Radical Non-Representation

M R McDonald
East Gallery
March 3 – April 2, 2016
First Thursday: March 3, 5 – 8pm
Artists’ Reception and Artist Talks: March 5, 5 – 7pm

In the Cities, 2007, oil on canvas, 40x30

In the Cities, 2007, oil on canvas, 40×30

From the artist: “I find that when I am painting, I place more emphasis on formal elements, rather than taking a narrative or expressive approach. I don’t consider myself to be either ‘exploring’ or ‘investigating’, or ‘expressing’ anything.

I am also not concerned with themes, such as ‘identity,’ memory, or time, and am not, at least consciously, influenced by my surroundings, including properties of the light.

The paintings are visual and not conceptual, and thus I do not offer an explanation to accompany the works as an aid to understanding of them. Although it may be naive, over-simplified, and surely not true as a general statement about ‘what art is’, Clive Bell’s ‘significant form’ theory is perhaps most in tune with my approach. (Art, 1914.)

Forms and their dynamics are the subjects if my work, not what they ‘depict’ (although of course I am not suggesting that this is a requirement of art in general, and in fact, it seems that form is sometimes abundantly present, while the resulting product is sterile or stale.)

It is what I find that I do, though I am aware that this may not be entirely in tune with some post-modern aspect of our culture, and in fact may be viewed as a somewhat retrograde emphasis on ‘meaning’ through form. I enjoy doing it and I hope the viewer will enjoy viewing the paintings.”