Allegories Of Strife: The Diptychs Of Alison Weld, 1990-2005

Mar 4-Apr 29, 2006 The sweep of the arm, the force of each gesture, and the swirl of viscous oil paint coupled with painted artificial flowers or the commercial fabrics that I associate with my gender inscribe a world I am passionate about – that of weathered cow and deer vertebrae found in fields, the fossils of mammals, dinosaurs and turtles I regularly visit at the American Museum of Natural History, the expansive sky, the forest, the hay field, wooded farm tools, as well as the neon lights of 42nd street, the packaging in Chinatown, or the ubiquitous, anonymous patterns of material culture that denote our distinctive ethnicities. My juxtapositions are meant to speak of the complexities of life today, addressing our sense of our whole selves. Just as flesh is imbued with spirit and the commercial is transformed by the visceral, the abstract but intensely personal arena of the painting is set against a sharply distinctive context o to suggest strength and vulnerability and to suggest the dichotomies of the internal and external realms with which we are all familiar.

My subject, aside from the visual artwork itself, is the life force; the life force of the natural and organic world as well as the collective life energies of the commercial society that surrounds us. I believe that the arts embrace large philosophical issues and that painting is visual philosophy. Indeed, I believe that a painting's surface can be seen as consciousness itself.

I love color and believe that it is profound. I believe in the physicality of the various elements that comprise a painting. I find meaning in the objecthood of a painting and revel in the fake fur, upholstery, and fake flowers as much as the paint itself. The process of painting is a search for a significant image, one that is not easy to resolve but that is right when it just is.

I consider myself a postmodernist who looks back to move forward. I reflect on the proportions of Minimalist artworks when deciding on the structure of each work, but strongly believe in the power of emotion and gesture found in Abstract Expressionism. Although my love of popular culture in my juxtapositions recalls much of the spirit of Pop Art and recent appropriation art, I strongly believe that soul, psychology and emotion are still vital forces to be transmitted through the creative process and in the visceral act of painting.

– Alison Weld