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Uta Feinstein's Art

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Artist Statement

Experiences relating to ‘interconnectedness’ – personal, social/political, ecological, digital, art historical - as well as questions of uncertainty and ambiguity have influenced my works. The net serves as a vehicle to explore these relationships through the lens of painting. The associative potential and metaphorical connotations of the net interplay with formal enquiry. Shifting tensions arise from dynamic interactions between contrasting formal components - chromatic, tonal or spatial switches, geometric elements or fluid/organic lines. Forces pull in different directions. Tension and release or ensuing fragmentation reflect various states of being or a response to current events. Intertwinement of opposing elements also raises questions about our entanglement with each other, the digital world and with the world surrounding us.

The net is a flexible version of the grid, a ‘grid gone haywire’, liberated from the rigid structure. However, the net’s amorphous character and malleability make it difficult to predict which state it will adopt, and there is an ambiguity over whether it plays a positive or a negative role. It can entrap or protect, save life or destroy it (e.g. safety nets, fishing nets’ ