Statement

What I am after in the paintings is not just the objects of landscape but the ever moving and experiential nature of landscape. Though most of the paintings on this site were painted within the past seven years I have always worked with landscape in one way or another. Rather than being a limiting element, landscape has been an idea that has allowed me to explore everything. It has generated complicated spatial problems, philosophical positions and abstract compositions that veer far away from the natural referent.

My paintings are built of color and mark. Palpable, visceral, sensuous color; color creating spaces, light, darkness, density, openness. They are also about the mark of the paint; thick and moving slowly, thin like a veil, small, fast, shiny, matte, on top of, behind.

As Josef Albers taught everyone, color cannot exist in isolation. It is created by its interaction with other colors. Sometimes it is just the smallest difference in hue or value or intensity that will allow two colors to suddenly work together to create depth, temperature, transparency, luminosity; or at least to co-exist without destroying each other.

If art reflects a world view, and I think it does whether we plan it to or not, then this is a reflection of mine. The process of making these many color adjustments until things that did not work together, do work together is an exercise in observing with an open mind. And echoes the belief that we are interdependent with each other.

At the same time, the paintings reference things in the natural world that I particularly love; twigs and branches picking up light on a winter morning, yellow foliage on a warm September afternoon, the busy world in the water of a pond. At the beginning of the 21st Century our understanding of landscape, even the landscape of our own bodies, is overwhelmingly one of systems. A thousand systems all interacting all of the time. In the paintings it is an ecology of color and marks. A thousand small visual triggers create illusions of space, light, temperature, movement, setting off memories and associations.

Finally, I confess I am very interested in beauty. There is nothing ironic about the paintings.
 

Gwendolyn Kerber