I stopped by Yvette Torres Fine Art to see reMarks: Paintings by Barbara Brady while in Rockland the other day. If you have not been to this gallery you have to go—it’s a terrific space to see paintings in. The large, wide open space, allows for different perspectives on the work. The garage door and gray floor give it an industrial feel that is authentic. An arrangement of modern chairs complement the work beautifully and invite a moment for conversation and discovery.
The space is both intimate and expansive, in the same way the exhibitions introduce us to a person, to a body of work which then connects us to other places and events– expanding our experiences.
After seeing the exhibition, I got in touch with Barbara, visited her studio and asked her some questions about her work.
JP: Your work seems to be drawn so clearly from the Abstract Expressionist tradition yet there are differences, I wondered how you see that connection?
BB: I admire and have been inspired by DeKooning, Kline, Mitchell, the energy of gestural painting intrigues me. I also find the work of Gerhard Richter and Anselm Kiefer to fascinate.
JP: What else do you think influences your work?
BB: Seasons, nature and music.
JP: You paint without preconceptions- Would it be accurate to say that your process is an intuitive search for an image ?
BB: Intuitive, emotional, not sure I would call it a search exactly – more of a revealing.
JP: What is that quote of Mattise’s above the door in your studio?
BB: “Give external shape to inner visions.”
JP: The paintings ‘read’ very differently from far away and close up. You mention that from a few inches away that one can see their ‘chapters’, their existence. Why is that important for you?
BB: Yes, very important. I feel, to have a complete appreciation for a person, or painting or anything really, you need to get to know them/it. Spend time with, learn from, explore and yes, look and listen. Too often life is superficial, a casual chat, a quick glance – how can you ever truly understand or appreciate something without investing some of your time? I don’t think my work is meant to have an immediate “grab” or an “in your face” style. I have likened it to more of a “come hither” approach. A bit of mystery that can be revealed if you are willing to give of yourself.
JP: Your work seems to have an underlying structure in common yet there is this wonderful use of color and gesture where you are able to sustain endless variations that remain inventive, compelling and consistently beautiful.
BB: Thank you!
JP: I look at your work and it makes me want to get in the studio- you clearly love the materials, moving painting around, making marks.
BB: Yes, each piece reveals something new. Some pieces, it’s all about the paint. Others, it calls for the addition of other materials (graphite, oil pastel, paper, cardboard, wire). Going beyond the brush, adding other materials to enhance or adorn a piece or create a new mark.
JP: What are you reading ?
BB: Lee Krasner a Biography by Gail Levin
Barbara will give an Artist’s Talk entitled “Getting There From Here” on Sunday, Aug. 26th at 3 PM.
Yvette Torres Fine Art is located at 21 Winter Street in Rockland, Maine.