My minimalist works are a confluence of art and
language, an exploration of linguistic structure and similarities between
visual and literary arts. Building sentences is both a narrative and visual
experience, a meeting of logic and lyric. I am fascinated with painting
technique and the physical qualities of pigments and oil media. My works have
thirty or more translucent layers of oil paint, which accumulate into a complex
surface that is filled with light and hints of color. The constructed, shaped
support surfaces emphasize the "objectness" of the work and all its
elements. The paintings cross boundaries into sculpture.
These works confront
the transitory nature of being—of here and not here. Is our imagination not
just as real as the physical world? Is the abstract not as real as the
representational? The paintings hover against the wall, sometimes appearing
solid as stone with their surface, shape, depth, and shadow, other times nearly
disappearing in their whiteness. The silvery words convey meaning, but also
shimmer as pattern and shape and sometimes get lost in the background. Some of
the works emphatically assert their presence in the world, while others live in
a more ambiguous realm, a place in between.
Strunk and White’s advice in The Elements of Style to “omit needless
words,” every choice of word, typeface, format, and composition is considered.
Just as an editor pares a sentence to make it succinct, I remove any element
not contributing to the whole, but make sure every element counts.
The world has turned
completely askew with the devastation caused by the coronavirus, political
upheaval, climate change, economic uncertainly, loss of civil rights and
abortion rights, and so much more. So much that we have depended on, that we
thought we knew to be true, has changed. These paintings began as an abstract
theory about the transient nature of reality but have turned into a response to
an unsettling world.
Contact Joan for more information about her artwork and prices or to have your name added to the mailing list for exhibit announcements and news.
JL at joanlevinson dot net