Saturday, July 3, 2010

...not a statement - Douglas Witmer

....not a statement by Douglas Witmer

Tell the birds -2009
Black gesso and acrylic on canvas
28x22inches

Fruitville - mixed media on wood

I found the work of Douglas Witmer online some time ago. On reading his 'artist statement' I was instantly captured by the circular structure and the simplicity of his words about painting and what it is (or isn't). When I recently got in touch with him to ask if I could post it here he told me that the words took him some time to write. To my mind the best 'artist statements' have clarity and need to get straight to the heart of an artists practice -even if they do take time to write - and Douglas Witmer certainly writes clearly and simply about his process. His insights into the nature of painting are thought provoking and particularly meaningful for abstract painters where the task of negotiating a position; attempting to work in a relevant and fresh way, can be difficult. Indeed, to put these challenges into words is a personal thing but also, when overdone, can become meaningless and detract from the work. Visit his website to look at his paintings and mixed media on wood. Like his words, his work is a direct and honest inquiry into the nature of paint and the surfaces on to which he applies it.


Douglas Witmer's current show, "Fruitville", can be viewed at Some Walls, Oakland CA, June 20 - July 25th 2010

8 comments:

Altoon Sultan said...

I found out about Douglas Witmer on Steven Alexander's blog, and was immediately strongly drawn to his work. I agree with you that his statement is strong and meaningful, also for me whose imagery is based on actual things. I also feel that the process of making a painting, my involvement with paint, surface, structure, is why I make art now.
thanks for posting this.

vincenthawkins said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
NSP said...

Really good post, thank-you. Its so easy to come up with tosh when having to write statements about painting. The words from this artist really resonate with me and make me question how I think about my own adventures in painting.

vc said...

always a favorite, and I am surprised & delighted by the fruitville works.

undercover painter said...

Glad you all like it...it really gets to the heart of painting as an authentic, relevant activity in the face of comparatively unimportant chatter about what's in, what's out; who's hot, who's not.

cantueso said...

Yes, but we are quite a few who don't understand this art. Why don't you artists follow in the foodsteps of glorious Miró who wrote titles about 2 lines long to help the weary visitor overcome his gallery fatigue?

And Tapiès once stuck a piece of Heidegger text to his oeuvres. That was in Franco's time. I daresay he wouldn't do that anymore.

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