Julian Kreimer: Interview

Julian Kreimer, Caracol, oil on linen, 34 x 26 inches, 2013 (courtesy of the art
Julian Kreimer, Caracol, oil on linen, 34 x 26 inches, 2013 (courtesy of the artist)

Larry Groff interviews painter Julian Kreimer whose work was recently on view at the Lux Art Institute.

Asked about making both abstract and perceptual paintings Kreimer comments: "Some of the things are really central to both. The negative space is probably the main link in both: if there’s a kind of formal structure that has heavy symbolic meaning, it’s the way that the foreground that we tend to ignore becomes present in the paintings. It’s all about negatives. I would say two-thirds of my work is negative space to one-third positive. The figure-ground, not just reversals, but in both bodies of work, I really like when the figure and ground are sort of switching off. Sometimes I can think of an Alex Katz painting or Bonnard, where the figure really becomes almost like the background. I’m really interested in them … The painting’s always moving back and forth with that... The main difference for me is the abstract paintings I allow myself to paint over and over and change entirely. With observational paintings, I give myself this rule, not always and it’s not super strict, but 99% of the time, I start and finish them in the same day. They’re alla prima, one-shot paintings."