With and Without Walls
Solomon Dubnick, 2009
For the past several years, I have been creating very large-scale, energetic paintings whose prominent characteristic was the floating of images over other images across and up and back through the pictorial space. Sometimes the connection between images was loose or random. Sometimes the drifting images echoed the dominant image behind. My interest was in how consciousness adjusts to the actual present observed and how we can see, both actually and psychologically, multiple things at once as, when remembering a face, one still sees the room one is in. Or, how when looking up at a cloudscape, one is still experiencing, and in some way seeing, the road that led to that vista point.
Recently, I have focused this inquiry on a particular old farmhouse in eastern Long Island a place of deep history, close proximity to nature, and of essential psychological importance to me personally. The house has recently been razed so many of the paintings have to do with the dismantling of space and its psychological structures, the unmooring of memory, and with the eternal forces of nature that both pre-exist and rush to fill any void of structure or meaning.
Here, multiple points of perspective, some dimensional, some identifiable, some lost, transparent or abstract, have become less about individual consciousness and more about the commonality of this experience of having had and having lost meaningful personal space, of surrendering ourselves, willingly or not, to the ultimate dominance (and beauty) of the forces of nature.