In Counter Ground, her third exhibition with ANNAELLEGALLERY, Amy Feldman advances a distinct painting language, mining the potential of gray and it’s doubled significance as both a neutral and non-neutral force. Within her abstract sign system, a clear allusion to the body and to Feldman’s position as a female painter persists in the work.
Feldman chose to construct the works on view using acrylic, spray paint and silkscreen ink. The artist scanned canvas fabric, enlarged the weave in Photoshop and reproduced it back onto a gray primed canvas, before applying gestural marks to the surface. By reassigning the canvas material as image, Feldman highlights the paradoxical relationship between the physical and formal, psychic and conceptual.
The silkscreened print superimposes a grid, and its skew creates depth on the otherwise flat picture plane. The optical effect is disorienting, as the hyper smooth surfaces appear to be rough in texture and to vibrate in the flesh. Negative space, which flips positive, is ‘filled-in’ by the print, making it more visible to the viewer, and exaggerates its importance to the overall image. The print functions as a symbol of ‘illusionistic space’, and is antithetical to the expressive power of form and gesture. Both coexist and are complicit in succinctly channeling the impact of experience on the viewer.
Making use of spray paint to direct the viewer’s attention to the center of the canvas, Feldman adds greater tension and intensifies the anxiety inherent in her forms. As in Color Sucker, the sprayed marks showcase the painted gesture and its integral relationship to figure and ground. Feldman’s works can feel both neutral and transcendent and they acknowledge the given parody in that. The viewer reacts on an instinctual level, a reaction that is mediated by the irony of reproduction, presented by the silkscreened grounds. There is resistance to and compliance with guttural response, as intellect is confronted by intuition, as immediacy yields resonance.