ARTIST STATEMENT

 

My first solo show in Los Angeles was in 1987 where my figurative work was presented. By 1989 the Landscape emerged and became my focus for the next 31 years. These landscapes were initially informed by the Symbolist school. Works by Redon, Ryder, Blake, and Whistler, as well as 13th century Alchemist prints guided me. Their imagery, along with the writings of Rudolf Steiner and Madame Blavatsky, formed the narrative for the work. These early landscapes with the etched sacred geometric forms that hovered within them, created a dialogue questioning our ideas of the sacred and the corporeal.

There are significant moments in every artist's career that propels them. One of those moments happened early in my career when I was invited to do an residency at Aurabora Press in San Francisco. Working with their master printer, I made images that, technically speaking, shouldn’t have worked. However, by allowing the uncontrolled markings, smudges and "what if’s" of the process to remain unresolved, meaningful works were created. This method allowed all the conscious and unconscious voices and paths to remain. The process became an essential part in creating an intimate, authentic narrative, and these marks and smudges quickly entered into my paintings, forming a discourse with the representational elements.

By 2015 I was rethinking the traditional compositional techniques I used in landscape painting. Increasingly I no longer saw horizons or foregrounds as necessary or as bound, static elements. The landscapes now floated between representation and abstraction.

While working on a series of drawings 2017, a new approach emerged that focused on what I saw as the primary forms, structures, and motion within nature. The work became abstract, minimal and yet expressive. I realized I was no longer tethered to the landscape tradition and a new world appeared.

This new direction continues today. Within these paintings, I seek to create meaningful works that engage and explore the relationships between form and structure that is both direct and authentic.


Brad Durham

November 2018