SANDY GARNETT Reconstructions March 6 - 22, 2003
palet is pleased to announce a solo exhibition of oil and acrylic paintings by New York artist Sandy Garnett. Reconstructions has been evolving since 1997 and the body of work is representative of Garnett’s argument - contrary to Arthur Danto’s notion that the history of art has ended - that art is a language and therefore never ends, that genres in art are like letters in the alphabet and when combined create new words and stories the best of which reflect the era that produces them.
Self-taught, fluent in a number of painting styles, respectful of traditional painting techniques, Garnett weaves disparate genres into spatial narrative tapestries that manage to engage polarized genres of the art world. By dripping paint and working space in quasi-abstract ways a palpable tension between abstraction and representational painting emerges in these new works.
In the “The Schoolyard”, a seven by eight foot oil painting that depicts a violent narrative reflective of the American condition, viewers see a powerful story while also falling into the formal complexities of Garnett’s Reconstructions. In his portraits, the images are visually compelling, emotionally charged, and reinforce Garnett’s intriguing and timely perspective of the contemporary art world.
Sandy Garnett was born at Fort Belvoir, Virginia in 1970. He has had solo exhibitions at the Rosenthal and Sackler Galleries in Stamford, Connecticut, and in a three-person exhibition at DWG Art Space in New York City. His work is represented in the collections of the GM Museum, Pepsico, Chevrolet, Corcoran Jennison, St. Lawrence University, and the Town of Stamford, Connecticut. He is an active member of The Silvermine Guild Art Center in New Canaan, Connecticut, the second oldest guild in the United States.
The opening is on Friday, 7 March 2003 from 6pm to 8pm. For further information please contact Jim Prell at 917 523 1312 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
SANDY GARNETT Reconstructions
6 March – 22 March, 2003
I have been making my living as an artist since sophomore year at St. Lawrence University. Creativity has taught me how to survive and grow. All points of reference in my world are related to the creative process. Through the necessity of making art to survive I have learned about life; failure and success, love and hate, pain and pleasure, sadness and happiness.
Art is my religion, the way I see the world, the way I practice life. My best energies will die with my body and in the memories of people who love me, but art is a timeless thing that will carry on the resonant messages I express today. So my art process abstracted, outside the immediacy of survival and the daily thing of life, is about studying the timeless qualities that make art resonant. This micro-macro exercise is engaging, humbling, objective, and makes me a better picture maker.
What makes a resonant picture? Tradition and craft are essential components of powerful and resonant creativity. I believe that if one can paint the figure and portrait and landscape fluently one can abstract anything with greater ease. The 20th century art world deconstructed itself in order to discover what else could be art. The process of deconstruction is a wholly intellectual exercise that when brought to its apex distills all art making fundamentals out of the art making process; visual imagery, craft, materials, storytelling, emotion, spirit. This is why Conceptual art hits a wall and has nowhere else to go. Backing away sheepishly from the end of Deconstruction, the art world has spent the past several decades ever so delicately arguing art making fundamentals like visual imagery back into the contemporary dialogue. It all looks rather silly from here.
I liken art to language, genres to letters in the alphabet. The combining of letters makes words, the combining of words makes stories, and the creators with unique visions achieve timelessness because the stories they create are alive, unique, technically superior, emotional and directly relative to the times in which those stories are created.
As a first generation, self-described Reconstructionist my mission statement is to build bridges between the genres that have historically been polarized, and to do so without utilizing the compromising apparatus of kitsch that is often applied by contemporary artists. Mirroring the dynamics of globalization, contemporary art is learning that multiple ways of arriving at the same truth can coexist, albeit unevenly. Our art world is still having trouble finding parallels between wildly different genres, so this is what Reconstructionism is all about. As opposed to tearing down, stripping away the essentials that make art, I am fascinated with the process of rebuilding a deconstructed art world out of a plethora of genres and ideas that lay scattered around the tool shop of my creativity.
The Reconstructionist relies on tradition and craft to spin new fine art out of seemingly exhausted genres in the art world. By weaving genres together new ways of seeing and feeling are inevitably created, stories are told in new ways, and art making is made in new ways. This is what I am after.
The twentieth century is about representational art versus abstraction to me. Abstraction created a new way of speaking about art, inspired by the tradition of representational art that abstraction was born from. With my Reconstruction pictures I am interested in engaging a number of different ways of seeing on one canvas by juxtaposing genres very literally. In this way my eye flashes from a realistic background to a formally abstracted foreground that also happens to be a portrait and my sensations are new to this way of seeing a painting. I am looking for new in art, and it can be found
My mission statement is to build bridges between the genres in the art world, to mesh genres and compare them side by side while telling technically proficient painted stories at the same time I can explore the formal qualities of a picture that abstraction taught us to appreciate.