Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Sequentiality, Abstraction and Representation

(click on image to enlarge)

I've been working on a series of sequences (so comic strips, actually) as planning for several new stone lithos which will be leporellos, yet also I am working toward "gallery comic" installations as well. I'm attempting to make them ride the line between apparent abstraction and loose representationalism. Hence, as my art school profs would have it, they are indeed abstract, at least abstracted, but not fully non-representational. My work of this nature is usually quite large and the surfaces are very haptic, so scale and surface enter into it as well: due to them, many people do not notice any representations at all. Reproduced small, as on this website, the impression is of course quite different, but I very intrigued by the idea of flirting with but defying full abstract AND full delineation.


  1. The idea is not new, but it is good I think. To a large extent this is how modernism began, but I think where Art History maight get the closest to what you're talking about is in the Futurist's Paintings which use alot of implication of movement and poly-temporality.. Or even Duchamp's famous Nude Descending a Staircase. In a formal linguistic sense, everything is abstracted, becuase the term
    also means 'drawn out of' or something like
    separated and made unto itself. We abstract our sustenance out of food. A Thesis' Abstract is a kind of summation. I think it's important to bring these ideas back to the surface because a lot of times jargon limits our total understanding of materiality, and that includes
    the materiality of immateriality.

  2. Interesting. The way I read the strip I was looking at a representational portrayal of the formation of a tire mark on a road. I saw the car leap, land, create friction, and the result of that friction.

    By portraying everything so slightly only a tidbit of visual information for each moment you do create an interesting level of viewer participation. It is at first abstract but after consideration and imagination it becomes representational in the mind of the viewer.

  3. Yeah, I've been interested too for a long time in working, basically, at the edge of recognizability--in my ongoing piece, "Ruins," I have been working just over that edge--you can see the first few pages here (scroll down):
    --and in "24 x 24" I was working right under it, but still so as to suggest something possibly recognizable (but never definite)--I discuss this in an upcoming interview, actually, I'll link to it as soon as it goes up.

  4. I like that term, Andrei, "edge of recognizability"! My version is due to my own musings, clearly (and I am very aware of art history Phanero., I'm an art historian and artist, like Andrei). But a big influence is also Gene Colan, and strangley, through him, Jackson Pollock and Velasquez. The scale and facture, are, of course, missing, as I said.

  5. Andrei, you are very good at that line between recognition and confusion. I think you hit that extremely well. Sometimes I try to hit that place narratively instead of visually. There's something there, just beyond what one sees.

  6. Aaron --- thanks --"leap, land, create friction, and the result of that friction." That is exactly what I was thinking. By the way, it is painted, not drawb^n, in that the blue-black is "dripped" thick enamel paint and the yellows are painted by spraying and with a brush.


Please note that anonymous comments will be rejected.