Tag Archives: Neo Plasticism

New Work: Artificial Landscapes

Joe Wallace New abstract paintings Chicago

I’ve been working on some new pieces lately and they’ve taken on a life of their own…this has quickly turned into a series that shows no signs of stopping. At first I thought they might be some kind of unholy addendum to that (comparatively) little canon of Neo Plasticism, but after a lot of staring at these damn things it seems clear (to me, hah) that the origin of these images is  a lot  more practical, meaningful (to me)  and interesting than just riffing on an early 20th Century style .

I won’t give the game away, though–telling people what to think of your art feels about the same as giving away the ending of the new murder mystery thriller–it’s a cheat to the viewer who is busy forming their own ideas and opinions about what they are looking at.

A good 50% of the first-time viewing experience for any piece of art (in my mind, anyway) is deciding whether or not you like it or not, then the rest of the battle is drawn up around WTF it means, if anything, or whether it’s simply aesthetically great but isn’t making some kind of statement.

A lot of times, in my own art experiences, I’ve arrived at the “Statement” conclusions a lot later on, realizing that I had missed something crucial about what I was looking at the first time around. Sort of like watching a movie and missing a key plot detail and asking your neighbor what’s going on, I found myself needing that extra little bit of context or info to clue me in.

Case in point:

I once saw a sculpture of what appeared to be a lion or an impression of a “Chinese dragon”. It was made entirely out of cardboard and while I thought the piece was an impressive bit of tenacity and patience while assembling all those little pieces of cardboard, I hate to admit that i felt that otherwise, so what?

Imagine how stupid I felt when someone mentioned in passing, almost by accident, “It’s made entirely out of Nike shoe boxes”. And then that sculpture seemed like an entirely political statement, and a really pointed one at that.

That’s when I decided I couldn’t really judge any piece of art by my first impressions of it any more.

But I digress. This series of new work is a mixed media thing–I’m using acrylics on pine board, pen and ink on water color paper and a lot of other variations…but the end results are the same.

The blue and red piece is ink on watercolor paper, the yellow and black is acrylic on pine. I’m working an ongoing series of these for a show coming later this summer at StudioLab on the 5th floor of the Bridgeport Art Center.

These pieces aren’t technically for sale just yet, but there has been some early interest expressed, so if you want to know about  viewing and purchasing, please get in touch with me at jwallace242@gmail.com for details.

Joe Wallace Bridgeport Art Center abstract Art

Chicago abstract art Joe Wallace red blue 2

Chicago artist Joe Wallace blue red 1