Kari Minnick, Coracle, 2011
kilnformed glass, paint, 18 x 18.25 x 2 inches (installed)
Photo: J. Woo
Portland, OR – Bullseye gallery is pleased to present Facture: Artists at the Forefront of Painterly Glass, on view January 4 – February 25, 2012
Contemporary painting exists in a continuum with centuries of tradition while embracing aspects of sculpture, installation and collage. Painting today goes beyond pigment and medium on a surface; it is an approach that encompasses the ways a material is used to construct a work, how an artist approaches a subject, and even simply how an image is conceived. In accord with this contemporary way of thinking, Facture examines artists who are constructing paintings using glass.
Glass as a medium for painting is flexible, allowing for the abstract gestural approaches of Kari Minnick, Martha Pfanschmidt and Ted Sawyer, as well as the exacting, classically inspired figurative works of Jeff Wallin. Conceptually, their concerns are as varied as their approaches and backgrounds. Abi Spring, a recent graduate of the Glass Workshop at Australian National University, turned to glass as a way to add physical depth into her minimal compositions. Michael Janis, on the other hand, was trained as an architect and had no background in painting before he began to explore glass. Where Spring’s subtle panels conceal their complexity, Janis’ multi-layered compositions revel in collaged and composited imagery from medical textbooks, Victorian etchings and scientific illustration. Much like the early paintings of Jane Hammond, Janis’ indecipherable symbolic lexicon hints at the possibility of mystery, while never revealing if there is anything to be solved.
Glass, unlike traditional painting material, is both surface and solid. It is solid color and three-dimensional lines. Value and intensity can be created on the surface as well as volumetrically. Paintings made from glass are image and object; illusion and reality, and these artists, at the forefront of this young method, are scratching at the boundaries of both.