SQUARES and STRIPES by Lane Banks
Artist Statement 2019
This show comprises works from two series that developed more or less simultaneously. One group is Concentric Squares, which has been ongoing for several years, and paintings from this set have been shown numerous times in various venues recently. The other group, Horizontal Stripes, is smaller, with just six altogether. They have not previously been shown. Both groups use only a range of grays and metallic hues, what I have been calling an industrial palette, to distinguish the colors from spectrum or natural hues. They all are hard edged using straight lines and multiple layers of paint to give the surface an opaque effect that keeps the eye of the viewer on the surface instead of penetrating into an illusionist depth.
The squares are classical in their symmetry, and are made up of a series of mathematical relationships and proportions that are determined before the painting is begun. The paintings are conceived as a series of concentric forces compressing toward the center, or conversely, radiating outward from it.
The stripes use a vertical rectangular format that consists of stripes or bands of color of differing widths. The canvas is divided down the center vertically from top to bottom, which contrasts with the horizontal bands in order to reconcile the opposing forces of the two directions. The central divide is conceived as an upward or downward shift in the horizontal movement of the bands, so that the band is broken and disrupted at the midpoint, continuing as a different color and width on the other side of the divide.
These works are abstract rather than abstractions, the difference being that an abstraction is rooted in perception, what the eye can see, and the resulting work is a distillation, reduction or essence of what was observed, regardless of how far removed from its source the work appears to be. An abstraction is therefore dependent upon a subject outside itself for its existence. My abstract works are entirely conceptual, in that they are invented with no reference to anything outside themselves. They are a physical, visual embodiment of an idea that consists of proportions and colors of areas relative to each other and to the framing edge of the painting.