Posts Tagged ‘abstract art’

Spring 2014 Paintings

May 30th, 2014 | No Comments

With summer right around the corner, now is a great time for me to take a step back from the easel and share with you images of seven new paintings, which I produced this spring.

Most of the following paintings are already on view in my online portfolio — the Paintings section of this site — which now stands at 220 paintings.

Everything Is a Landscape (Or Not) is my newest painting. (In fact, it was completed today!) The title refers to a statement that Richard Diebenkorn made about his own paintings: “It was impossible to imagine doing a picture without it being a landscape,” he observed, “to try to make a painting space, a pure painting space, but [the picture would] always end up with a figure against a ground.” (Brackets mine.)

Spring 2014 Paintings by Grant Wiggins - Everything Is a Landscape (Or Not)
Everything Is a Landscape (Or Not). May 2014. Acrylic on canvas. 24 x 30 inches (61 x 76 cm).


I can see exactly what Diebenkorn meant. Quite often, I will take a step back from one of my own sketches and see a landscape “into” it. No matter how hard I try, I just can’t avoid this perceptual phenomenon. However, in contrast with Diebenkorn, my approach to abstraction is informed by our highly graphic, design-oriented culture — notably product packaging. Therefore, the “landscape” I arrive at is a reflection of the landscape I live in — one that’s bestrewn with eye-catching graphic motifs.

A companion piece to this painting is already in the works. I’m considering calling it Pure Painting Space.

Looking Forward to Now was painted in mid-May, but was first sketched two months prior, with a rather sedate blue-and-brown colorway. As I embarked upon making this painting, I felt a need to crank up the colors.

Spring 2014 Paintings by Grant Wiggins - Looking Forward to Now
Looking Forward to Now. May 2014. Acrylic on canvas. 36 x 30 inches (91 x 76 cm).


The Lake A Lilac Cube was conceived as a study for a larger work that I may (or may not) make, if that makes sense! The title is borrowed from a characteristically disjointed poem, “They Only Dream of America,” by John Ashbery — one of my favorite poets — from his early book The Tennis Court Oath:

And hiding from darkness in barns
They can be grownups now
And the murderer’s ash tray is more easily —
The lake a lilac cube.

Spring 2014 Paintings by Grant Wiggins - The Lake A Lilac Cube
The Lake A Lilac Cube. May 2014. Acrylic on canvas. 40 x 40 inches (102 x 102 cm).


You, Me, and the Interface, which I made in April, is painting that hasn’t yet made my portfolio. I’m still thinking things over. This ultimately was an experimental work that features a flourish of garish colors. Quite simply, I had an idea for a composition and simply ran with it. Whether I took the idea too far is still unclear!

Spring 2014 Paintings by Grant Wiggins - You, Me, and the Interface
You, Me, and the Interface. May 2014. Acrylic on canvas. 20 x 16 inches (51 x 41 cm).


Invisible Star Redux: Made for my nephew, Invisible Star 2 is a remix/reworking of a 2009 painting. So that I wouldn’t be painting the same work twice, this time around I updated the colorway. The background is light blue, rather than white. The burgundy has a deeper purple tint. The new composition’s orange is much more vibrant, with fluorescent orange added into the mix.

Spring 2014 Paintings by Grant Wiggins - Invisible Star 2
Invisible Star 2. April 2014. Acrylic on canvas. 21.25 x 44 inches (54 x 112 cm).


Two Minimal Studies: I also painted a pair of smaller minimal studies over the course of one weekend in April. I am quite fond of the graphic motif shared by these pieces. Here, I was simply exploring my options.

Spring 2014 Paintings by Grant Wiggins - Untitled Study #1
Spring 2014 Paintings by Grant Wiggins - Untitled Study #2
Untitled Studies: April 2014. Acrylic on panel-mounted canvas. 12 x 12 inches (30 x 30 cm).


Well, here’s to summer! I’m looking forward to having a prolific few months ahead. And if you subscribe to my blog by email, you’ll be among the first to learn about what I paint next! Until then, I hope you enjoy your summer.


‘Punchline’ at The Institute Library, New Haven; Opens November 9

October 25th, 2013 | No Comments

grant wiggins in punchline at the institute library new haven
Lost in Space: 15-18 October 2013. Acrylic on panel-mounted canvas. 12 inches square (30.5 cm x 30.5 cm).


I am extremely proud and excited to be one of 13 artists showing in Punchline, which opens Saturday, November 9 at The Institute Library in New Haven, Connecticut. This is perhaps my highest-profile show in the East Coast to date.

Punchline explores the use of humor in abstraction. According to curator Kevin Daly, who is also an accomplished artist in his own right, the exhibition is “less self-consciously concerned with relevance and criticality than with the presence of the whimsical.” He cites how all of the artists in Punchline “employ playful processes or formal languages.”

Lost in Space (shown above) will be among the five paintings I’ll be exhibiting in Punchline. The title for this painting is a pun on the process of painting. As I produced this painting throughout mid-October, I definitely felt lost in the act of making. In fact, I scrapped the first attempt. On the second, the color palette changed several times, and it seemed as if I could barely hold onto the creative reigns, as paint layers built up. When this happens, a painting can go either way, for better or worse.

Punchline will remain on view through November 27. Here’s the full roster of artists in the show:


Biennial: Origins in Geometry at the Museum of Geometric and MADI Art in Dallas

June 23rd, 2013 | No Comments

Origins in Geometry at Museum of Geometric and MADI Art Dallas
Showing in Origins in Geometry at Museum of Geometric and MADI Art Dallas: Optical Odyssey. 2012. Acrylic on canvas. 16 x 20 inches; 41 x 51 cm.

I’m excited and honored to announce that I have been invited to show my work at the Museum of Geometric and MADI Art in Dallas, in the upcoming juried exhibition Biennial: Origins in Geometry.

The painting selected for this show is Optical Odyssey, a vibrant geometric art work that I also displayed last summer in the Vivid Visions exhibition in Portland.

Biennial: Origins in Geometry will be on view from July 19 through October 6. The exhibition aims to “recognize excellence in emerging visual artists deriving inspiration from geometric abstraction.” A catalog will accompany the show.

The curator of Biennial: Origins in Geometry is Clint Willour, who has served as curator at the Galveston Art Center for the past 19 years and is active on boards of numerous arts organizations in Texas.

To see other works like Optical Odyssey, I invite you to visit the Maximalism gallery of my site’s Paintings section.