Dark Woods Exhibition at Vermont Studio Center
Vermont Studio Center Gallery II
January 16-February 6, 2016
Joseph Salerno is exhibiting a new series of paintings entitled Dark Woods at the Vermont Studio Center Gallery II. The exhibition is an installation of one hundred paintings from the Woods Edge Series, created on site at the edge of a stretch of woods near his home in Johnson. The small works, done mostly on paper, ride the line between observation and invention, creating a world that is at once wholly abstract and representational. The work forms a roughly year long conversation in paint that is presented chronologically throughout the gallery space.
The exhibition runs through February 6, 2016.
There is an Opening Reception on Thursday, January 21, 4-8pm.
This series of work spans nearly a year and a half of painting along a stretch of woods near here. The paintings are really born out of the process of making them. When I start the work I have an initial response to the situation of the day, the light, the color, mood, etc. Immediately upon putting down the first splotches of paint something new will start to emerge and I will follow it, often shaping the paint with a knife. Sometimes it evolves quickly and resolves itself. Other times it goes nowhere and I struggle to find a new direction in it, taking my clues from the paint. The paint is a wonderful fluid, viscous mass that really controls the conversation. The one rule I have given myself with this work is that the immediacy of the paint should trump all. While working, I often feel that the struggle is between discovery and loss, that is finding new moves or directions, and knowing what to keep or lose along the way in order to find the proper balance. The paintings are worked over and excavated, almost like small reliefs or drawings until they have achieved a wholeness and I feel they are complete. Each new piece owes an obvious debt to all of the previous ones, often reworking or reinterpreting past discoveries in a new light, while carrying the conversation forward to the next painting.