PAINTING STATEMENT: 2022
My paintings strive for an absence of agenda. They aspire to simply be images consisting of color, shapes and structure which resolve themselves within the mind of each viewer. Made without planning or preliminary studies, my images are products of unfolding, improvisational sequences and bear witness to the impulses, decisions and actions that occurred during their making.
While they inescapably reflect my thoughts & feelings during their making, my works are intentionally un-programmatic and anti-representational. They contain no direct referents, metaphors, analogies or concrete, real-world corollaries; they exist solely as visual compositions which invite and welcome a multiplicity of readings. My "Numbered" series assigns sequential numbers to works as identifiers while avoiding thematic cues, and in my "Jargon" series, titles have been chosen without any direct thought from the lexicon of American slang.
My inspiration is drawn from a great number of places, from early 20th century modernist abstraction, buddhist mandalas, mid-century west-coast hard-edge painting to Shaker hymns, baroque fugues, Song Dynasty paintings, Peter Handke’s non-mimetic theatre (Sprechstücke) and contemporary architecture/industrial design.
My digital works embody the same ideas, objectives and art-making process as my paintings, but they also reflect the different techniques and creative opportunities offered by digital technology.
Like my hand-made works, my digital works are being offered as unique, single edition prints. All digital works will be printed upon purchase, on Hahnemühle art paper. Each work will be signed & will include 2-3” white borders outside of the work’s stated dimensions, for framing.
PHOTOGRAPHY STATEMENT: 2018
PAINTING STATEMENT: 2017-2018
PAINTING STATEMENT: 2020
My work explores ways of expressing emotions, concepts, ideas and stories through a reductive vocabulary of visual shapes, marks and structures. The images are never preconceived and are always a product of an unfolding sequence of impulses and decisions in the course of making each final image.
My inspiration is drawn from a number of places, from early 20th century modernist abstraction, buddhist mandalas, mid-century west-coast hard-edge painting to Shaker hymns, Song Dynasty paintings, Peter Handke’s non-mimetic theatre and contemporary architecture & product design.
These paintings contain no direct referents, metaphors, analogies or concrete, real-world corollaries; they exist solely as visual compositions which are meant to resonate uniquely within the perceptual faculties of each viewer.
My photographic work is a documentation of my experiences in the world. In their best moments, the images I capture both tell and reveal stories. The way in which I choose to visualize an image is my telling of the story, while the actual subject itself possesses its own story to be revealed within a photograph.
I find that the world is rich and rife with people, places & things that have stories to be brought forth. It’s my ambition to pierce the skin of surface appearances and to discern these stories as they make themselves known to me. The images that are brought forth from this process are both a tribute to our human condition and a salute to the transcendent.
PAINTING STATEMENT: 2016
GREG LETSON : PICTORAE SIMPLEX
-paintings from 2015 onwards
About mid-way through 2014, I experienced a series of small epiphanies that gave me glimpses of what was to become a new direction for my visual art. I felt the urge to make small, simple pictures with a reductive syntax and an emphasis on structure.
Like my previous work, the images were to be ‘discovered’ in the process of making them with no planning or pre-visualization. And along with seeking simplicity, I also was interested in stretching my personal vocabulary of visual language to allow for the discovery of images that were outside of my imagination.
For me, this would mean working counter-intuitively at times to make works that sat between my sense of the familiar and the foreign in their form, structure and schemata. Willfully, I hoped for each piece to be anomalous
yet not bizarre, adroit yet not cunning and evocative but not instructive. These paintings are selected works from my first year of this exploration.
The digital “paintings” included in this show are part of the same series of work as the oil paintings, but were made on a computer with digital paint and graphic design software. They share the same considerations as their oil-based cousins, yet they differ through their execution. And while they have a degree of ‘painterliness’ about them, the digital images also bear the smooth patina and sharp edges of visual electronica, which looked awkward to me at first. But as I continued onwards, the characteristics that bothered me about them
at first have become much of what I admire about them now.
PAINTING STATEMENT: 2015
Greg Letson : Artist Statement
Over the course of my artistic life, I have been engaged in a number of different forms of art practices, in a variety of different mediums. Starting from my earliest training as a musician and composer, I next moved into working with ceramics and glass. Then came and interest and involvement with photography, which led me to filmmaking. As I arrived in New York at the start of the '80s, I began moving fluidly between mediums and combining them as well.
My current art practice is an aggregate of all that I have aquired through the years. And while much of my current work involves painting, photography and assemblage / constructions, as my personal history would suggest, I am devoutly non-medium specific in my ambitions.
I am deeply interested in creating artworks which grow out of my evolving sense of "process", which has ranged from creating work which is pre-imagined to that which is completely improvisational. However, no matter what my working approach may be, my practice always embraces and considers the following concerns:
- the layering of the conceptual with both the emotional and the material.
- the cultivation of liminal phenomena that emerge through 'friction' between juxtaposed language (representational) systems.
- the balance between reason and order versus chance-defined and random procedures. In my work I am often exploring the limits of both.
I feel that the practice of art-making is a profoundly paradoxical quest. Rigor dances with the slack, the formless. My work is simply a diary of the way in which the dichotomies danced.
"The order that our mind imagines is like a net, or like a ladder, built to attain something. But afterward, you must throw the ladder away, because you discover that, even if it was useful, it was meaningless"
-Umberto Eco, The Name Of The Rose