The Eye’s Joy: Paintings
Many of my paintings during the past decade have had their formal origins in the various gardens in my life, and I have drawn thematic material from within an intersection of poetry and those gardens as specific places. Although these various sources may not always be immediately apparent on the canvas, they are there nonetheless, filtered deep into my visual memory and into the instincts of hand, color, shape, and composition. I was raised with gardens and gardening, and continue to maintain a garden of my own. I draw and paint from it throughout the cycles of seasonal change, taking formal and organization ideas from it. And as a painter, I have given careful study to artists who worked with similar motifs, from Monet and Bonnard to Cy Twombly and Joan Mitchell. An element of kinship is perhaps inevitable.
Atmospheric Conditions: An Exhibition of Works of Paper
For me, the very term “work on paper” differentiates the format from conventional ideas and biases related to “drawing.” Paper refers simply to the ground on which the image is made, while the medium itself remains much nearer in spirit to painting than to the common conceptions of drawing as a mode of study, visual reference, or exercise. The work on paper can have the directness and understatement of drawing, yes, but even as it adheres to the particular appearance of its materials, its specific surface and quality of presence, its own visual possibilities, it can achieve the force, energy, and concentration of painting.
Some notes regarding the use of the object
As an artist, I give particular attention to materials and process, and my sense of each has always been expansive and incorporative. Those tendencies were encouraged by my teachers, Jay DeFeo and Manuel Neri especially. Both were products of the Beat era in the San Francisco Bay Area, and they contributed to the early development of strong, still-durable assemblage and funk traditions in the region. Assemblage came naturally to them. It was simply how they built. The integration of objects into an artwork was compatible with my own inclinations, and I soon absorbed the technique into my own practice. Since then, I have looked carefully at other artists who use objects: David Smith, as one example, Stephen de Staebler, Oliver Jackson, Robert Rauschenberg. Each has been a source of valuable information.
No Greater Love: The Stations of the Cross
No Greater Love consists of fourteen assemblage works in both wall- and pedestal-mounted formats, intended for display as a flexible, unitary installation adaptable to any exhibition space. Although the individual pieces correspond to the narrative iconography of the Stations of the Cross, a familiar visual feature of the Roman Catholic church sanctuary, they contemplate the ritual of Christ’s suffering and crucifixion from a perspective at once personal, poetic, and sympathetic to the women who participated in it, figures relegated by the traditions of religious practice to secondary, passive roles. No Greater Love should not be approached only in a religious context, however, perhaps not even chiefly so. It is complete as a work of art engrossed in material, sculptural concerns, while at the same time, it represents a wide-ranging meditation on the complex nature of culture, on the interactions of religious (spiritual) and cultural (secular) iconographies, on gender and family history and memory, and on the array of meanings that develop within these combinations of elements.