Tuesday, April 15, 2014

New work on the easel

I'm posting some paintings that I am preparing for my one person show in June. It will be at Brooklyn Box gallery 543 Union Street, Brooklyn. More on that later.
With this work I am exploring ideas of time, nature, and human conflict. The time frame for the work is the one hundred year anniversary of the start of World War 1.  This work was partly inspired from reading Max Hastings book "Catastrophe 1914 Europe goes to war". In it I found some passing references to plants that solders found themselves fighting amongst at the begining of the war. The simple farm fields of Europe, that those farmers would never get to harvest. I have been thinking about how nature reclaims battlefields after visiting many sites of the American Civil War. Today most century old battlefields resemble pristine park lands. Set aside for our remembrance of those who fought there. In these places it seems that time has returned to a natural rhythm, a rhythm of the seasons, the "growing season". This beutiful natural world is the one that confronts us today as we try to imagine what it must have been like 100 years before.I thought about how to depict the yearly life cycle of common plants that might have significance with the gigantic battles of WW1 and the passage of 100 years.

I came up with simply painting out lines of the various plant forms one on top of the other, one hundred times. Laying one drawing on top of another. Mimicking the yearly growing cycle, year by year, decade by decade. Until I reached the one century mark.

Sugar beat painted one hundred times

Poppies painted one hundred times on grey

Poppies painted one hundred times on dark grey
Map of Europe with balanced stacks of chairs. I am planning to rework this painting a lot. I don't think that I need the map element any more. I am going to link the stacks of chairs together with string.