PAINTING STATEMENT FOR THE MOMENT SERIES (2015-2016)
By David Maxim
The weather was a major player in painting and literature in the late 18th, and much of the 19th centuries. It receded in importance as subject matter for most of the 20th. Since the 1990s and into the 21 century however, the weather has returned—and in a big way—as a subject of pressing concern for many contemporary artists including myself.
Remarkably heavy rainfall in 2015 beset my drive across the United States several times in Texas and Oklahoma. Beautiful cloud formations seemed constant during much of the rest of the trip, and they were a welcome change from the cloudless skies of drought stricken California, to which I would soon return. I photographed many breathtaking cloudscapes useful for my picture series called Moments that I began on my return to the studio. Years earlier, I had executed a long series of tornado drawings that focused on the visual phenomena of that extreme weather condition. Now I was ready to consider the more benign aspects of clouds.
These diptych and triptych paintings show clouds set within a context of abstraction. The sky panel is attached to the other by a hinge so that its plane of view can be changed slightly so as to suggest continual motion, either sideways similar to a door or up/down, like a transom. The larger abstract areas have painterly gestures that may or may not reference clouds, or they may be more Minimalist—I should say, Post-Minimalist oriented. Post-Minimal because content is meant to be read into those panels, as it also is for more gestural ones. I intend the union of the two images to indicate that there is something other, transcendent, and cosmic that is far, far greater than the visible world. As awesome as natural phenomena are to us, all is but a part of a much larger scheme.