RICHARD WISON I am most profoundly affected as a painter by space, light, color, proportion, and cadence. When successfully combined in art, these elements can be intellectually/emotionally moving, and even redemptive. To be able to achieve this through painting represents a daunting task, but the only one that makes sense to me.
I seek the work a kind of equilibrium between what I see as “human nature” and “landscape nature”. Therefore, I use rectilinear/-architectural form combined with time, light, color, and atmosphere effects. These paintings are inspired by my surroundings in Northern California, by strong memories of my grandparents’ flower farm, the climate and color of the Santa Cruz coastline where I grew up, ad by the evocative qualities of music, particularly the rhythms of jazz.
The relief paintings were developed to more profoundly focus on measure; with the visual effects and importance of area, amount, degree, length, depth, width, size, and number. The painting edges, along with the change of planes employed in the work rendered viewing all at once impossible, and allows the painting to unfold in time and space like music. The works’ surface qualities needed to be kept at a minimum: i.e. flattened acrylic paint carefully and evenly applied to the stretched canvas, and contained by precise boundaries in order to focus attention on the effects of color, shape, and proportion and cadence.
Each painting was intuitively related to a particular piece by a jazz musician I greatly admire. My newest body of paintings, which I call “rises”, continued these previous concerns, along with a focus, for the first time in my career, on vertical construction. I became interested in what the effect of the painting taking a standard position would have on the reading of color, space, and movement. My previous work always seemed to conform to gravity, while the new paintings indicated action in opposition to it. The three word titles of the new works are derived from jazz standards. These words are obviously intended to cause rises of ideas and feelings in the listener. To me, this is a metaphor representing the manner in which concepts for the paintings take form.
At the same time, I allow other influences, mentioned above, to participate. These experiences affect me in much the same manner that various unrelated nutrients cause a plant to grow in its own particular fashion of distillation and transformation. The work then is not simply about an outwardly observed thin, place, or event, but also a mental or intellectual territory.
I want the paintings to reflect the equanimity, simplicity and order, as well as the strangely sensual characteristics found in ancient Greek architecture, zen gardens, the paintings of Camille Corot, Piet Mondrian, and both the furniture and architecture of Gerrit Rietveld.