of consistency throughout the years. This NEXUS connecting the past to the present proved to be many faceted:
Starting work with an interesting form that inspires others
Reducing shapes to the abstract and the non-objective
Indulging in “word play” that evokes conversations/dialogues/storylines
Creating visual relationships that imply narratives without text
Surfacing work with designs and textures that enhance rather than obscure form
Constructing by pressing low fire clay into a variety of molds
Combining multiple pieces in a collage-like fashion
Relying on black and white as essential hues
Personifying forms to subconsciously reference the figure
Lacing works with underlying tidbits of humor
“Elaborate White Lie” was the first piece made for this exhibition. It illustrates my continued use of many of the 10 nexuses listed above. The large striped piece in the center is the interesting first form that inspired all the other abstract/non-objective forms that expand outward. The length of the horizontal format grew as pieces were added, removed and rearranged (much like one chooses pieces in a collage). During the collage stage, a mental exploration of possible surface designs and textures began. As the work grew ever longer, the visual relationships between the pieces seemed to fabricate an amusing story. To strengthen this narrative and to not obscure the purity of individual forms, a monochromatic color scheme was needed. White-on-white was chosen, smaller and more intricate forms were added and a portrait of a “little white lie” emerged. But the piece was neither little or simple -- it was large and complex and embroidered with mysterious content. “Elaborate White Lie” became so animated that it titled itself. Text was added and the “lie” was complete.
Preparing for my retrospectives allowed me to reconnect with previous work—like visiting old friends. Exploring ideas, forms, techniques and content from past works has informed my newest works in an exciting and refreshing way.
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