Neil R. Anderson

Gallery Affiliations: Bridgette Mayer Gallery


Over the years, I have refined a kind of abstract painting, which has allowed me to concentrate on the issues I consider most important: the rigorous pursuit of an idea, a tactile presence and the articulation between parts on the plane. I begin by introducing complex linear material gathered from various sources, which I then gradually order by focusing most attention on the areas between the lines. Day by day a balance as well as a tension between the elements begins to emerge and all the forms become interdependent parts of a whole. For me, this process is generally reductive, that is, I seek the essential forms that lie buried in the random collection of gathered material. However, in that process, I have resisted simplification as the only guiding principle, rather, I seek a more complex configuration between parts. Ultimately I find the most satisfaction crafting a highly refined tactile surface.

In my work color and texture are structural not decorative. Both are used to compress and order the overlapping structure of the plane. The areas between the thinly painted lines are more heavily textured and precisely colored so that they will become more physically present as they define the edges of the lines. I like to think of this organization as the architecture of the surface.

As must be apparent there are no references here to events beyond the work itself, no biography and no narrative. The viewer is presented with the physical fact of a painted object. The feeling expressed is for the beauty of figure and ground coming together, the interlocking layers of linear elements fixed in position and ultimately, the physical presence of the colored surface. Kenneth Baker, art critic of San Francisco Chronicle, says, when writing about my work, "Painting can bring us back to where we stand, recalling us to the present tense of existence."