Molly Yergens Group 2 Residency Summary Advisor: Jan Avgikos 7/8/11

Feedback and Thoughts  Oliver shared his suspicions of diptychs and triptychs. He shared some thoughts about how the format should not be used as a narrative device to create meaning when you don’t trust the work to do it on its own. Laurel also wants to see individual paintings stand on their own, rather using a modular approach and combining multiple panels. This modular approach ends up being more of an exercise and functions only if the panels do not come together to create a completely unified whole.  Sunanda had very useful suggestions about how to better implement the use of multiple panels in a way that better suits my conceptual interests. Each panel represents a single perspective (a fragment of an experience of landscape) and the panels are viewed in combination, but are not unified or connected visually. I should USE the multiplicity of the panels conceptually.  Sunanda encouraged me to document my painting expedition. I am thinking about asking a friend to collect some video footage and take some photographs of me as I work so I can have some documentation of the process, not just photographs of the work.

Sunanda suggested that I try juxtaposing painterly areas with more realistic areas: a glimpse of realism within painterly spaces: Areas of focus amidst areas gestural depictions of generalized space.

I should use collage as a “mediating agent”. Subvert the unmediated nature of renaissance perspective. Capitalize on painting’s ability to show multiple perspectives and to create a visual depiction of an experience: an impossible version of something.

I was pleased that Oliver observed a “collage feeling” in the work. He described it as a “photographic or filmic dynamism”. I would like to continue to pursue this because I think it is relevant to the idea of two-dimensionally representing an experience of three dimensions using multiple perspectives. Photography plays a role in my work, It can polarize different perspectives and guide the view on perceptual paths.

The fragmented nature of the space has a hallucinatory character and in parts the landscape seems to be breaking down.

I myself am interested in the way in which I have injected an architectural vocabulary into paintings which were originally intended to be rooted in landscape.

Oliver suggested I look at some futurism, which I think is quite relevant. He said that the paintings had futurist qualities but are not as “cold and analytical”.

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Several people thought that an increase in scale would be wise, others did not. Most observers commented initially on my unfortunate crit space: that the work lends itself to being viewed both from a distance and also close up. The way the space was oriented, it was difficult to view the paintings from any distance. I will remember to make sure to get this message to Louise for the next residency.

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Continue to work from collages and drawings. A tension between the sublime/romantic and hard edged/rigid was observed. Laurel suggested that I vary the scale of my marks and include more of a range of visual vocabulary.

At the end of my meeting with Laurel (last semester’s advisor) she said, “Don’t try to do everything!” This comment suggests that she understands how I operate. I am interested in many things and need to remind myself that it is perfectly acceptable to study one very specific thing rather than to overwhelm myself with too much at once. This is a worthwhile challenge to address.

A list of suggestions from my crit group: o vary the paint thickness o juxtapose opacity/transparency

o the seams between panels are unsightly when the pieces are presented as a compositional whole o The geometric breaking down of form of space is organic and intuitive. o Jill likes the vibrant colors and energy of the linear elements. o Large empty spaces strengthen work. Add more contrast. o Small observational paintings are more fluid, and suggest space in a simpler, less cluttered, more effortless manner.  Look into the way in which Seurat and other painters use small studies as source material for larger work. This is a process that I intend to use on my Norwegian painting expedition, but I have little experience working this way.

I regularly consider the tension between landscape and abstraction in my work, but am unsure of what it means.

Tony suggested that I try doing some collages with colored paper/color swatches rather than magazine clippings, but he also enjoys the isolated areas of depth achieved in the color studies. Bits of photographs provide interesting glimpses into other worlds. The empty areas surrounding collage elements provide necessary visual pauses and Tony commented that the collages function better in terms of leading the eye through each composition and offer multiple focuses.

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Try a more neutral palette. Exercise subtlety. Melissa suggested that I make paintings more literally based upon color study collages. Melissa also recommended working on primed paper (each piece the same dimensions). Tony enjoys the simplicity of the ink drawings and suggested that I try applying a similar approach to painting.

