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Interview with Barbara Grossman

Larry Groff interviews fellow painter Barbara Grossman about her career and work.

Asked about how “modernist notions of flatness and respecting the picture plane’s integrity benefit [her] work,” Grossman responds: “I believe it is another way to present ‘near and far’ without the conventions of perspective, which is a concept and not at all how we human beings see. Tonal gradations are also a preconceived notion about how light falls on objects, planes or figures. Each painting is a new event. It is my experience that viewing a painting that offers this way of seeing is as convincing, if not more, than the traditional ‘spatial illusions.’ I believe that the known ways of describing are predictable and lifeless for the most part. Perception is more complicated because the eye and the mind are never at rest, so apprehending a space takes the constant motion of the eye. It is the interstices that brings a painting to life. When putting those moments of vision on a flat surface, one has to be in tune with that physical time-based experience. Everything is in flux until one ‘nails it’ to the canvas or paper.

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