Artist's notes
Notes on My Painting

Primaries, 1969
acrylic on vinyl screen on cotton
96” x 192” (243.84 cm x 487.68 cm) oil on cotton


Primaries. 1969. During the international student revolts (because of Vietnam and other issues) there was a sense that political, social and economic structures were corrupt and one had to disengage from them. These concerns were mine too, and I needed for my work to disconnect from an official government or corporation sanctioned modern art. The paintings were innocent and had become complex and distant, yet I wished to further remove them from an accomplice predicament. I began to make them more hermetic, layering a brushstroke cancellation surface over the geometric structuring of the entire painting. The cancellations were not a total obliteration but they confiscated my structural groundwork, re-presenting it as an undecipherable framework. Curiously, Jasper Johns cross-hatched paintings, similar in attitude, were still to appear in 1974. In spite of my defiant cancellation strategy, the paintings survived as fields of inscrutable energy, their undercurrents intact though withdrawn to a distanced position. Several paintings were made with this attitude of defiance.


1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | Next page

© 2023 Kes Zapkus