A Look into the Diligent Processes Behind Four Artists’ Abstract Paintings and Sculptures
Hadi Tabatabai, the Iranian-born, California-based abstract artist, works almost exclusively within the framework of the grid. For him, such lattice structures are places where “we all arrive in our quest for understanding the self, and the self’s relationship with the infinite.” The association between the individual and the sublime appears to capture the interest of a handful of DANESE/COREY’s other artists, whose delicate and measured processes lend themselves towards quiet and at times ethereal works on paper.
Tabatabai, who holds a degree in industrial technology and creates his meditative grids out of thread, paint, and wood, shares his interest in repetitive patterns with Lynne Woods Turner. Turner, who is based in Portland, Oregon, finds inspiration for her muted paintings on cheesecloth, linen, and wood in the natural world. Working deep into her materials, she applies layers of paint and sands them down, developing shapes inspired by leaves and petals. Sometimes she even works through several iterations of the same painting.
Nicole Phungrasamee Fein works in a similarly meticulous manner. “Slowing down is fundamental to what I do,” says the artist, whose unconventional use of watercolor paint results in elegant, gradually dissolving gradients. While they appear solid from afar, Fein’s paintings are actually rendered through the careful painting of increasingly translucent bands of color.
The porcelain clay sculptures of Cheryl Ann Thomas work in dialogue with these painterly and delicate abstractions; Thomas, like Fein, contorts her materials in unexpected ways. Using the Neolithic-era technique of coiling, which was originally used to construct large storage jars, Thomas strings together delicate ropes of clay, some intentionally built too tall so as to collapse into themselves upon their firing in the kiln. The resulting folds, which retain the imprints of Thomas’s hand, recall physical qualities of fabric. “Th[e] evidence,” says Thomas, “hardens into a permanent record of my interaction with the material.”