Tuesday, April 27

Euan Uglow: A Painter's Painter

Ali Euan Uglow (via Akty Erotika)
Euan Uglow is a painter's painter. Just like a friend of mine once described Nabakov as a writer's writer. Why? Because their work is playful and experimental. Or maybe they're less about something and more about being difficult and exploratory.

As Nabakov did with words, Uglow tends to do with paint. That is, dealing more with relationships about the material and less about reactions to the world. Maybe these kinds of works are infuriating for a non-painter (or non-writer) to look at. Maybe infuriating is too strong a word. Maybe just without statement. Beautiful works about working. And sometimes nothing more.

The Quarry Pignano 1979-80 Euan Uglow (via Art Interview)
I think making this kind of work is a hard thing to accomplish. Mostly because it's studied and hermetic. It's hard to imagine a painter like this being a product of today. Of course it's possible, but I feel the pressures are there to accomplish other things.

Morandi, Ann Gale and Antonio Garcia Lopez are other painters that remind me of this kind of work. Painters with a slower, deeper and more authentic career (which reminds me about the Lopez painting, La Cena shown at the MFA Boston a few years ago that haunted me until this summer).

Semi-Related: Today I had another good chat with Gabriel Liston. He's finishing up his NAAU residency. It's really nice to have a discussion with a painter. I feel like I've recently had many conceptual discussions about my work. But it's refreshing to hear Liston talk about simply mixing paint. Or has he jokingly described it, "making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches". Apparently I caught him shortly after his KBOO interview.

Also: "...I still think the bar is so high regarding paint that it’s almost easier to disregard it than to deal." Eva Lake of KBOO's Art Focus takes another stab at where all the paintings are in Portland. It's a looming question, that she asked Cris Moss on her show. He pointed to the hundreds of gallons of paint surface on a sculpture.

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