Studio Visit: Lisa Denyer

Lisa Denyer is an artist living and working in Berlin.  Her work can be seen in PLEAT’s June 2017 exhibition as well as lisa.denyer.squarespace.com.

Please describe your work. 
My practice looks at themes of transience, impermanence, and the transportive potential of paint. The forms and colours in the work manifest from abstracted everyday observations. Ideas around containment, modernity and escapism are referenced in ongoing explorations of semiotics, digital aesthetics, and framing devices.
 
The supports are often handmade using wood, hardboard or plywood. I enjoy working with these materials for their textual qualities and their ability to withstand multiple layers of paint. The handling of paint and the interaction between the medium and raw surface is a primary consideration. Collage is also an important aspect of my work.
 
What internal and external factors motivate your conceptual choices? 
I’m really interested in the contrast between the slow, considered process of painting and the sensory overload of daily life (especially living in a city), and how contemporary painting deals with those polarities.
 
My recent work investigates the physical, visceral nature of paint and support, juxtaposed with the influence of digital aesthetics which infiltrates the work from the screens we see around us. It relates to the body, the physical world including the built environment vs the virtual, and the relationship we have with different kinds of spaces.

Who are your artistic influences and what have you learned from them? 
I get a lot out of having a dialogue with other painters, and often end up taking a particular direction because of a comment or idea which resonates with me.
     
Looking at Philip Guston’s work always makes me want to paint. I really admire the authenticity and passion which comes across in the work and in how he spoke about painting. 
 
I think that Adolph Gottlieb has a lot to do with my current direction as his work really got me thinking about the meanings of signs and symbols and the innate connections and associations we feel towards certain shapes or colours. I’m interested in how that can be applied to contemporary branding, logos etc.
 
How has social media affected your studio practice?
It’s become such a big part of the routine of artists working today. It’s great to be able to interact with my peers and to see so much good work on a daily basis. I get a sense that more and more galleries and collectors are using social media platforms such as Instagram to discover work. I do worry that it can be a bit throwaway though. 
 
Visually, I think we're really influenced by what we see on the screen, and I think it alters our ideas of how composition can be approached - for example the floating rectangles of visual information, and layering that you can see referenced in a lot of recent painting. For me, the rectangle continues to be a key motif, along with ideas of containment, and expanding and breaking out.

Studio Visit: Douglas Degges

Douglas Degges Studio 0417.JPG

Douglas Degges is an artist living and working in Chattanooga, Tennessee.  His work can be seen in PLEAT's May 2017 exhibition as well as douglasdegges.com

Please describe you work.
With much of my recent work I am interested in the relationship between the painted image and the painted object. The image, the immaterial thing we can hold in our mind, is both separate from and part of the physical material that contains or supports it. It is this complicated relationship between the skin of a painting and its bones that I am most interested in. The works on paper you find here, in Papermate, are studies for larger works. 

What internal and external factors motivate your conceptual choices? 
The curious emphasis our culture places on skilled labor and time spent is a major motivator or point of consideration in my studio practice. I find painting to be a great vehicle for thinking about the value of hard work and technical skill acquisition as painting carries with it a longstanding history of works that exhibit extreme craftsmanship. In my own work, I seek out processes that allow my finished paintings to fake hard work and the slow accretion of material. I think it is surprising that so many viewers want to look at something that is difficult, even impossible, to make. I am also interested in stylistic range as a means to quietly or poetically engage in politics in the studio. My hope is that I am often able to make work that is unrecognizably my own. As a consequence, visual influences and interests are wide ranging. The more divergent the better. Right now I am looking at the figurative work of Jutta Koether and Albert Oehlen, 1980’s abstraction, and William Wegman’s postcard paintings. 

Who are your artistic influence and what have you learned from them?
I look at a lot of different artists’ work but a few have consistently loomed large. The varied work of Amy Sillman and Michael Krebber have been major influences on my studio practice. I also worked as an artist assistant for Catherine Murphy and Thomas Nozkowski for a short time after finishing school. They have both greatly affected my work and taught me the importance of protecting your studio practice as so much of life transpires to keep you away from it.

How has social media affect your studio practice?
Surprisingly, it's slowed my painting practice down. I continue to make a lot of work but each work is made over more work sessions and longer periods of time. I think painting's slowness has a lot to offer the study of imagery. At a time when we have immediate access to anything, from sourcing information on the internet to our ability to capture and store images at a moment’s notice, painting can be a vehicle for slowing down and considering the speed at which images are produced and consumed. I think working within a discipline and visual language that by its very nature does not allow that high speed and short lived engagement is important. For a few years I was interested in making work that was intentionally difficult to document, hopefully encouraging interested people to seek out the paintings in person