Gridded Paintings

Until a friend suggested including my gridded paintings in a show she was coordinating, I hadn’t really thought of them as a whole, a series, a riff on the limitations and possibilities of the grid going back some 15 years. Most are paintings on panel, although the format has continued in prints Six Heads (Male). The most monumental: the 7’X8’, 2 panel painting 48 Heads from 2002.

Many of the gridded paintings on board include abstract panels, incorporating stencils and spray paint; also woodblocks transferred while wet from the paper they’re printed on to blocks--the method used for all of the large piece Everything I Knew (Then). Generally, the logic for the ultimate placement of the panels, which are always painted individually without a final arrangement in mind, is a “poetic,” intuitive one. Oddly, there is almost always only one way the panels can be arranged: they dictate their arrangement.

The themes include my travels (Italy, Greece, India, Egypt), pets, heroes (Homage to Oscar Wilde), and even thinly-veiled autobiography (Pilgrim’s Progress). The portrait heads/sculptures depicted are from my travels and museums, media, or my imagination. Certainly Andy Warhol is an influence with the grid and his use of repetition, but even movies (the original Thomas Crown Affair) using the grid were a perhaps unconscious inspiration.

My format requires the support and cooperation of gifted framers for the gridded paintings in “boxes”: Sterling Fine Arts Services in San Francisco. They commissioned Sterling Heads--portraits of themselves and their pets--and it’s in their collection.