Sponsor: Golden Artist Colors

Real States
featuring paintings by Tom Burckhardt, Clare Grill, and Sangram Majumdar

Steven Harvey Fine Art Projects, New York
February 10- March 13, 2016

This is the final weekend to see Real States at Steven Harvey Fine Art Projects on the Lower East Side. The show features paintings by Tom Burckhardt, Clare Grill, and Sangram Majumdar. The works of each of these artists engage with the notion of image, but also confound it. The press release notes that the artists “all make paintings that engage abstract or abstracted forms on the armature of an implied grid. However, these forms and shapes are simultaneously allowed to fall away from any such structure.”

A panel discussion titled The Abstract Image, moderated by art historian and critic Jennifer Samet, was held at the gallery on February 28, 2016. With their paintings around them, all three artists started off by talking about their process and its relation to image-making.

Sangram Majumdar commented that moving away from recognizable imagery is “a way to arrive at a place that’s a bit more unknown. I think there’s an anxiety about looking at things. The longer I look at them I start disbelieving… so the painting process for me becomes a way to get closer to what … drew me into that imagery.”

Clare Grill responded: “I want my work to feel specific… [the source material] provides a mood, or a feeling, or a reason to make a painting. And that’s it. And then it becomes something else – it becomes a painting.”

Noting that Majumdar and Grill work from something that exists in the world, Tom Burckhardt commented: “I work in the opposite way… In terms of the image-making, I really start from absolutely nothing – it’s akin to … surrealist automatic writing … and out of that generality what I eventually move towards is specificity.” Referring to working on cast supports, he continued: “But my relationship to the support is incredibly specific from the beginning… if you [Grill and Majumdar] are working from something in the world, something that has a representational life somewhere, for me the only thing that’s like that is the sculpture of the painting.”

The full recording of the discussion is below:

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