Closet Paintings 1995-2000
It was 1995, and abstraction was coming back. It was hard to find an artist statement that didn’t refer to fractals, but there were many other worldly referents such as industrial design, the graphic arts, and nostalgic elements of psychedelia. There also seemed to be a gender divide. The men’s work all seemed to be laser cut and cool, embracing Andy Warhol’s fear of hot paint. If women took abstraction up it would refer to textiles and weaving, or domestic motifs. The discourse of the body with a feminist agenda was being subsumed, and the mark of the hand was considered a bit too funky.
In 1992 I had curated a painting show about the gender divide I was seeing, trying to show work by men and women that somehow crossed over the binary. I was very interested in abstraction and wanted to get back to it, but wanted to also cross over the binary myself. I wanted to engage with the fast look of a graphic gestalt, but imbed it with a certain kind of laboriousness. As I remembered from my past abstract work, I found that starting from a blank canvas, with no referent or premeditated idea, was very hard to do. Under each painting were many other paintings, and for each painting the process felt like a nervous breakdown until it was finally resolved as an image.