Essay on painting and abstraction, drawing and documentation.
As an artist, I have taken on the task of sorting and re-arranging information. Using process as a starting point, my work investigates the desire to construct meaning out of chaos through the use of personal iconography and the language of painting. To this end, I am partial to abstraction because of its intrinsic inability to illustrate, and the ensuing challenge this presents. Inherent in the work is an implication of lack. Information is missing, incomplete, or thwarted.
Culling from the history of painting, I play with formal constructs by employing visual tropes such as drips, biomorphic forms, hard edges, and Expressionistic gestures, throughout the work. By fusing together disparate elements, I’m able to create a mashup of events, a conglomerate universe in miniature. While architecture, technology, and landscape have been prevalent themes throughout the recent work, I do not rely on themes as a primary source of motivation, but instead address issues as they arise. That said, there are remnants of my vocabulary in all of the work.
The work reflects my response to, and filtration of, events, memories and moments that make up each day. Through processes such as automatic drawing, layering and excavation, I am constantly negotiating boundaries between control versus loss of control. Incongruity is evident as fragment of information compete with one another for attention.
My drawings function as a visual diary of all the stuff encountered and processed throughout the day. NPR while I'm half asleep, a puppet I no longer have, pain, boredom, fear and happiness, all make their appearances in the drawings. Drawing serves as a way to simultaneously record and expand my surroundings.
Each mark reflects an ongoing dialogue, an open-ended exchange. It's an evolutionary process with one mark determining the next mark. I approach painting as a verb, rather than as a noun. The emphasis is on the act of painting; the representations that remain are traces of the production. Ambiguity is part of the work in the sense that the viewer completes the process of interpretation.
~©Mary Addison Hackett