Statement for Soft Geometry exhibit, Gallery 25
I could describe this exhibition as an exploration of the duality of geometry within opposing criteria. Or something like that. The truth is Soft Geometry developed not from a singular idea, but through a sequence of events.
In the summer of 2007, I was working on a group of paintings in my Alternative Landscape collection that were to go to the Las Vegas Art Expo in September. On a whim I began to investigate what I could do with a very limited palette of Payne’s Gray and Ochre with geometric forms and heavy texture. It was different and rather entertaining – a diversion.
An old friend and mentor stopped by my studio one day to see the Vegas work, and was immediately drawn to the new geometric piece. We talked about it for quite some time, and because he was so interested and impressed by this new geometry, I sent a photo to my art consultant. He showed it to the head of his corporation and the word came back to me that this had to go to the Vegas Expo. Were there others in this series? My answer: sure there are others.
Well, others not painted as yet.
I spent the remainder of the summer painting seven more and got them to the show on time. I realized as the geometric forms were taking place that they were distinctly architectural, so to enhance that illusion I added horizon lines – three uniformly spaced in each painting. These arbitrary lines, the rectangular forms, the heavy texture and distinctive blue tonality of the Payne’s gray – brightened by an almost, but not quite complementary ochre – keep attracting more and more attention. I named them InnerCity. They were well received in Las Vegas, then went on to New York in November. I had planned a different exhibit here at Gallery 25 at that time, but was getting a bit of pressure to paint more in the geometric series. I did four more in late 2007.
During the dreary winter days I wanted to go back to the brilliant colors I love so much. Gray skies, gray paint – color was needed. So, January and most of February brought forth the Soft Geometry concept or SG for short. These have no connection to landscape, or the earth forms that will come out of my work even unintentionally at times. These were pure shapes and if anything akin to the real world it is in crystalline form. I like them. They make me feel good.
The next four weeks brought the finalizing of the ten InnerCity pieces here in this exhibit.
Soft Geometry – the InnerCity portion at least – will continue for some time. They received much attention at the New York Art Expo in late February into March. Phrases like ‘on the edge’ crept up in conversations with dealers and publishers, and negotiations are still going on. Those original eight didn’t make it home to be in this show, but I include prints of them as, to me, they are very much a part of the whole collection.
On the surface it seems this series is a vast departure from my last few years of painting organic forms and figures, nevertheless the colors and the textural attributes have recurred again and again in various ways for a very long time. They are also somewhat reminiscent of my computer graphics of twenty years ago.
Soft Geometry has taken over my studio the last few months, and I have totally enjoyed watching them emerge. What I found is the restrictions I applied to these works did not limit the variations and derivations, but rather have increased dramatically the possibilities. Funny how the more simple the parameters one sets the more possibilities there are for visual potential and deeper content.