REMA HORT MANN FOUNDATION

Annabeth Marks

Making a painting is a process of constant revision. Working with fragmentation and collage as a way to construct paintings, I have been painting on stretched canvases that are then cut, reassembled, and further painted on. This process continually proposes a new identity for the paintings and relationships between a pictorial space of framing, of windows and centers, deep landscapes and internal topographies. The image space of the painting that occurs employs tools of illusion, which are held in tension with the material presence of the painting’s construction. Is the landscape the space of projection that gets caught in the folds of the body as memory?
 
While painting, color structures this investigation of material and pictorial space, it is the matter that moves between forms and projects out towards the viewer. I create visual relationships in my work that weave the eye in and out, between solid, flat color and depth, between illusion and the material complexity of a surface. The paintings are high chroma – I am interested in the gut level emotional currency that highly saturated color provokes. For me it is a way of prioritizing feeling and experiencing in an embodied way.
 
The paintings have dimension and relief, the canvas is folded, tucked, wrapped and bound to the stretcher. There are straps and tabs that come off the edges, that hang down off the bottom of the rectangle, registering what may appear in some places as a line, now as a strand of material affected by gravity. Simultaneous with the interiority of the paintings, the folds and tabs draw the composition off the normative rectangle of the canvas and extend the painting into the space of the room.
 
In some of the paintings, there is a monochrome rectangle that has a separate surface that is
layered over it and wrapped around the stretcher. There is a doubling that occurs in this layering – as though the painting is wearing a painting. I am interested in the ways that this evokes a relationship in which the stretcher becomes like a torso, wearing a painting. Paint becomes like leather, layers start to feel like garments and the structure a stretcher contains, like a body. There are many associations attached to this – the painting becomes an apron, a shield, or some sort of celestial vest that is being worn. This secondary layer extends the idea of what a surface is or could be in this work.