Showing: April 28 – August 8
Showing at: Salon 1757, located at 1757 Solano Ave. Albany, CA
These objects are made with a process whereby oil paint is applied to semi absorbent oil sized paper by floating the paint in water and passing the substrate through the pigmented layers so that a marbling effect is achieved. This effect is further complicated by experimental interventions into the quality of paint, substrate and application. The addition of an alcohol based ink or a curled paper can create wildly differing effects and dazzling colors.
Nebulous tableaus of abstraction draw the viewer into a fractal drama populated with seas of glowing red freckled with teal archipelagos circling endlessly in watery radiance. This approach to paint application stands in conversation with traditions of post painterly abstraction, introducing a new angle on the idea of the pour, an angle which is only achievable through the use of unprimed oil paper; a relatively new invention.
This technique has become fundamental to how I structure some of my larger work. But the initial experimentation which helped me develop this technique has yielded images which I believe to be beautiful in their own right as art objects. I have brought together a series of Experimental Fragments for this show to showcase the unique grandeur of these small scale abstract paintings.
-Eleanor D. Schnarr
I started painting figures when I was very young. Anatomy fascinated me like nothing else, I became obsessed with the architecture of bodies. I would frequently visit morgues and medical museums just to look, and draw, and dissect. But the scientific aspect of it soon lost its appeal, and I realized that the person who had the best knowledge of a figure was the person it belonged to. I began the process of drawing my body from my own perspective; using the subtle synesthetic of somatic proprioception, my training in classical figure painting, and by applying a somewhat feminist philosophy by which there is no observer and no subject, I came upon this style as it stands presently. I don’t want to order about a model or pretend I know her mind, I seek to be as honest and as empathic as possible, and that’s why I like to paint figures from within.
There’s an image in Hindu mythology in which Kali, who is the bloody dark goddess of time and destruction, is in the midst of her macabre dance and as she steps upon the prone form of her beloved Lord Shiva, she stops. This image can be interpreted as the reckless force of time, standing still when it encounters that pervasive, universal sphere of consciousness. We can all be Lord Shiva when we are awake, even time stands still for those who live in the present.
All paintings are paintings of consciousness. Regardless of subject or intent, no art exists without its creator first existing. No art exists without ego, there is something divine which radiates from the roots of language and symbol, there is existence encountering void. There is Kali with all her fire and her wear breaking down our canvases and fading our colors, and there is Shiva who, despite the long years, still looks back from the eyes of our ancestors and boldly declares, I am.
Consciousness can be broken down into this fundamental relationship, a dichotomy between that which is external and that which is innate. For this reason there is nothing more universal than the cross. One axis, follows the horizon, the furthest point the eye can see, reality, The Neighbor, this natural plane. The second axis follows the line of gravity, that internal energy that holds the universe together, love. Everyone knows these two things, regardless of faith or culture or education. Mark Rothko knew it, Piet Mondrian knew it, the Christians know it, the Hindus know it, and the ancient Sumerians knew it when they made rectangular clay tablets to scratch their symbols on.
That is why I paint on rectangles, because I want my paintings to be universal, I want them to represent the conscious mind. And though the forms of thought are doubtless as innumerable as mankind, what we all have in common is the cross. The axis of time and space.
The form of the body, as it is experienced by the body is not primarily external, it does not occupy space, and I prefer the psycho-spiritual depth of an image to the form of an object when expressing abstract spaces. My goal is not to show you something or someone, but to show you an experience. My goal is not to deceive but to translate that most fundamental reality into a media which can be shared from my mind to yours.