In returning to Fiore’s paintings, I was engaged most with certain works that took up landscape as direct subject matter, because I appreciate the honesty in their visible facture and in their articulation of light. Some, like “Y Falls,” also function as formal inquiries, where the awkward, cleaved rocks are depicted in a rectangle, and into a kind of grid as well, through the “Z” shape of criss-crossing logs. The painting’s succinct geometry and vertical landscape image (which parallels the picture plane, rather than conventionally receding into space) refuses highly developed illusionism and instead seems to arrive at both an observed clarity and a trust in “painterly” flatness all at once.
I took Fiore’s composition and color as a starting point, bracing the “Z” within irregular canvas supports. The materiality and surface differ from Fiore’s approach; while his image references landscape directly, perhaps my rough and weathered surface, tactility, and inconsistent application of paint in “Z (After Y Falls)” is an assembling of painted experience that nonetheless deals with space and time in the spirit of Fiore’s practice. I
wrote in my notes recently: invention scares me. I want to be rooted in something real. The rubbing and actual rocks are perhaps a way to conjure a reminder for myself that abstraction is also a kind of “real,” one that can exist alongside objects and images that are derived from our immediate, visible surroundings.