SCOTT BAUER

USA

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Paintings are illusions. But the medium and the surface together generate a reality: an object but also a reaction from the viewer. Whatever impulse to communicate inspires a painting, the object that comes from that desire becomes its own reality. And the process of conveying an idea in paint alters it, sometimes to a degree where the original idea is unrecognizable: the hand isn’t merely doing the bidding of the mind. This is what makes the creative process so exciting to me. This is why I paint.

My work has evolved over the last few years from naturalistic, minimalist landscapes to linear abstraction but I always anchor my ideas in nature and music. Music plays a pivotal role in the creative process for me and I often title my works after specific musical terms, styles and even nods to particular song titles. When I started formatting my works in a vertical grid rather than a landscape with a definite horizon line, the rhythms of lines reminded me of sound waves or notes on a piece of sheet music. The breaks and shifts in color, often incorporating chromatic harmonies that contrast sharply, create subtle visual vibrations.

My work is about reconciling order and disorder, formalism, and naturalism. Sometimes the relationship is expressed through a particular chromatic palette in a formal rhythm of lines. Sometimes the relationship is expressed through the literal fading away of a formal system into the surface of the canvas. I use thin glazes of oil pigment and gesso, applied over an acrylic ground, and smooth the paint surface with steel wool and sandpaper to achieve these effects. In my most recent works, I have introduced more persistent energy in the compositions, a kind of push-and-pull force, by shifting the starting point of bands of color from the top to the base of composition and back again. Sometimes I liken this to depicting stylized waterfalls of color, or soundwaves vibrating across the surface of the canvas.

    © 2020 by Hansford and Sons Fine Art Ltd.

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