Gregory Amenoff
El Rito, New Mexico July 1998
Thirty Views
Essay by Gregory Amenoff

Small paintings often represent a seduction that painters would do well to avoid. They afford an all too easy transmission of painted information in its most direct and physical state: a brush stroke equals a piece of light, a form, etc., creating a level of energy and excitement often lost on larger scale paintings. They can also be seductive purely as precious objects, blunting the force of any meanings the painter may intend. This said, and initially against my better judgment, I have produced with great delight a group of paintings with all of the above properties.

In Italy in 1997, I painted several small paintings that were made in response to the Umbrian landscape (Todi #15). Upon returning to New York in the fall, I began to sift through those paintings and a group of gouaches for ideas that would translate into larger pictures. That translation failed, and in an effort to create a positive and fluid atmosphere in the studio I began to paint on small wood panels. Suddenly, the physical pleasure of painting came alive in a form that I hadn't experienced in years. The process of making these paintings has more in common with drawing than painting, in that sense of discovery and invention is immediate and not over-considered. More than 50 paintings later, I am not yet bored. I am certain that some of these panels will find their way into a larger scale, but for now I am exhilarated by the freedom and energy that they have reintroduced to my work.

© Gregory Amenoff - 2012 - All rights reserved.