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Bedminister Opening

Can space exist as a distinct entity? Can space exist outside a continuum of polarity? Can space exist as other than object and yet not be perceived as negative either quantitatively or qualitatively?

KateBrown 2014

In 2009 when I returned to painting on canvas, I decided to trust that the initial questions below, would be synthesized in the mark. The results of this can be seen in my recent paintings.

KateBrown 1990 Artist Statement

I have been looking at space inside and outside and wondering why I can never see or detect space, the way I perceive it, in any depiction. Can space exist as a distinct entity? Can space exist outside a continuum of polarity? Can space exist as other than object, and yet, not be perceived as negative either quantitatively or qualitatively? Can space within space be shown? Can feminine space by virtue of its actual possession exert a vocabulary and perception imagined differently, that change ways of knowing? My intellectual interest is focused on the language and perception of space on a two dimensional plane; not illusion as in trompe-l\'oeil, but as an entity in and of itself; space as force.1 I question the vocabulary of painting, in particular, the term negative space. I suggest that extant vocabulary and therefore perception for these questions is obsolete. I also suggest that it is imperative to develop new ways of decribing what we see in order for perception to change and for understanding to evolve.

Along with formal education both in Canada and New York, Freudian psychoanalysis, experience, and observation , informing my inquiry have been readings from Norman Bryson , in particular, Looking At The Overlooked : Four Essays OnStill Life Painting, Sound and Symbol, by Victor Zuckerkandl, A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking, Being and Nothingness by Jean-Paul Sartre, The Poetics of Space by Gaston Bachelard as well as writings of John Cage and Frank Stella.

My initial inquiry has propelled me through various experiments with different media (painting with blow torch on wood, etched wax, drawings on opened burlap bags, to name some) until constructing black velvet tarpaulins with painted extraction markings or \'spaceform\' abstractions, some with text as space and some with timed based projections. In a serious effort to articulate cerebrally, esthetically and viscerally the results of my investigations, and in effect, demonstrate with the medium - the message.

1990 - 2009 I investigated these questions using the following media: Black Velvet: refers to both High (Megalographic-80\'s Schnabel paintings) and Low (rhopographic-roadside depictions of bull fights on domestic fabric) Art. Black velvet also possesses an inherent spatial quality. Tarpaulin: as defined by the dictionary is canvas impregnated with tar, much as painting is impregnated with assumptive vocabulary. Extraction Agent: is a liquid applied through the action of painting but does not impose in the same manner as paint. The action of painting with extraction fluid, extracts the pigment from the ground space and creates a form of space within the black velvet field. With this substance, an alchemical reaction occurs that turns the painted mark to gold so that something other than a positive / negative polarity occurs and something other than an object is created. A space within space- space as something other, not as opposite. Timed Based Projections: an object is introduced as a temporal element to the Velvet Tarpaulin composition. The abstraction or text that has been painted with extraction fluid on the black velvet tarp depicts space within space existing on its own as the image. A timed projection of an object is introduced to the composition for a set amount of time. The object, is temporal and can be seen in part, as well as because of the spaces that have been created. Adding the object as projection attempts to alter, not invert an historical hierarchy of space/object relation.

1 Victor Zuckerkandl,. Sound and Symbol; Music and the External World
(Princeton UP, 1956) p.345