Artist – Joan Konkel

Joan Konkel

My work releases color into the third dimension where it gathers light as it crosses space and becomes ethereal sculpture. It is unlike two-dimensional painting where color is constructed on a single surface and becomes a bonded unit of layers of glaze, paint, or thickly applied impasto. It is not mixed media where color is part of a mix of painting, drawing, collage, or object. Instead, the color I pursue is that which resides independently in the third dimension, color unchained from a single surface where the mix of colors reaches a destination and rests undisturbed. It is color that can waver subtly, and color that is capable of mingling with one color and changing hue, and then mingling with another and changing hue again.

Although my work begins with a two dimensional base layer of painted canvas, the color from the canvas soon enters the third dimension. The medium that makes this possible is mesh—woven strands of metal or fiberglass that serve as a support for pigment. The space between the strands of mesh is the magic that unlocks the doorway to the third dimension and permits color to flow both in and out. With an open doorway, light also enters, bathing each strand and each layer of color with the vibrancy of reflecting and refracting light. At times, the shimmer of iridescence arises, not produced with opalescent pigments but as a naturally occurring phenomenon.

The use of mesh as a medium gives rise to another natural manifestation, moiré patterns. I find these patterns of particular interest for they bring added independence to color in dimension. I can choose the colors of the layers of mesh and the color of canvas. I can manipulate the patterns that arise into various configurations: water marks, grids, and diagonals. But what is beyond my control is the process by which the moiré effect fractures my blend of colored layers into two or more distinct hues, and from these forms a geometric structure. This disassembly of a mix of colors does not occur of its own accord in a painting, or on any two-dimensional surface, or in any overlay of solidly colored translucent objects.

My work is a deconstruction of painting. It releases the layers of a painting into the void where each layer can perform independently within a shower of ambient light. As the mixing of color breaks free from a single surface it expands into another dimension, color itself becomes sculpture.

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