In my recent work, I am inspired by medieval paintings as pathways to abstraction and world building. I’m especially drawn to late medieval Italian frescoes, to their imperfections and the connection to humanity they give me. I find the process of viewing these paintings exciting. Right away there are unambiguous details that spring to life—a pointing finger, the shoulder joint of some armor—while the spatial context remains mysterious. As I spend time with the work, that context quickly becomes understandable and meaningful, but it’s that first moment of confusion, of simultaneous clarity and mystery that I most love.
Viewing these paintings, it seems to me that time collapses. I connect to the human subject matter of the scene depicted, to the artist whose artistic choices are so alive, and to my contemporary, post-abstraction viewing context. I see worlds coming together — the holy and the earthly, the medieval and the present day, the abstract and the descriptive. The imperfection of these works, after hundreds of years of wear and tear, opens them up. As a 21st century viewer, I find them thrilling experiences of abstraction. My new work attempts to understand and build upon that perceptual moment.