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Jack Richeson and Co. Award.  A Pause I, 2018, acrylic on wood panel, 16"x16"

“The only example of minimalist abstraction among this year’s finalists, this painting is, deceptively, perhaps, a study of light; but it also shares its secrets  privately, in an organic geometric language all its own yet reminiscent of Agnes Martin.”

— Juror, Andrew Kent-Marvick

Artist Statement's for the Show:

What if the formal foundations for abstraction and non-objective art had developed organically alongside classical naturalism, beginning with the early Renaissance at the start of the 15th century?

Imagined this way, the stigmas of empty innovation for modernism’s sake — so often attached to modern art of the 20th century — and empty mimetic copy word for tradition’s sake — an attack still often leveled against the western canon by modern scholars — might never have materialized, allowing instead for the gestation of a rich amalgam of these two strains of European art. I begin each painting by considering a different period, style or school of art from the past, or the output of a single artist at a given moment in her career. I then try to identify those features of the art which are most likely to survive the transition from representation to abstraction, or from one form of abstraction to another. This is a personal process of formal response to visual prompts, not a disciplined analysis. I make no claim of accuracy, nor even of credibility for the images that result. If the viewer bears my premise in mind while viewing my paintings, however, both their differences from each other and the stylistic features they share will probably make more sense.

Juror’s Statement Regarding the Exhibition:

I am an art historian by profession, and I have painted nearly all my life. Although I have been an abstract painter for twenty years, I painted in a more or less traditional representational style for more than twenty years before that. I have never seen a good reason for the mutual mistrust that so often arises between these two modes of visual creativity. To me, the foremost questions attendant to the visual arts address issues of form; those issues are constant, whether they serve the visible world or simply the artist’s imagination. I am a lifelong enthusiast of the formal principles of art, which I see as a universal language that spans nearly all genres and traditions of visual culture. As a juror, I evaluate all the work that comes under my view with the same open mind and intense interest that the work of any sincere artist deserves.


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