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In 1991, I began to work on oval-format paintings: smaller-scaled paintings (47 x 56 cm) with a longer horizontal axis, and larger ones (162 x 132 cm) on the vertical axis. The oval format was used historically in conjunction with portraiture. Perhaps the portrait format was a substitute for the personalized product names I had previously used in my paintings. I used fewer elements in the oval paintings, and distributed a diversity of sources across several pieces in an exhibition.
The oval paintings indvidually feature text, roses, or an ersatz abstract ground. And pattern is emphasized; for example, the same snippet of text is used repeatedly in one painting to form a kind of chant or visual mantra. (The texts are popular maxims or adages that characterize (and even complain about) busy-ness and the fleeting nature of time, such as "Busy as a fart in a mitt" or "I am not an eight-day clock.")
I painted both in oil on linen, and on a number of other supports: photographs, sandcarved glass mirrors, bubble wrap, cardboard, and stacked-up-and-stitched-together billboard posters. The juxtaposition of visibly crafted components such as the pairing of sandcarved glass roses in a large mirror with a painting of roses of a similar shape and scale contextualizes painting within traditions of craft, skewing painting’s sometimes burdensome relationship to the canon of Western art history.
|Exhibition catalogue: Saguine (Cambridge Galleries, 1999)|
|Busy as a fart in a mitt|
|My Spark||Figure in a Mirror|