Tuesday, July 12, 2011

3-D Chrome-Plated Lettering

There is a series of paintings in a tin box in my studio (recovered with much effort after the bankruptcy of the gallery that represented me here in Minneapolis), line variations drawn in gouache on 10" square Arches paper. I've shown them here before. It's surprising to me how abstract lines can conjure so many different kinds of complexity, botanical, metallic, fleshy, nubile, kinetic. Two adjacent lines suggest two dimensions, three lines in concert conjure space. The fun is in avoiding what common perspective wants the lines to represent.

By attaching a visible side to both edges of a letterform, which is something more concrete, and giving the whole thing a twist, you are using Picasso's tricks, which are the same tricks Frank Gehry uses with architecture. This may be why this particular lettering exercise makes me think of Bilbao. I was never very good at perfect lettering. Inability makes an artist better at breaking rules. So I like breaking letterforms apart, twisting them, stretching them. Put on your 3D glasses and tell me how this looks. (I'm accepting gallery queries for my tin box of paintings. Suitable for framing.)

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