Jennifer Riley: Painting as Noun & Verb

Jennifer Riley, Wolfcreek Howl, 2013, oil on canvas, 88 x 78 inches (courtesy of
Jennifer Riley, Wolfcreek Howl, 2013, oil on canvas, 88 x 78 inches (courtesy of Allegra La Viola Gallery)

Thomas Micchelli interviews painter Jennifer Riley on the occasion of the exhibition Jennifer Riley: Memory from Sight at Allegra LaViola Gallery, New York, on view through April 27, 2013.

Riley comments: "I think... that wanting to depict/relate images of hard facts needs to be balanced by an awareness of what lies beyond the boundaries. I literally said to myself that ‘painting’ is also verb — it is an action — as well as a noun. I’d been too long in the noun; it felt natural to shift from ‘sign’ to ‘record.’ From something that indicates sets of information, so to speak, to showing tangible evidence of experiences. No doubt that nature has influenced my recent work. I find my self staring with my mouth wide open at birds, at the edge of the forest — I sometimes feel guilty for looking — like I should get back to work — but looking is working for a painter."