Dates: October 7 – November 5, 2005
Hours: Tuesday – Friday 11 AM – 6 PM, Thursday 11 AM – 7 PM, Saturday 10 AM – 5 PM
EXCERPTS FROM RECENT WRITINGS ON WALSH'S WORK:
Massive and austere in appearance. Soft, light and transparent in nature. The colors manage to vibrate between different shades of hot without however disturbing the material, whether it is canvas or wood. Nervures in agitation become manifest between the graphic and the surface sign in a sort of anxiety about what is going on. Materials formerly perishable, today carnal, enter the artist’s life, his painting, with modesty and propriety. New
voices, stuttered overtures, murmurs - but not silences. Visual
optophoneticism. A life circumstance in which the work’s promise to speak is kept.
Artist/Independent Curator, San Francisco, CA
Neal Walsh combines different materials — ranging from oil, pastel, dry pigment, ink, and graphite to masking tape and pages ripped from newspaper and old books — to create works that fluctuate between collages and assemblages. Walsh builds his surfaces by layering the materials on a wooden panel or a canvas, then removing some and adding others in their place. In
this time-consuming, labor-intensive process of adding and subtracting, scraping/ripping off and putting on, each work goes through a phase that allows chance to play a part, but only to be balanced or controlled by the artist's hand. In this sense, Walsh's work parallels interchangeable patterns in nature and life: growth and decay, chance and control.
Curator, David Winton Bell Gallery
List Art Center, Brown University, Providence, RI
THE ARTIST’S OWN WORDS:
Using found objects, torn pages from discarded books, debris from the studio floor, oil paint, dry pigments, and adhesives, I build my paintings. The surfaces are scratched, torn, tattered, burned, and painted again and again, until a scarred whole emerges.
The paintings mark the passage of time: they are vessels of memory containing the traces of their past. The paintings explore the space between order and chaos, and the creation of place through memory and experience. I often use grids in my paintings to create a sense of order that is then eroded through the methodical applications of layered paint that call into question the authority of the once rigid structure (or I use the grid as a means to maintain an order in an expanded field of chaos.) Each new layer of paint creates a new juncture, a new surface, that erodes the primacy of the previous layer(s), causing the interactions of each added surface to create more complex interactions and never allowing any one layer to dominate. The
material accumulation of painted layers creates an idealized, yet, fractured whole.
The paintings are meditations on our complex relationship with time, history and the construction of consciousness. I strive to capture in painting those poetic fragments that make up the essence of our transitory lives as it unfolds before us.