Peri Schwartz: Interview

Peri Schwartz, Studio XVIII, 2007, 56 × 44 inches (courtesy of the artist)
Peri Schwartz, Studio XVIII, 2007, 56 × 44 inches (courtesy of the artist)

Cody Upton interviews painter Peri Schwartz, whose work was recently on view at garvey|simon art access in New York.

Schwartz comments: "The grid is a fluid thing. I’ve learned, that when you paint over something that is good, the new version is often even better, because you let the old layer come through. A lot of my painting is about what’s underneath. It’s not just a one-shot thing. I’m not interested in the Frank Stella shape. I like the Diebenkorn shape, with its feeling of layers, of color upon color. It’s not just a block outline. It’s a shape that’s shifting... The intervals are the grid, which is all that empty space. You need empty space. And then sometimes accidents happen, and you say, ‘Wait a minute, that half an inch to the left seems a little more interesting. I’m going to use that.’ That accident is what it’s about. The one thing I don’t want a painting to look like when it’s finished is finished. I want it to be an open question. Things shouldn’t look like they’re exactly where they’re supposed to be. The composition shouldn’t feel stagnant."