Time: January 4, 2013 from 6pm to 8pm
Location: Harwood Art Center
Street: 1114 7th Street NW
Website or Map: http://www.harwoodartcenter.o…
Event Type: gallery, opening
Organized By: The Harwood Art Center
Latest Activity: Jan 3, 2013
January 4th – January 24th
January 4th, 6-8pm
Gopa & Ted2, Inc presents Paintings by Ian Campbell
The Sufis say:
Imagine: A circle without a circumference,
whose center is everywhere . . .
It’s now over one hundred years since Kandinsky published Concerning the Spiritual in Art. At the time of its publication, it was both obscure and revolutionary: born into a world of apparent stability and optimism soon to be swept away by the Great War. By the time I was growing up, abstract art had mostly been defanged by commercialism and shock. However the essence of Kandinsky’s writings was to me a road map of artistic survival. His sense of painting being drawn from “inner necessity” and the articulation of pure emotion in painting gave me the hope, as a younger painter, that I could find my place in the conversation of art. The paintings here are an attempt to portray, in the most honest and unin-hibited way, this essence of artistic emotion.
Ian Campbell was built in Glasgow, Scotland, and comes from a long tradition of self-educated working class men. He began painting in 1972 and remains eternally optimistic.
Chemistry: A Remix of Change
Encaustic is very process-intensive. I work with molten beeswax mixed with damar resin which is the element that raises the temperature of the paint and adds durability and luster. I work layer by layer, each uniquely individual to the previous in the way I add pigment or create marks in the wax surface with various tools. I use the torch like most painter's use their brush to maneuver and manipulate the wax until it's where I want it to be before going on to the next layer. Sometimes scraping back, sometimes adding more wax or color, it's a gamble on whether to sacrifice that layer for the next. These conditions encourage me to take chances, to push the work, to embrace the accident as core to the final expression in my paintings.
The history of encaustic dates back over 2000 years ago. The word encaustic originates from the ancient Greek word enkaustikos meaning "to heat" or "to burn." Some of the earliest known encaustic works are the Fayum portraits from Greco-Roman Egypt to the contemporary work of Jasper Johns, in particular his iconic targets and flags, that hang in museums today.
The encaustic medium is particularly suited to my practice. Wax has surprising optical depth so the history of my work is visible through discrete layers of wax fused with heat. As the artist, utilizing this layering process. It's always a bit of a surprise when the heat hits the wax. The subtleties of temperature, of specific pigment in response to the heat, of the distance the torch is from the surface-all affect the work differently. There is a delicacy and mystery to the surface, and yet it's a material that stands up to scraping and to heat while providing the inspiration resulting in my work.
There is an underlying sense of structure that I maneuver and manipulate throughout my work. These conditions encourage me to take chances, to push the work. My passion and vision is expressed when acquired techniques and knowledge of the medium allow me to embrace the accident.