Materialists

Exhibition Dates: January 2 - 25, 2014

Reception: Thursday, January 9, 6 - 8 pm

 Nils Hill

Nils Hill

 Jeffrey Collins

Jeffrey Collins

The Painting Center is pleased to present MATERIALISTS, a group exhibition of new works by Jeffrey Collins, Art Guerra, Nils Hill and Anders Knutsson. The exhibition will run from January 2 to January 25, 2014 with an opening reception on January 9, 6 – 8 pm. Materials have often been of particular importance to painters working in the abstract mode. The chosen materials are designated to define the work on the physical level as being an object - a thing rather than a picture. Each of these four painters strives to deeply understand their chosen material - be it a rare mineral, an ordinary tube paint or glass beads and old tires - in order to transform and explore new and unknown artistic possibilities. Monochrome, or “all-over painting”, has never been a formal style of painting or –ism. Timeless as far as modernism goes, it refers to a canvas covered in paint-material from edge to edge and from corner to corner, in which each area of the composition is given equal attention and significance. With an allover composition, one’s eyes are invited to wander the canvas from the top to the bottom, following lines, shapes, and colors. The monochrome is a form of democracy - one part or feature is not more important than another. As in space, there is no horizon.

Balance is very important to Collins. His paintings have eradicated representational imagery so that the focus can be on color and texture. The texture has an element of action that is produced through the use of brushes and knives. Applying heavy bodied acrylic paint often mixed with other ingredients, the paint surface becomes a symbolic topographical map of a place never seen – foothills of texture guide one through its peaks and valleys. For Collins, the final painting becomes a complete whole in itself, more than the sum of its parts. http://www.jeffreycollins.us/

Guerra is an artist who makes his paint from beginning to end, using outrageously “outside-the-box” materials, as well as traditional ones. He paints in layers, paying equally close attention to the underpainting and over-painting, and working until a previously unseen visual effect reveals itself. In these works, much of the painting’s surface is covered by glass beads of various sizes, as well as glass flakes. He colors beads and flakes with transparent and light reflective pigments. The beads reflect in a 300+ degree arch, while the flakes reflect directly back at the viewer. Effect-pigments shift color through interaction with the existing environment. In essence, the painting will reflect in a myriad of ways, depending upon both its surface as well as the prevailing ambient light. He also uses other media, such as tire rubber, to tone down the surface in order to intensify the reflective elements. For Art, the painting process represents a form of alchemy: straightforward and, quite simply, pure fun. http://www.artguerra.info/

Nils Hill’s painting process begins with one small graphite pencil-mark on a rigid support. Working intuitively, he creates more marks in response to the first. At a certain point, color is introduced in the form of a transparent acrylic wash or glaze. As subsequent layers of color are added, the mark-making is altered through addition and subtraction. Sometimes marks are "picked-out" with white. Though some paintings seem monochromatic at first glance, upon closer inspection they reveal a wider palette. His works are intimate and contemplative; one needs to spend time for the painting to "reveal" itself. In his paintings, movement and vibration, often in its most subtle form, shapes the work. As the viewer is engaged, these vibrations evoke a deeper resonance. arvid@aol.com

Anders Knutsson has always explored surface structure in his painting. He began experimenting with waxes, varnishes and oils in the late 1960s. Control of all the materials and ingredients allowed him to manipulate these variables including, the viscosity and transparency, independently of each other. For him, painting is phenomena and noumena, matter and memory, an act of faith as well as an act of painting. “Color is, after all, a sensation, a mental and emotional interpretation of what the human eye records. It has spiritual, esthetic, psychic and physiological qualities”. The intrinsic essence of these paintings is the transformation of material energy into the experience of the painting itself. By reducing his paintings to pure color, Anders is inviting the viewer to explore the medium of paint thereby removing the painting from a social context. It is the paint itself therefore that functions as a strong sensory element, rather than its illusion. In his recent paintings he has returned to the monochrome expression of his 1970’s and 1980’s work, although with accumulated experience and fresh perspective. His paintings are no longer experimental; they are confident expressions of his lifelong journey as an artist. www.andersknutsson.com