When modern art history calls a painter important or great, almost always the artist has somehow changed how painting may be done. Cubists like Picasso revolutionized how the subject matter may be depicted; Jackson Pollock (“Jack The Dripper”) freed artists from needing to apply paintbrushes to canvas; Cy Twombly made handwriting and scribbles acceptable as subject matter; Andy Warhol popularized multiple-screenprints; et cetera. Such innovative “greats” are uncommon.
Artist Terry Ward (AKA GrumpyVisualArtist) changes what a painting even is.
Because Ward paints on same-sized panels in series groups, one Ward panel is a painting (of course), but also, (declares the artist) two panels hung together are a painting. If hung together, four or six or fifteen or thirty are “a painting.” Mixing panels from different series can change the painting’s meaning –and Ward actually encourages such “Mash-Up” display. This changes how painting may be done. Patrons, gallerists, and (venues willing) even gallery visitors could be among those who decide how to intermix Ward panels and generate new meanings from the art.
While Relational Aesthetics performance artists encourage third-party participation in their art creation, painters almost never do –let alone third-party changes or perhaps even reversals of a painting’s original meaning. This too –changes how painting may be done. The “Modular Mash-Up” capability is not the result of artist-laziness or a lack of commitment. Rather, it is intense “commitment” –to the idea that the art viewers already bring their own worldviews to the art experience. Someone’s life experiences and beliefs will filter their reaction to a piece of art –even to nonrepresentational abstract art. Ward embraces that concept and accelerates it: allow the possibility for curators and patrons to interact with and perhaps to actually change the art.
(Note: for liability or curatorial reasons, many gallery venues do not permit visitor changes to an installed exhibit, and venues are certainly not obligated to allow changes; visitors hoping to suggest alterations should politely check with the venue staff and respect their house rules.)
~ Most of Ward’s non-narrative panels are OmniDirectional: they are composed and wired to be hung at any angle. They may be hung upside-down, vertically, horizontally, or at any angle.
~ Most apparent drips and brushstrokes are actually the “ghost” images of where drips and brushstrokes once were: the actual drips and brushstrokes were removed with Ward’s original ExPaint process.
~ Unique surfaces emerge from Ward’s techniques like SPOW (Spray Paint On Water), BIAP (Ballistic-Initiated Aerosol Paint), and the interaction of water-, fire-, and gravity-effects. (Ward believes that big art should still be interesting upon closer inspection, so surfaces include small details visible only to those who approach.)
Art by Terry Ward (AKA GrumpyVisualArtist) is in two museum collections, is in one Smithsonian-affiliated permanent collection, and also hangs in Jimmy Carter’s secure staff conference room. Notable private collections with Ward paintings include those of Al Gore, Cy Twombly, and Sally Mann. Ward paintings have hung next to or near creations by museum-grade artists Kenneth Snelson, George Rickey, Martin Puryear, and Arnoldo Pomodoro. Ward art has been exhibited at the New York Mercantile Exchange in the WTC/WFC complex, at the Los Angeles Convention Center, at the Dallas Aurora Art Fair, and at Washington DC's Artomatic art fair. Digital freeway billboards hosted Ward art images in Chicago, LA, New Orleans, Atlanta, and elsewhere. NYC group show activity included art appearances at: Family Business Gallery, Sloan Fine Art, RH Gallery, Whitebox Art Center, and ArtCurrents. Ward art in form of video projections (of details of the paintings) appeared at MoMA, Beijing’s C-Space, and Shanghai’s Westbund Art & Design Fair.
Strive for paint surfaces unlike those of other artists --even if just in subtle ways. Art is unfinished until visually it says something new. Wall-sized art should still satisfy up-close. Intrigue from a distance but also reward those who approach and scrutinize. Resist conventional ideas of up and down. Tilt. Whirl. Invert. Be topless and bottomless (ahem --spatially). Create themed groups, but design for each single piece to be able to stand alone --or within new groups. Except on art with historical or storytelling references, embrace unplanned collaboration: let others (viewers, curators, owners) intermix and rearrange groups and change pieces' orientation if they care and dare. Let any single piece be shown or sold alone --or combined with others. Don't "cherish" collage-objects: rip, burn, alter. Older art may mix with new art to make whole new statements --whether being said by the artist, the gallerist, or the patrons. Allow the sacred object and artist alone can speak it concepts to be dissolved --if anyone has courage to try.
(Note: for a Statement as animated GIF with LOL cats, see here.)
Marcel Duchamp [wiki], Jackson Pollock [wiki], Cy Twombly [wiki], Barbara Kruger [wiki], and Robert Rauschenberg [wiki]. Lesser influences include: Franz Kline [wiki], Donald Judd [wiki], Andy Warhol [wiki], and Yves Klein [wiki].
Ward's official website is:
Note to Prospective Gallerist/s
The currently-unrepresented artist sells well independently. Artist would stop independent selling and instead would direct inquiries to the gallerist if there is a serious mutual agreement about long-term representation with territorial exclusivity regions defined. Artist has USA passport and is okay with: travel, art fair participation, and event set-up/breakdown labor. Seeking representation in NYC's Chelsea area, NYC's LES area, and also in Washington DC. (Artist-participation without representation in minor group shows would not obligate the artist to direct all inquiries to a gallerist, but as a courtesy the artist would voluntarily refer any inquiries about art in the show to the gallerist --including inquiries up to six months after the show if they were apparently a result of the show.)
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