Otranto Series Artist Statement:
Otranto Series - Paintings from Southern Italy
This collection of framed abstract paintings (Flashe Paint on Yupo Paper, 14”X11”,) were done while I was on a residency in Otranto, Italy, an ancient walled city, located at the eastern-most point of Italy near the tip of Puglia. This residency took place for three weeks in June last summer. Residents lived in apartments in the ancient walled city by the sea. We worked in the visual arts studios in the Castle of Otranto. Field trips included the neighboring towns as well as ancient Neolithic sites. The place, the light, the color of the sea, the unexpected connections of life and materials, architecture, music, and the people proved to be inspirational in the delicate process leading to change in the relationship between matter and thought. It was a great opportunity for artists from various parts of the world to interact while leaving space to dream. This is a place of the soul and provoked a lighter touch in my work-a shift to simplicity, light, and transparency with some of the forms echoing this magical place.
About the artist:
Phillis Ideal’s work is about the materiality of paint which represents a wide range of abstraction: layers of transparent and thick, brushed and sprayed paint; collaged fragments imbedded in medium; xeroxed rasta dots, computer graphics, shards of other drawings; as well as, large gestural brush strokes. Ideal draws on different styles of image making from Modernism to Abstract Expressionism and Color Field to Minimalism and beyond to create her own language. Her studio practice underscores a playful and imaginative setting in which many moods, techniques and art history can coexist, referencing the vastness of the operations of abstraction.
Ideal was born in Southern New Mexico and now has duel residence in Santa Fe and New York City. She received her MFA in Painting at the University of California (Berkeley). Her work has been in numerous private, corporate, and museum exhibitions and collections: Newport Harbor Art Museum, LA, CA; Jonson Gallery, University of New Mexico Museum, Albuquerque, NM; Roswell Museum and Art Center, Roswell, NM; Anderson Museum of Contemporary Arts, Roswell, NM; Herbert F Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY; New Mexico Museum of Art, Santa Fe, NM; White and Case Law Firm; Prudential Insurance Collection; Crocker National Bank; Skidmore, Owing and Merrill; and Bank of Rome. She has had 20 solo shows, including the MH de Young Museum, San Francisco, CA ; Grapestake Gallery, San Francisco, CA; Klein Art Works, Chicago, Illinois; Rosenberg and Kaufmann in NYC; Painting Center, NYC; Chiaroscuro Gallery, Santa Fe, NM, and most recently David Richard Gallery in Sanya Fe. She is an elected member of American Abstract Artists and has a print in the American Abstract Artist’s 75 Anniversary Print Portfolio 2012 held in the Library of the Museum of Modern Art (Special Collections); Metropolitan Museum of Art; The New York Public Library and the The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC. She is represented by David Richard Gallery in Harlem, NY.