Ascending Colors –
The Intermission Series

“The Intermission series are a unit of 12 works that were done specifically for a single show, a month long display in Bethlehem PA in May of 1986. The venue was called The Saurus, a used book store and coffee house.  The works were all on 24 x 30 canvases, and were begun, though not finished at the same time. The series was an experiment in random abstract design, disciplined by the limiting of all Ascending Color forms to specific rectangles. I mostly held to that discipline. The primary foreground elements were placed in settings that compliment them both in color and angularity, although with numbers 187 and 197, I clearly deviated. At the time of the showing, these were numbered works, though over the years, some of the images have come to have related meaning. For these I have adopted titles that allow me to identify and remember the reference with the image. I have shared some of those here.

While I was never comfortable with the idea of just creating images and numbering them, I’ve come to realize that allowing one’s self to be abstract, to partake in active randomness, is a valid creative process in itself. I was learning to accept that the images I created may be intellectually challenging, or they may simply be given over to decor. Not all paintings are imbued with meaning deeper than the paint.  The art remains in the execution, the technique, the time spent with the canvas. With this series, that learning became a part of my personal working definition of art. ”

A disappointment came with the show in Bethlehem. I was clearly romanticizing the notion of being at the center of a happening in a truly gritty, post industrial community. It was going to be with people who saw themselves as the cultural rescue committee of that time and place, the rebuilders, the new blood. It was going to be an event, a heralding, but instead it was just boring. I was told of their high ceilinged gallery space, but is wasn’t made clear that it meant the open space above their stacks. The work wasn’t presented well and things were cluttered. Their patrons were not of the sophistictation level I expected. The whole thing was an incomplete idea dropped on a place and time not ready for different ideas. In the end I was just glad to get the works back undamaged.


 Next Category of Paintings: The Illustratives – 1985-1986