Artist Statement

For the past 30 years I've been interested in making paintings that locate between the spaces of intuition and conception, between abstraction and depiction. My concerns begin with the natural world, responding to light and shadow, shape and color. I work serially, so the bodies of work shift focus, but the unifying theme is that the work is diaristic and in it I attempt to pin down something of the evanescent.

Currency, Artist Statement

Currency, 2007-2012
On September 24, 2007 the president of Iran spoke at Columbia University amid protests and much controversy. I found the event, coverage and images of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad compelling and made some drawings of him from various Web–based news sources. Drawing his face connected me to him—I wanted to know more about his past as well as Iran's history. I've continued to draw the face of a world leader every day since then. My goal is to isolate that person and try to understand their behavior, to be attentive and present as a citizen of the world. Before beginning the portrait, I assign it a position on the tabloid-size paper according to my sense of optimism or pessimism regarding their behavior--the higher it is on the page, the greater my hope for world harmony. Thus, I'm delineating an ever growing, biased global event time-line. To underscore the diaristic nature of the undertaking, I hang the drawings in a calendar format, in monthly grids. After I complete the drawing I scan it, returning it to its digital beginnings and send it back into the Web, to a museum staff member, who then prints it and hangs on the gallery wall, so that it mirrors my journalism-meets-journal studio installation and practice.
The title, of the piece, Currency, most obviously references my desire and attempt to keep informed of and bear witness to, world events. We speak of an idea having currency meaning that it is widely accepted and circulated. The title Currency also refers to the scale of the portraits themselves, which might evoke a bank note or dollar bill portrait, an image of power and money entwined.

Flowers, Artist Statement

In the days following the death of my mother in 2022, lovely friends sent floral bouquets. Soon I began painting the flowers in various stages of life, from fresh, through spent and bent. Somehow painting the wilting stems with their innate pathos helped me to grieve. During the summer, friends who visited my studio often brought flowers from their own gardens—these seemed even more urgent to document. At first the paintings were in sumi ink on paper—black and white. In painting them, I experience a stark beauty, a sadness, yes, but also the anticipation of renewal. As winter passed, I painted from many of the same flowers, now dried and dehydrated—their curves having turned angular. Once spring started unfolding, I knew I would paint the very first blooms (forsythia, crocus, and hellebores) and as spring grew into its fullness I tried to keep pace, painting what was blooming in the city park just out my door, nearly every day. Magnolia trees put out their blossoms—daffodils, tulips and irises broke through the dark earth. Spring bounded ahead of me! I tried to keep up with the blossoming, responding to their theater. It's been nearly two years now, and I'm still painting what is blooming in the neighborhood on any given day. In this diaristic project I want to demonstrate visually how rich and full our day-to-day lives can be, if only we can be present enough to observe it.

Light Installations, Artist Statement

Light Installations, 2002-present

In the site-specific series Light Installations, light and shadow from nearby windows seem to be raking the walls of the gallery. The illusion, however, is a hand-painted trompe l'oeil shard, often situated in rooms with little or no natural light. In this work I rely on the viewers knowledge and memory of light intersecting space to raise questions of belief and doubt. These pieces are meant to give the viewer time to enjoy not-knowing, and to privilege questions over answers. By puzzling the physical senses (setting up the viewer to fail at identifying something as elemental as light), these paintings celebrate the pleasure of trying to understand those things just outside the grasp of physical intelligence.

Paper Rooms, Artist Statement

Paper Rooms, 2006

These sculpted paintings begin with a single piece of paper that I fold and cut to resemble a small room with windows. I then cast light into the room from an exterior source. Unfolding the room, I recall the places that received light when page was a box shape, and paint the light as I remember it. I embellish the memory by including an imagined exterior landscape. In this way, I think of the rooms as the retelling of an event, related to short stories and unreliable narrators.