Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Abstract calligraphy AND pointillism ?

I must be dreaming ! This is just too good to be true; that an artist would include both abstract calligraphic gestures and pointillism in the same painting. This is Shane Guffogg and he has a really wonderful, oeuvre. He does oil on paper and canvas and his oil paintings typically have 50-60 layers of translucent colors that have been mixed with a glazing medium which causes them to glow as if they have their own light source. He also works in watercolor, gouache, and pastel on paper and does traditional etchings on zinc plates.

This image,"Hours of the Season" 2000, oil on canvas 66 x 72 is from his website.

If you ever want to read an artist's biography that sounds like they lived a charmed life - read his here. Although he has his biography on his own site too, I'm giving you the slightly extended one from the Lawrence Asher Gallery where you'll find 6 works from 2006.

You must visit Sane's web site and enjoy these undulating, glowing gems. Shane

It's on the oils from 1996 - 2000 and the watercolors from 1999 that he did the pointillism. And it's as though he was adding a grill in front of this glowing maelstrom to help contain it. In the following years he abandons the dots and replaces them with cursive linear work that at once contains the energy and yet gives the painting even more depth. All his works are beautiful and challenging, but you'll see that Shane has definitely caught his stride in the later paintings. Be sure to read his Statement.


Anonymous said...

Yes. All of the above and then some.

You’re not dreaming, although his work may remind you of a world between sleeping and waking, and like the impressions born and quickly lost after dreaming, there is something familiar in Shane Guffogg's work. It is liminal and lyrical, it undulates and speaks in a language that precedes and transcends words. Where mere words attempt and fail, these images create a bridge to apprehend the infinite and the ephemeral in a language far finer, subtler and ultimately suited not only to convey, but to reveal. It’s as though the artist pulls the curtain of the known world aside, inviting the viewer to look through the veil and behind it into spaces and realms that exist outside time, becoming a shared gnosis.

What appears subtle and effortless belies a mastery that requires an intense labor at unification - of layers and fields, patterns within patterns, the techniques of the old masters merged with the technology and science of the present age. As new and transcendent as the end result may be, it is also immanent, with rhythms rooted in the mundane world and in nature, in the in between spaces now verified in the understanding of quantum laws. I’ve known the artist a long time, having come from the same place, and I assure you, it wasn’t always charmed. But according to my recognition this too informs his work, lending it depth and symmetry and an underlying order within chaos that might otherwise find it imploding, disintegrating and flying off into the ether.

As a human, an individual and a soul evolves, the mantle taken up by the artist unfolds along its own trajectory, (hopefully) forging an expanded vision. With pleasure and gratitude I look forward to the messages and visions this particular mage continues to bring from between worlds.

tackad said...

Thank you for your response and the insight you've added.