A Visibility of Thought
Phoenix Gallery, NYC 2004
["Experience] is a visibility of thought
in which hundreds of eyes in one mind
see at once". Wallace Stevens
The paintings in this room are the first iterations of an idea that has been interesting me for some time. Prior to this series, I was painting very large-scale, energetic, pure abstractions whose prominent characteristic was the floating of shapes across and up and back through the pictorial space. I believe the paintings were successful, but wanted to explore more the implications of what I knew those shapes referred to thinking, the process of thinking, how consciousness adjusts to the actual present observed.
I want to know how we really see, not just physically, but how consciousness itself sees and I dont think it sees just one thing. Its sees the present, the complex and beautiful physical reality before it. It sees the less distinct, but still visible bits of memory. It senses its own energy and movement. It senses areas of vagueness or forgetting. The subject is elusive, but fascinating to me.How is it, for example that we can be looking at the corner of a table and, at the same time, see the yard we played in as a child? How do our preoccupations fill a room as we enter it? Why is thinking visual and in what way is it visual? Do our thoughts travel across the space of our minds? Do thoughts move through any space at all? If not, why do I sense such dimensionality? Further, if what is actually seen and what is felt seen were BOTH actually seen, how might these elements relate to one another visually?
In these paintings, multiple points of perspective, or fragments of language, or layers of images, some dimensional, some identifiable, some lost or transparent or abstract, (but all culled from personal sources: previous writings or paintings or photographs of revisted places), represent, to me, our many simultaneous modes of experiencing and processsing the moment, the highly recursive creative process, and the accomodation of all these things, somehow, with our understanding of who we are individually.
In addition to this, as a painter, I am interested in the simple formal resolution of the dynamics on the canvas, in light and form and color. So, here, light and thought, line and language, color and nature, drift and interweave, come towards us and receed into a space that remains mysterious even as we look right at it. Again, Wallace Stevens guides me here. He writes, "(She) wanted that/- to face the weather /and be unable to tell how much of it was light/ and how much thought."