Gregory Amenoff: Interview

Gregory Amenoff, Clearing (for Jake), 2015, oil on canvas, 72 x 72 inches (court
Gregory Amenoff, Clearing (for Jake), 2015, oil on canvas, 72 x 72 inches (courtesy of the artist and courtesy Alexandre Gallery)

Jennifer Samet interviews painter Gregory Amenoff.

Amenoff comments: "Landscape, as an idea, has to do with longing. Paintings are alternate worlds – worlds unto themselves, manifested by each artist to satisfy a desire to fill a void. One summer I taught with Per Kirkeby at Skowhegan and he said that paintings are more real than actual experience. I thought about that, and took it to mean that painting is a distillation. A painting takes some aspect of the world — maybe an emotional state — isolates it, and makes it more potent. A painting is edited and condensed, so the flavors are sharper and brighter and stronger. It can be as magical as an Agnes Martin. Her work does that: isolates, distills, and creates a world. With an unsuccessful painting, or when parts of a painting are annoying, you are not able to believe in that world."