We had a Washington University faculty exhibition at the Des Lee Gallery last month, which was a good excuse to finish a new painting and try a different form of presentation. Instead of using the word “installation”, I might use something like “actualization”, as the point of the piece was to enhance the viewer’s awareness of the object-presence, material relationships, imaginative space, and historical (or anecdotal) reference with near simultaneity. This poses an interesting set of problems in a gallery context because of the associated conventions for displaying and interacting with the work. Lunette is painted on a sheet of sandpaper from a floor-sander, and features a wooden remnant from some plumbing work in my house. The painting is hung about ten inches lower than normal, a kind of “setting” towards the bench which is meant to emphasize their relationship while encouraging the viewer to lean over. I made the frame out of African Mahogany flooring reclaimed from my neighbor’s house. It is the same species of wood that I used to build the bench, wood which had been discarded because of the extreme warping and cupping that it had undergone.
Collectively the work is meant to invoke rather than portray the ingredients of the poet Li Bai’s anecdotal demise– intoxicated, falling from his boat and drowning while trying to embrace the reflection of the moon.