Pamela Salisbury Tom Burckhardt: Heads through April 2, 2023

At my core I am an abstractionist, but one who has some inherent distrust of its historical elitism and lack of humor. I think I have always tried to find ways to infuse it with a sense of its own absurdity, and poke some fun at it while showing my affection for its strength and ambition. I’ve also felt the need to resist a sense of purism and find ways of including elements of figuration, although often bleeding them of their literal realism to find an accommodation of the two spheres. In my recent paintings, I am using stretched linen, with hand cut stretcher bars, giving them a wobbly edge, somewhere just shy of being shaped canvasses. I like the odd funky quality this gives, humanizing their virtue and giving them more a sense of persona, than object.

I’m trying to bring the paintings up to an invisible line, the watershed between recognizability and visual wandering. I’m interested in is this initial recognition of the structure of a human face. Before the questions of gender or specifics of emotion or even race. It’s more basic and peculiar than that. The first thing we’re trying to decide is are these actually human or not.

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