Basically / Actually Paintings Dialogues
The show in the front is titled "Basically Paintings". Artists included are Lucía, Camíla Léon, Debora Lynn Manville, and myself. The focus is digital painting, but with a turn away from what that normally evokes. Everyone had worked on a screen then printed the work except for Lucía. She had made her "paintings" by arranging pieces of colored paper. Ironically, her practice is the most digital insofar as the paintings are made of equal digits of paper squares, and are also handmade, taking the word "digital" back to its Latin root. With the term "digital" thus contextualized, the other works are free of certain contemporary associations.
The reason why I choose you to show with us is because of how painterly your work is as well as how I think it will add substance to the concept.
Jennifer Lord 05/22/2018
I do think that my work, while being painterly, shares the simultaneity and multi-linear elements of digital aesthetics.
I like the title, "Basically Painting," and concept of expanding the digital (computer created) to its root (individual units). Also, basically can refer to fundamental or foundational or primarily, making space for analog? paintings too?
I see the digital influence in your work. I could not articulate what that influence was, however. I just could tell that though the paintings belong in a history of painterly abstraction, this is the type of work that would not have been made prior to the 2000's. The terms you use: "the simultaneity and multi-linear elements of digital aesthetics" aren't in my vocabulary. Could you explain them to me?
Technically, pointillists are kinda precursors to the screen and to the digital print. They are analog digital artists, just like Lucía's work in this show. My concern with physical painting in relation to digital aesthetics is that painting might fall into the trap of merely imitating digital motifs like glitches. I could see how doing so would produce something very attractive, but ultimately gimmicky. There is some way for painters to learn from digital aesthetics without merely manually printing screenshots or just creating reactionary statements.
I think the glitch is interesting insofar as it's a consequence of some failure for an image to be coded correctly or for a computer to read the code correctly. The screen I'm working on now is glitched out because I dropped my computer once. The consequence of the mishap is usually something oddly beautiful. Interesting to think of how to translate that over to painting, but this is just an example. I'd also say the way icons are organized on a desktop could serve as an interesting influence for composition.
Jennifer Lord 05/23/2018
I'm taking "Simultaneity" from Sonia Delauney as well as traditional Chinese landscape paintings (Mountain Water paintings). In my work there are multiple views/ perspective experienced/depicted simultaneously. The rhythms of quickening dissonant colors and slow harmonious ones create dynamic movement. Simultaneity in Delauney's sense was a real celebration of modern life, airplanes, radio wave, cinema, automobiles, dresses, paintings, machines experienced all together, inseparable, simultaneously. This phenomena has only increased with the screen and the digital. A digital simultaneity would be tabs, screen in screen, gifs, moving images within static spaces, multiple windows, surfing, or being in one's phone while in any space or situation.
Multi-linear, in juxtaposition to linear, non-linear, fragmented times and spaces. Multi- linear narratives/spaces allowing for simultaneous (irreconcilable) realities. An integrity/wholeness expressed through multi-linear spaces in my paintings. Multiple times/places/events expressed at once, a cinema of painting.
I like what you said, "though the paintings belong in a history of painterly abstraction, this is the type of work that would not have been made prior to the 2000's." I think that this is related to the glitch. Reflecting on my process of working through the lens of the glitch, I can frame the way I make in terms of creating glitches through colors and marks in the visual field. These marks/glitches are then developed, responded to, painted over, and left to interrupt.
I think that it is useless for painting to imitate anything be it digital motifs or a still life. And I agree that painting has something to learn from the digital that doesn't just end in gimmick or isn't reproducing screenshots. I think that all art forms can learn from the principles of each other. I use strategies from poetry, ikebana, digital-culture, traditional eastern arts, orogenic processes, etc.
Your interpretation of Sonia Delauney's "Simultaneity" is exactly the type of thing I feel like painters can benefit from. Thanks for adding that term to my vocabulary. It's a concept abstract enough to be interpreted into paint without implying that paint should serve to imitate something "more relevant". It is painting's deep history that keeps it from ever losing relevance, though it might at times be difficult for a painting to compete for a viewer's attention in the midst of more novel mediums. The impact of painting isn't expressed in a single piece, but in a history of paintings in which all are expressive of their epoch while still participating in a tradition. A kind of historical intermediary. It's interesting to think of how your paintings are inspired by both digital imagery and Chinese landscape painting. While I see these influences, as well as the influence of abstract expressionism, I wouldn't say the work is "about" digital culture nor illustrating any Confucian themes. Maybe there is some of the sublime in there, but not in the macho modernist vein. Mainly, I see a kind of exploration what paint, that physical stuff, can do, which is always seductive.
Jennifer Lord 05/31/2018
I agree that the deep history of painting, going on upwards of 40,000 years, will keep it from ever losing relevance. For me, the experience of viewing and being with a painting directly is very important. The influence of traditional Chinese landscape paintings in my work lies in this vein. That tradition cultivates the idea of yun chi or making images that express lifeness or have a living quality, which I think touches the sublime. You are right on in talking about/seeing my exploration of what physical paint can do. Mark making, process, “finding the painting” as Lucia called it, is actually a huge part of why and how I paint.