William Howe



I am originally from the plains of West Texas, but I have lived and worked both all over the country and on five continents. My cultural and linguistic experience informs all of my artistic practice. I have been performing and exhibiting my work for over 30 years in the US, Canada, Mexico, The UK, Ireland, France, The Netherlands, Germany, and Portugal. I am a painter, print maker, performance artist, installation artist, book artist, fluxus artist, and poet. I have curated spaces in New York and Massachusetts, as well as organized arts festivals in New York, Ohio, and Massachusetts. My current work is exploring abstraction through layers of positive and negative spaces. Instagram@wr.howe

Artist Statement

I am interested in the core elements of what art is—in poetry, in printmaking, and, more to the point here, in painting. In my current work I am exploring both the gestural element of brushwork and how pigment and color interacts with surfaces. By this I mean that I am interested in the physical nature of applying color to a surface with the various marks left as a residue of my actions as well as the materiality of painting itself. These paintings are in some sense what is left after an elaborate and extended dance. They are also physical and material objects on their own detached in both space and time from the performative act of their creation. I remember looking at a Rothko in the National Gallery in D.C. and being drawn into the thickness of the canvas. The physical layers of material that created these two huge rectangles of color. The painting was hung in a short connecting hallway between other galleries so there was no real way to step back and take the whole thing in at once, but rather you were forced to look at the details, the specifics, the trees not the forest. The canvas was sized but hadn’t been entirely primered and Rothko had built up layer upon layer of thinned down translucent glazes to achieve an overall effect of glowing color field. By playing with layers of gesso and washes of paint I am trying to produce a depth of field of color and shape that draws the gaze in to the materiality of the painting much like I was drawn in to the Rothko years ago.

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