Spatial Fabrications | Opening Reception
Saturday, September 11 • 2-4pm | Ongoing through October 23
@ MONO Practice
Jan Razauskas | Bill Schmidt
MONO PRACTICE is excited to present Spatial Fabrications, a two-person exhibition featuring the work of Jan Razauskas and Bill Schmidt. Spatial Fabrications examines abstract topographical elements and geometric renderings as it relates to artists’ painterly processes. Abstraction is unique, as it genuinely reveals itself to the viewer as a literal representation of space and form. However, the work in Spatial Fabrications are multilayered and materially situated in their creation, creating tension between spatial and painterly sensibility.
In the series of work Resonant Line, Jan Razauskas fuses nebulous forms and flexing geometric lines of color in densely layered, abstract paintings. Her technique involves painting many thin veils of color, alternating with precisely painted lines, on sheets of glass-smooth coated aluminum panels. Passages of liquidity, striation, boundary, or flow on the paint surface build materiality unique to each image. Razauskas creates a dialog between the intuitively derived, painted forms and drawn geometric lines through the layering process. The resulting images offer a complex visual field, open to multiple readings of spatial relationships, identities, and dualities. While formal concerns of shape, color, line, and the material aspects of the paint take precedence in the painting’s creation, the finished images invite allusion to visual and metaphorical truths and fictions.
I’ve never been more excited about the possibilities of painting. It is the inherently limited nature of painting that I don’t just accept, but rather, embrace. The challenges and rewards inherent in finding a world within a flat rectangle (which for me is a foot or so square) are significant and keep me coming back for more.
I use traditional, water-soluble gouache on wooden panels primed with an absorbent ground. Gouache is what I would call a recalcitrant medium: it does what it wants to do, probably more so than other kinds of paint. Much of the character of my work is the result of either damage control or acceptance of what the paint has “decided” to do. Making one of my paintings is like crossing a stream, one rock at a time. I know I want to get to the far bank but I don’t know exactly where I’ll land. I begin each painting not with a blueprint but a starting point – a loose plan that gets me going. Color choices, patterns, surfaces, and spatial relationships grow out of the process and in collaboration with paint that is often uncooperative. The water-soluble nature of the gouache allows me to make drastic revisions as the image develops. My paintings come into existence by virtue of an accumulation of choices, missteps, adjustments, accidents, rethinkings, and sometimes just pain luck – not unlike life, itself. While making these paintings, as in life, I often don’t know what’s around the next corner.
The paintings are all about my visual world. I engage in a process of indirect observation. In my daily travels I’m constantly observing patterns, structures, shapes, and relationships which are internalized and emerge organically in the paintings, often in unexpected and surprising ways. There is a real feed- back loop between my studio and my visual world. I tend to notice things that look like something I’ve painted and I often paint things that look like those things I notice.
I am primarily driven by formal considerations and matters of process. While the paintings do not have a fixed narrative, I know that meaning will find the work. It is my hope that the situations I paint call up multiple associations and thereby allow the viewer to arrive at his or her own understanding what is being seen. And, hopefully, an engagement with this work will heighten the viewer’s awareness and appreciation of their personal visual world.