Gregory Slick: The Fertile Rock

Filed in Past Exhibitions, Past Solo Exhibitions, Solo Exhibitions by on February 6, 2016

One-corner Painting, 2015, acrylic on wood panel,
19 3/4″ x 15 3/4″

February 6 – 28, 2016
Opening Reception: February 6, 4-6 PM

With my paintings, works on paper, and collages I attempt to find and formalize a personal and art-historical point of view in abstraction. My work deals with themes that range from everyday observations of human experience to intellectual queries and issues of global and historical significance. Stripping away the inessential and showing only what is indispensable, I lay down forms and colors taken from a constantly evolving lexicon of imagery that, on many levels, owes much to influences ranging from modernist geometric abstraction and representations of spacetime in quantum physics to Chinese painting and Neolithic and Iron age architecture.

A 2013 artist’s residency at the Burren College of Art in County Clare, Ireland afforded me an opportunity to live and work near many ancient Irish heritage sites and incorporate their structures as abstracted shapes into my paintings and works on paper. The title of this show, The Fertile Rock, is derived from a medieval designation for the vast, desolate area surrounding the art college. The Burren, meaning “a rocky place” in Irish, was regarded by local monks as analogous to the wildernesses of early mystics in the Middle East. As such, the paradox of a seemingly barren place that offered unexpected riches, such as fat cattle that grazed on the upland pastures year round, was compelling to anyone who sought to derive spiritual and cultural rewards from a landscape so unlike that of the rest of Ireland. Likewise, my experience in the Burren, though far removed from the medieval context, was one freighted with both conspicuous and subtle, slow-building revelations. Into the present day, my artistic practice is shot through with the biology and geology, changing palette, and many archaeological sites that continue to underscore the Burren’s wondrously paradoxical nature.

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