Regardless of my own aesthetic choices, I am continually moved by the power of a full spectrum — what actually happens between colors, and that transformation at the hands of a sensitive, skilled colorist. Here are two I know, both experienced, who use color deftly and in very different ways but within a shared language.
Steven Alexander installation, The World at Large, Gremillion & Co. Fine Art, Housto
Running into Steven Alexander — his eloquent work and words, and sensitive, generous nature — has been very special. Steven makes abstract paintings characterized by luminous color, sensuous surfaces and simple geometric configurations. He is an Associate Professor of Art at Marywood University, and has been Artist in Residence at Studio Art Centers International in Florence, Italy and Visiting Artist/Professor of Art at Parsons School of Design in New York, Marywood University/France, Anjou & Paris, and Austin Community College, Austin, Texas. Steven is represented by Gremillion & Co. Fine Art, Houston, Denise Bibro Platform, New York City and Ruth Morpeth Gallery, Hopewell, NJ.
In his own words:
“Sometimes the studio can be a fairly raucous place. Sure, there is plenty of time spent sitting, staring at stuff in progress, waiting for the motivation, energy or clarity required to make the next move.
Steven Alexander The Primrose Path, , 2007, 48 x 36 inches, acrylic on canvas
But when things are in motion, it becomes a place where much happens at once, and where actions are often accompanied by a din of sound — thick, layered and pulsating, moving in and out of focus — symbiotic with the labor, the color and viscosity of the painting process. Recently addressed works in progress lay drying under large fans — the more stuff to dry, the louder the dense hum of the fans. The louder the fans, the louder the music — overtones of both combining and colliding to form disembodied drones. Often during a cycle of work, one piece of music will be played over and over for the entire duration — the repetition seeming to deepen the focus — the music sustaining a specific poetic relationship with the decisions being made.
Steven Alexander Vibrolux, 2009, 16″ x 158″, acrylic on 7 canvases
But then, at a certain point in the process of each painting, it is necessary to completely change the atmosphere. Guston once talked about the the whole laborious painting process leading up to the final fifteen minutes when everything comes together. Well, it may be more than fifteen minutes, but the final stage of each piece is indeed where it all happens — the culmination, the payoff — and it is the most relaxed and satisfying part of the process. That’s when the music and the fans are turned off — when a different, more acute focus kicks in. There is only the sound of the trowel sliding across the surface, the taps and clanks of tools and paint buckets on the table as they are chosen, discarded, shuffled around — a subtle awareness of the sound and rhythm of my own breathing and the scuff of my shoeheels on the concrete floor. In this zone, several hours can pass in an instant — and the expanse, the stillness, the silence that is the essence of painting becomes a physical presence in the room.
Steven Alexander Meteor Beach,
2008, 96 x 96 inches, acrylic on 4 canvases (Hines Collection, NYC )
My work is an exploration of relations that reside in the constant flux of pure sensory events. I am interested in the interaction between the painting and the viewer’s imagination and experience; in the painting’s catalytic potency – it’s potential to generate unspecified mobile meaning.
Color operates in this work and in the world as a kind of pure energy, dynamic, capricious, evocative. The surfaces emphasize the sensual rather than analytical nature of the painting process, and attest to the pervasive presence of time. Within the structures of the work, archetypal relations of male/female, earth/sky, internal/external are inevitably implied; not as opposing forces, but as interdependent aspects of an animate whole. In this sense, the paintings might be regarded as open-ended cosmologies, or as chunks of raw reality, unencumbered.
Steven Alexander Shine Eye, 2009, 48″ x 36″, acrylic on canvas
I am trying to build, out of color and substance, a place for the viewer’s consciousness – where unexpected associations and resonances may occur, where past and future merge with the present moment, and the stuff of life, love and desire has corporeal presence – states of being, embodied in paint. “
Steven Alexander 2009
Willy Bo Richardson
Willy Bo Richardson
is an abstract painter living and working in Santa Fe, NM. His work can be seen at William Seigal Gallery
in Santa Fe, Gallery Sakiko
and Nohra Haime Gallery
, NY, New York, and Fresh Paint Art Advisors
, Los Angeles, CA. Several months ago, we were fortuitously connected by a gallery in Santa Fe because of notable similarities in our work. What a nice find… I have been moved by his translucent surfaces of veiled color, and sensitive use of scale. And by his articulate meanderings about his work:
Willy Bo Richardson Poseidon I, 114 x 53 inches, 2008
“Poseidon was painted under a tin roof on a hilltop with rain, lightning and thunder crashing down. I don’t know if you’ve ever been under a tin roof with rain- but it’s right there with it.
Willy Bo Richardson Poseidon, Oil on Canvas, 53 x 114 inches, 2008
“Natural surrounding is important. I have a love/like relationship with NM. I like the desert, and sometimes really crave it, but generally head for the mountains. Skiing is incredible in Taos. You can also hike up from the last chair to mountain peaks — a snowy mountain with Tibetan prayer flags is actually up in Taos.