Semester One Goals:  During my painting expedition in Northern Norway create drawings, paintings, photographs and video footage that will serve as reference material for my upcoming semester of studio work. o I will create twenty 9” x 12” oil sketches from observation. o I will also complete a series of larger oil paintings on linen ranging from 12”-32” in length. o I will collect video footage and photographs of the place that I will use to

o I will roughly map the experience of small areas by completing a series of quick ink sketches at semi-regular intervals as I traverse specific paths. o At the end of my time in Norway I will exhibit the work in the local gallery. Work that does not sell during the duration of my exhibition will be shipped back to US. http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1926600228/midnattsol-a-painting-expedition-in-arcticnorway Upon my return to Minnesota and before the weather and the short days make it difficult to paint outside, I would like to do more work from direct observation. I will focus my efforts on the nature of specific experiences with specific landscapes, continuing to collect visual and mythical data in the form of small paintings, oil sketches, watercolor drawings, video footage and photographs. Studio isolation of colder months will be spent making large paintings using reference material I had been collecting since July.     Develop a more rigid/rigorous process. Do more collage and do more drawing. The steps taken before beginning paintings should be more deliberate. Pick a decade and look through all issues of Art Forum from that decade. Create a series of color studies based on the colors “excavated” from these issues. Using small oil paintings as collage elements. Combine them and work from them to create larger, more unified pieces. Michael Pfleghaar and I had inspiring discussions about the possibility of incorporating some three dimensional elements to my paintings this semester. I would like to approach 2-3 pieces like stage sets, adding “theatrical flats” to the composition which slide into grooves in a piece of wood connected to the base of the painting in front of painted panel. Artists to research:

Gerhard Richter, Kurt Schwitters, Ingrid Calame, Mark Dion, Julie Mehretu, Futurism, Cubism, Picasso/Braque, Gees Bend quilts, Al Held, Roni Horn, Marsden Hartley, Richard Poussett-Dart, Joanne Greenbaum, Thomas Nozkowski, Gustav Klimt, Leroy Nieman, Stezaker, Henri Rousseau, Neil Welliver, Cezanne, John Marin, Alfred Jensen, Seurat (oil sketch process), Joseph Stella, Feiniger, Paul Serusier (Nabis), Phillip Guston, Franz Kline, Margie Livingston, Tomory Dodge, Dana Schutz, Times Quotidean, Constance Mallinson, Mike Glier, Robert Delauney, Joyce Kozloff, Lordy Rodriiguez, Flora Napatoff, Abbot Henderson Thayer, Shawn Barber, Matisse, Gregory Euclide (mentor possibility)

Artists researched last semester:  Lisa Sanditz, Daniel Richter, Peter Doig, Gustav Klimt (landscape), Dana Schutz, Amy Sillman, April Gornik, Alfred Hitchcock, Shaun O’Dell, William Kentridge, Mark Tansey, Paula Rego, Mary Heilman, Mark Bradford, Andrei Tarkovsky, David Bates, Neo Rausch, Albert York, Otto Dix (landscape), Luc Tuymans, Maurice Prendergast, Gerhard Richter, Gregory Crewdson, Candida Alvarez, Fischli and Weiss, Pipolito Rist, Carel Weight, John Evans, Liu Xiaodong, Laura Owens, Christopher Le Brun, Anselm Kiefer, Hieronymus Bosch, Jerome Witkin, John Evans, Gregory Amenoff, Gary Ruddel, Edvard Munch, Sven Kroner, Margaret Wall-Romana Things to read:  “Crystal World” by J.G. Ballard, Amy Sillman articles, “The Anatomy of Nature: Geology and American Landscape Painting” by Rebecca Bedell, Heather Hilton (AIB grad thesis), “Principles of Chinese Painting” by George Rowly, “Picasso” by Gertrude Stein

Reading suggestions from last semester: 

New German Painting, Space and Place, The Poetics of Space, Vitamin P, The Confectionery Landscape, Painting Today, The Uses of Enchantment by Bruno Bettelheim, Modern Man in Search of a Soul by C.G Jung, Ancient Chinese Mythology, Shinto, Remix by Lawrence Lessig, Reading the Forested Landscape: A Natural History of New England by Tom Wessels, Memory and Landscape by Simon Schama