GREG PARKER Congress Street Gallery
NOA WARREN Congress Street Gallery
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To view a film clip interview with Greg Parker by documentary filmmaker, David McDonald, click http://blip.tv/file/1244683 If unable to open link, google "greg parker blip tv."
Greg Parker Artist Statement
By employing universal qualities that please the senses, relax the spirit, invite engagement, one risks the danger of the work being defined in the superficial immediacy of the obvious qualities of the surface. But since they either seduce us emotionally or repel us by their easiness, they seem to be an appropriate starting point to explore many contradictions that reside in them.
I am often referred to as a modernist or even a minimalist because of the historical traditions that are conjured up by the grid, for example. I resist that labeling because I am not trying to make my work a process of reduction--stripping it of all the psychological, emotional or narrative elements to get at the purity and essence of a paintings' soul.
If you were to look at the Hudson River painters of the 19th century, one is subjectively and romantically led to a stylized beauty intended to invoke a sense of wonder, grandeur and maybe a moral/spiritual dilemma. We look at this beauty in a calm and reassuring way, but beneath this initial pastoral experience lies a certain tension that suggest the corruption of that reassurance.
In the case of my paintings, their physical shape shifting and identity flux encourages a moral ambiguity. The more you see, the less you know. But in that place of uncertainty and a lack of answers, we discover a familiarity of our own inconclusive identity. This is not a debate about dualism--chaos vs. order, good vs. evil, but a simultaneous condition of competing issues without conclusion.
The simultaneity of different geometric strategies and layers of paint is a compression of formal ideas. This compression becomes a metaphor that explores the simultaneous experiences we have in life. These experiences are not about comparisons, polarities or competing interests. It is the compression of experiences and feelings that exist without dialogue or judgment. They co-exist in the same space/time reference and require no explanation or answers. It also is not about doubt or indecisiveness; it's about the very familiar awareness' of multiplicity in the self.
The illusiveness is not a game or a puzzle to be solved. It's a reflection of the self coming to terms with an identity that doesn't have answers, nor needs them. And as one's experiences with the work deepen, the mysteries intensify, causing the viewer to question their complacency about their own self-awareness. A collective experience gained by viewing these paintings over time, with our own personal associations, allows us to own their contradictions. The geometric "systems" are so familiar and pragmatic that we initially do not challenge their rationality. The richness and elegance of the surfaces are seductively inviting, but what risk do we take by being confronted by their allure? We move through their power to discover hidden agendas, our own.
We need not have answers about our underlying paradoxes. What we need is reflection--time and space to let our preconceptions unravel, to rejoice in our complexities and ambiguities, place to be, rather than a place to hide or conquer.
Noa Warren Artist Statement
The surface is made with the eye and the mind, it has no thickness, and it is an idea. The surface is simultaneously the mythical foundation of the 2nd dimension and the physical expression of three-dimensional material.
These works are representations of graph paper. I am interested in these sheets as objects that are used to plot and coordinate designs in unreal space. By altering and drawing these grids, I am exhibiting them as objects and tools of realistic perspective rather than icons of high modernism.
My process is an exploration of perceptual distinctions between actual and artificial surfaces, between objects and two-dimensional representations. I am interested in the splintering technical and material applications dictating those barriers, which initiate and terminate what we decide is real.
I would like this work to encourage viewers to consider the inherent degree of fraudulence in human sight, that our visual perceptions of the world, the surfaces we see, are not entirely accurate or complete. Our eyes detect light reflected from materials and the resulting perception is an estimate, subject to abstractions. Light can be distorted in color and direction and as sense organs, our eyes, are similarly compromised.
I am compelled to exhibit this work with the hope that the consideration of these limits of human understanding may encourage viewers to engage in a playful, adventurous and humble approach to their visual contexts.