John Mendelsohn: Interview

John Mendelsohn, Elvis Black Water, 2010 (courtesy of the artist)
John Mendelsohn, Elvis Black Water, 2010 (courtesy of the artist)

D. Dominick Lombardi interviews painter John Mendelsohn on the occasion of his exhibition Drawings, Studies, and Works on Paper at Kook Projects, New York, on view through January 9, 2015.

In the show, earlier narrative works are exhibited alongside more recent abstract paintings. About the latter Mendelsohn comments: "For the past fifteen years I have been exploring different kinds of visual movement in my paintings. Working on the Elvis Black Water pieces, I was in the midst of an extended group of drawings that involved wave-like energy moving across the surface. There is the sense of viscous fluid, colored light, and unfurling blackness passing through it. At the time there seemed to be a brackish, swampy feeling in the work. The process was direct and intuitive, as was the case for much of the work in the show. I think that for me emotion is realized through the process of working, rather than felt in advance. The title occurred to me when I was looking at what I had done -- something scary and seductive."