Recent paintings by Joanne Greenbaum at CCA Gallery
I came here with the idea to make 20 small paintings and even though I stuck with this plan the paintings didn't come out anything like I expected them to. The idea of artistic disappointment and the fear of not having any new ideas left and being really tired was a good place to start. Can I make a painting with no ideas or can I make paintings that are all about ideas and nothing else? and why does it seem that you cant do both. I am trying to do both, without making theoretical paintings, to work on pure instinct. Instinct has been given a bad rap lately, that there is a false notion that if you work on instinct that its not smart that its not new that one cant have an “idea” if one is working on instinct. these questions left me with a feeling that I wanted to try something else with the basic materials of paint on canvas. I wanted to give up on what I knew, to stop to make something that worked, that was “finished”, that was not about how good I was at painting. The interesting thing is that when one gives up on these things ones hand or handwriting or self still comes out in the works that you cant really give up on what you know no matter how hard you try. I also wanted to play with the idea of the signature style and that I dont have one anymore but its funny because no matter what you do to combat ones own history they still look like your own work.
OK so I had these colored inks that I got and that were permanent in that they didnt break down once dry. So I threw pure colors on the canvasses and then threw water on it when it was still wet and then let them dry. This was the ground for most of the paintings. Then I worked on top of that without thinking of anything in particular, using a system of notations and drawing that I rely on but this time it was automatic and kind of played out. In the action of being so tired and played out what else could happen then but to make bad paintings so it seemed. So I went with this and didnt think that much just made them and put them on the wall together making a confused conversation between these small paintings. No matter what I did they all looked good, and then simultaneously were all about nothing and were so much about crossing out and erasing and destructing what I liked about them. I realized that these paintings were about energy, anger and restlessness and they were not about serenity at all even though the Museum and studios at CCA Andratx are beautiful and quiet these are not.
- Joanne Greenbaum