August 3, 2011

Exchanging studio visits with Kadar Brock

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.
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"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.

 A grouping of small, haphazardly stretched paintings that appropriate techniques from sophomore painting class.  A grouping of small stretched paintings that appropriate haphazard stretching techniques from sophomore painting class


2 comments:

"...haphazardly stretched paintings that appropriate techniques from sophomore painting class."(quote from notation below last image)

I assume you mean from a class of Sharon Butler, the art professor. In contemporary art school the students unknowingly teach the teachers while enjoying hefty tuition payments? Huh? I comment here as an observer of an Orwellian situation with my curiosity being towards how this might play out in the mind of a student, possibly viewing these works in a faculty exhibition. Also, I question whether genuine haphazardness can be appropriated. To my thinking, it seems something is either haphazard or it's mimicked to look that way, which then corrupts the true meaning of the word.It would be better to say, "A grouping of small stretched paintings that appropriate haphazard stretching techniques from sophomore painting class."

Rabbit Hole--
"A grouping of small stretched paintings that appropriate haphazard stretching techniques from sophomore painting class" is a much better way to put it. It's too easy to be flippant when posting in a hurry. Thanks. In terms of teaching, I've been a professor at a small state (ie affordable) university for ten years, and yes, teaching involves learning. In the faculty exhibitions, it's generally the administrators who are appalled by this type of work--not the students :)