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Ron Martin

Plan for Painting Series

Most are aware, when I exhibit a new body of work, that work is based on the extrapolation of an idea. And, as deep, and as varied in appearance as the Plan for Painting Series are the working method applicable to their making is as programmatic as the method applied to the making of the To Foil Oils. At the structural level, a programmatic approach to the making of a group or series of paintings is a way of investigating the resonance of an idea through the convention of a serial format. Thus, the idea of realizing in a serial abstract paintings a multiplicity of mental perspective rooted to the specification of the medium through its relation to colour, material, and sensation provides viewers with the means to appreciate a rich and inexhaustible mother load of perception.

For example, Tomlin's abstract painting No. 12, 1952, oil on canvas, 66" x 48", collection of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo establishes two forms of perception that are fundamental to the development of abstract painting. That is, Tomlin by having painted a loose pattern of flat, white bars on top of a tight pattern of flat, coloured bars, usurps a previously claimed aesthetic space. Such a visual device entails viewers making distinctions about the difference between the elements that make up the narrow space if the painting. Together, these two principle forms of perception represent a balanced interrelation between the three components of abstract painting: the abstract, the real, and the symbolic.

Additionally, as in the To Foil Oils the format remains essentially the same throughout the Plan for Paintings beginning with No. 24 through to No. 43. The only difference in format between the twelve works on exhibit varies regarding the four short, and four long strips of colour. Positioned in a clock-wise pattern those strips strife and converge with the other elements to create a multiplicity of concatenations of colour. And, those concatenations of colour are enhanced by the specific attributes of the concrete objective material properties of the hues. On that basis, a maximum pitch in the structure of the colour scheme can be realized through the intent to reveal explicitly - by virtue of the technical means - the sensations of the materials in association to the sensations of the colours.

Further, the Acrylics of the Plan for Painting Series beginning with No. 24 objectively, and indidually represent different stages in the formation of a diverse range of unique colour schemes. That means a particular cycle of chromatic circumstances is made visible by maintaining a continuity throughout the series regarding its serial format. That, in combination with the technique of painting seventy-five Artists' Finity Acrylic Colours on what ostensibly looks like raw linen results in a wide variation in colour sensation and stage in the movement of colours results in a unique perceptual scheme. In addition, the formal components of the nine squares are comprised of a self-contained repetition of nine consecutive coloured strips complete the chromatic sequence. Lastly, the four short and four long coloured strips that follow the chromatic sequence, and the formal multiplicity of layered configuration of a particular scheme. In that, viewers are provided with the critical means to identity the extent of their subjective experience in relation to their self-conscious perception of the characteristic limit (s) of a particular work in the series.

The Plan for Painting Series would not have been made possible without my having gone through the psychological process of perceiving an end in art as an end. That is to say, an end in art is not an end until it is perceived. Happily, a vulnerability in the emotional, and psychological content of the Plan for Paintings invite viewers to engage objects that are in effect visually addictive. Or encourage viewers to encompass, and embrace a visual process complimentary to their sustained anticipation of the work. Such an addiction to vision resides through viewers identifying with their aesthetic appreciation of the depth, and scope of perception contextualised by the conceptual, and plastic limits of abstract painting.

Acknowledgement: The concept "visually addictive" coined by Powell, Assistant to the Director of the Christopher Cutts Gallery, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

The Centre for Contemporary Canadian Art
The Canadian Art Database: Canadian Artists Files

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