Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Hyde Park Art Center show-- Emmett Kerrigan and Gwendolyn Zabicki

I've got some paintings at the Hyde Park Art Center until the end of October 2014. Painter and curator Melody Saraniti selected me for the show and asked me to invite someone to show with me who influenced my work. I chose Emmett Kerrigan. It's a great idea for a series and was a great opportunity for me to connect with one of my painting heroes. Here is what I wrote for the show:

I have admired Emmett Kerrigan’s paintings for a long time. In an age of image saturation, Kerrigan’s work cannot be photographed. To really see his work, the thickness of the paint and the construction of his paintings, one must see them in person. He builds his houses in paint much like a carpenter would, laying them down brick by brick, shingle by shingle, each brick equaling one brushstroke. A single brushstroke becomes a unit of construction and a unit of time. During our studio visit, he talked about laying down a bead of paint (carpenter talk!) like a bead of caulk. There is a pathos in his work that I identify with, a need to collect or to preserve a neighborhood that is eroding with time.

My dad, a union carpenter, says that carpentry is a battle against nature, specifically rain, rot and mold. We often compare notes and have found many parallels in the ways that we create space, problem solve, and in the kind of measuring and planning that go into both practices. Carpentry and painting can be viewed as a struggle, against obliteration, against death. But seen optimistically, they are generative processes, the creation of new structures that will outlast their creators, gifts to the future.

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