Sunday, August 19, 2012

Amy Feldman: Abstract Painter

Dark Selects Exhibition at Blackston Gallery in L.E.S.

Amy Feldman had a small solo show at Blackston Gallery last month and was part of a small group show at Art Bridge.  I like her art... Large (apparently heavily primed) canvases with simple ,mostly centered, abstract and monotoned compositions made in dark grayish blue acrylic.  They remind me of enlarged drawings... A bit like Franz Klein's paintings.  She succeeds in making this jump from looking like small doodles to large gestural paintings which is more difficult to do than you think.  Her paintings are fresh and made for galleries because of their large size.  Amy's use of positive and negative space together with the drippy loose bush work adds to their lightness despite their size.  Some seem to even boarder on OP art because of the contrast of pos/neg space and use of geometric shapes .  The quality i favor most in her work is the imperfect rough edges of the shapes she paints; she doesn't shy away from the hand painted look... In fact the contrast of the geometric forms that make these  compositions with the organic edges adds a richness to these paintings that give them an interesting quality.  Moreover there are many subtleties in these works once you move your attention away from their bold shapes/composition.  There are specks of tan paint, dry textured brush strokes, and sometimes an upward tapering off of the thickness of the stretcher bars.  The latter of the three is most exciting... You might not ever notice unless you're used to looking at the sides of stretched canvas.  Awesome work Amy... Hope to run into you someday and talk more about your art.

Below is a small section of her interview that Amy did with Valerie Brennan of Studio Critical (an abstract art blog)...

I always make drawings before I do paintings to get some idea about how I want to execute the paintings. Generally, the paintings stray far from my thumbnail sketches, but it’s really about the attitude of the drawings that I am interested in. I’m nonchalant about it and take many liberties, sometimes cutting into them and reassembling. Often my drawings are made on junky paper that I buy at the drug store. They are pretty quick and matter-of-fact. When I paint, I try to transfer a similar casualness to the paintings yet retain a specific poise.
After I make sketches, I often begin the paintings by “drawing” directly on the canvas with blue tape. Usually, I am working on multiple supports. The tape allows me to get a rough idea how the large forms will look. I always photograph the paintings with my phone before removing the tape so I can refer to the photos while I am making the painting. I then lay down a few layers of a colored ground and sometimes repeat the taping process, making changes. When I begin to use paint on the blank canvas, I have a loose vision about how I want the painting to look, but don’t hold myself to it and it often changes. I let the paint drip where it wants to go, but at the same time I am sensitive to the axis of the painting, its borders and how the forms are interacting. Sometimes the painting is left as is—take it or leave it. But other times, if I can’t articulate a particular awkward and seductive quality that I’m after, I will rework the painting. From time to time, I will mask out peephole-like areas at random that I work with later or I will just paint over the whole thing and start over.

Note the speckled ochre paint, the drips, and the "dry brush" strokes

Note the tapering of the width of the canvas

Ms. Behavior Exhibition at Art Bridge Drawing Room

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