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Shapes

The evocative imagery of a Homeric Hymn prompted me to try geometric figuration in the shaped painting “Anchises”, 1988. This developed into a series that explored the use of my hexagonal grid to make portraits, landscapes and still-life subjects, an interest that lasted ten years.

It was an unpredictable direction for me to take, after the large black & white shaped canvases that I made in 1986 and 1987. Nonetheless, it is an important reminder that creative freedom will follow logic of its own when the leading intuition is authentic.

As time passed, it became obvious to me that the most vital thing going on in the still-life paintings was each shape that I invented to make leaf forms. It gave me pleasure to find such shapes in my drawings, but I did not see them alone becoming a subject of investigation.

We moved into a barn studio on a farm in Sullivan County, surrounded by open hills and fields of grass. It is so quiet, that you can hear the rush of air from their wings as flocks of geese fly over. While working one day, in 1998, it came to me that I could make paintings using my singular shapes in stand-alone configurations.

In addition to satisfying my wish to make shapes with gestural characteristics, these new shapes also made clear my interest in the graphic power of logos, letter forms, and heraldry. As I start the 50th year of searching geometric forms, meaningful work goes on and I am thankful for it.

– December, 2016

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