Catherine Mulligan

November 8, 2014 § Leave a comment

“Painting is how I come to understand and articulate my feelings about existing in the world, to put it as broadly as possible. Uncertainties, insecurities, and unmet hopes or desires I aim to contain and resolve through a painterly language that is as often elegant and precise as it is awkward, sprawling, chaotic and clumsy. This mixture of dichotomies is meant to correspond to the actual confusion of categories I experience in both my emotional and aesthetic feelings, on a personal level; seeing the funny in the sad, the beautiful in the hideous and destroyed, the monumental in the minor. Using many carefully developed layers through under-painting, sanding, drawing and over-painting, I am both looking to masters like J. M. W Turner and attempting to illustrate the revised and shifting ways the world exists to me. Often, this world is that of the suburban strip-mall, and includes the detritus of modern life. My palette includes both pallid and pastel saccharine colors and harsher, more abrasive reds and oranges and browns. These are meant to evoke both the bodily earth tones and the more artificial color palette found in pop culture and advertising. Occasionally text (from a rub-on Letraset or my own hand) or ephemera fills in borders and relates uneasily, unclearly to the image depicted. Ultimately, my aim is to create paintings that serve as perhaps overly explicit accounts of experiences I’ve had (visual and psychological).”

Catherine Mulligan is exhibiting her work at F.A.N. Gallery in Philadelphia this month.


Chardin and Peto

September 13, 2014 § Leave a comment

Artist Altoon Sultan offers this personal reflection on the still-life paintings of Jean-Baptiste Simeon Chardin and John Peto, titled, “The Ordinary Transfigured:”

Jean-Baptiste-Siméon Chardin, Water Glass and Jug, ca. 1760Jean-Baptiste Simeon Chardin, “Water Glass and Jug,” 1760.

Distilled Life

February 18, 2014 § 10 Comments

“When you pick up one piece of dust, the entire world comes with it.”  -Zen saying

A selection of still-life paintings, mostly contemporary.

“There are four elements that ultimately determine quality and meaning in painting. One, the color you choose and how much. Two, where you put it; three, in what manner. The fourth is outside you, and that is life.”  -Larry Rivers.

Christopher Gallego

November 21, 2012 § 1 Comment

“Christopher Gallego’s ‘Bag of Plaster (2000), scuffed and torn, is handled with gracious attention to detail, texture and tone. It is painted with the sympathy and persuasiveness of Velazquez’s depictions of Spanish peasantry.”  –Maureen Mullarkey, At Katonah Museum, Celebrating the Quotidian, The New York Sun, April 17, 2008.

“Christopher Gallego transforms banal subjects such as rubber gloves, potatoes, and careworn interiors into timeless forms suffused with light. He reveals myriad textures and colors that are easily overlooked, such as the daylight from a window reflected in an egg yolk in a green glass bowl, or a muslin-covered mannequin surrounded by dust-filtered light… In the manner of Giorgio Morandi, Gallego paints objects that become portraits of a time and place defying categorization.”  -Anne R. Fabbri, Art in America, June/July 2005.

Christopher Gallego website

Present Surroundings: Walter Murch, 1907-1967

October 28, 2012 § 3 Comments

“I think a painter paints what he thinks about the most. For  me, this is about objects from my childhood, present surroundings, or a chance object that stimulates my interest, around which accumulate these thoughts. I suppose you could say I am more concerned with the lowly and forgotten object, the one people discard because they are finished with it or see it in a certain logical automatic way that I would like to break.” 

“When I am in the painting, I don’t know what I am doing. After a period of getting acquainted, I begin to recognize that the painting has a life of its own. If I lose contact with its life the painting is a mess and if I keep harmony with it, it turns out well. It is possible to discover a work of art in the process of creating it. Beyond that, whatever emotional results may occur in the mind of the observer, I can’t control nor would I want to. I remain only the artist.”

From Walter Tandy Murch: An Introduction, by Michael Grimaldi, Linea, 2007

Walter Tandy Murch bio.

More on the artist can be found at Painting Perceptions.

2 From Notes on Looking

September 22, 2012 § Leave a comment

Two recent articles from Notes on Looking, a blog that focuses on the contemporary art scene of Los Angeles.

“There is a freemasonry of painting among figurative painters – and I mean the term in the metaphoric sense of a secret club as well as the sense of a guild of highly developed craftsmen, for great skill is required to observe and render the body. And it is both, observation as well as drafting. Over a lifetime of close watching one learns how muscles move and pull and place our bones into postures, and the ways that our bodies and faces can reveal our thoughts; the long, slow, laborious practice of making marks to represent what one sees isn’t as direct as the same thing might be if one takes a photograph, the mark-making also conveys what one senses and feels. The hand is an interpreter, not a copyist…”  -Geoff Tuck

“A mirror lets me become an anthropologist of my own body. It is an almost transparent barrier between my faculties of perception and the thing I’m looking at. It is also a lie, a flattened out and distorted image of a live, fleshy, thinking and perceiving body. But it is a useful lie in that it allows me to look from a distance at something intimately familiar. I think that realism, both in art and in literature, works in a similar way. It pictures an alternate reality so life-like that we can’t help but see in it a reflection of our own condition…”   -Ariane Vielmetter

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