MAIN SPACE EXHIBITION
NOVEMBER 5 – NOVEMBER 27, 1999
RECEPTION: FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 5, 1999 AT 8 PM
ARTIST TALK: SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 6, 1999 AT 2 PM
LOCATION – STRIDE GALLERY
722, 11 AVE S.W, CALGARY, ALBERTA
How do you study surface without examining the “inside”; the stomach, the intestine, and indeed the heart? Start by building up, collecting, sifting through the debris.
Accumulate. In order to have a surfacing, both the surface and that which is surfaced is required. This is a relationship.
Surface: a signifier of distance and first dates. Layer it up; begin to apply and manipulate the space of distance. Sadness could come to surface, so to speak. Dissolve and resolve paint; press together skin. Develop the surface and let it emerge and uncover (inside) contents.
Light the distance formed between. How does distance look?
“‘How does distance look?’ is a simple direct question. It extends from a spaceless within to the edge of what can be loved. It depends on light.” (1) and viewer and surface.
Surface is reliant (compliant) upon the underlining, the under lied relationships.
These paintings “go the distance” to examine viewer and painting; viewer and self; viewer and society; painting and painting; painting and society; painting, viewer and society. Interdependent entities that exist because of the other space.
Our insides, the “we”, are revealed to expose our body disposition.
This accumulation (rosier cheeks) lands on surface, luscious and rich – a penetrating depth, a mirror reflection.
Just as paint or skin is thin and unforgiving – a contrived sense of depth, the transparent other. What ever the case may be, “we” becomes visible to the watching feeling eye. Painting from the insides, extracting beauty as artificial or natural.
Back to painting, backs on painting.
Superficiality and image and ideals and “suppose to be this” and “look like that”, riding on the backs of painting. Climbing up now, hand over hand, toe to toe, the earth rising up over feet, backs and necks.
A stilled sense.
The unmistakably soft and subtle touch of yearning skin – a jutting experience.
The materials through which something is surfaced, exposed. It is the revealer of experience and outer appearance.
How to paint insides:
The paintings in this exhibition are sensuous and tactile and absent of imagery. The only image that exists is what the viewer sees or wants to see. Like any work, we develop associations between it and our lives’ experiences. A way to define and understand the relationships of painting, viewer and society is to pull out our private and personal dictionaries. I have mine and you have yours.
Michael Lupypciw’s richly painted surfaces are large and red. There is plenty of surface area to read the insides, known as “we”. He uses red; the loaded color. In it exists the usuals of passion and lust, death and violence, embarrassment and love, a garden of roses or the royalty of kings and queens. Lupypciw’s paintings are the shades of beauty lipstick in fashion advertisements – reds from the household of three teenage daughters. It is easy to get lost in the depth of the layered, glossy paint, wondering what product is trying to be sold. Certain reds sell emotions, others are merely a simulation (as stated earlier in Surface Notes “a mirror reflection” or “the transparent other”). And as Anne Carson states in The Autobiography of Red , “‘I will never know how you see red and you will never know how I see it… [But no doubt, to] deny the existence of red is to deny the existence of mystery. The soul that does so will one day go mad.’”2
The color of red is not prevalent in Laurel Smith’s paintings, but her surfaces systematically recall the “red” of insides. Her three-dimensional surfaces extend out from the wall, allowing mystery to prevail. The proximity that exists between painting and viewer is emphasized. The proximity of paint and surface structure is examined with angles, crevices and fractures. The paint that has been poured and slid down the canvas cooperates with gravity as if by choice.