A few weeks ago, Kadar Brock and I exchanged studio visits. I alluded to the meaning inherent in how an object is made and how materials are used, and Kadar explained some of the ideas that infuse his work, like magic and Eastern philosophy.
On the shelf beneath Kadar's paint table is a pile of paint that he scraped off the heavily impostoed paintings which were on display at Exit Art last year.
After he scrapes the paint off, Kadar sands the surface with a power sander, sometime gouging holes in the canvas, then adds thin layers of paint to the smooth surface. He recently painted the studio wall purple to see how it would look through the holes.
This is work in progress. Unstretched canvases, scraped and sanded the surfaces, with different colors applied, which he will sand some more. What will happen when Kadar runs out of old paintings to scrape down. Will making work specifically to scrape down turn the authentic process into a copy of the original action? If meaning resides in process, what would this strategy signify? Discuss.
-------"What I enjoyed most about the visits was a decided focus on our states as viewers with each other's work, which pushed us to talk about effect and intention more than anything else," Kadar wrote in an email after our visits. "So we talked about time, failure, states of contemplation and meditation, and the physical processes that prompted these mental-emotional responses....You use a language of mistreated basic techniques to open a subjective expression of the contemplative, while I use a rigorous, albeit open, ritual of erasure to the same end. Both have to do with a deconstruction of painting, ... and both, I think, give the viewer something they can chill out and empathize with."
After spending a couple hours together, it became clear that Kadar and I talk about our work differently. He's more likely to talk head-on about what his work means, whereas I'd rather let viewers tease out the meaning on their own. Nonetheless, we found plenty of common ground in our approaches to painting itself.
In my studio: silver pigment and binder on unstretched linen.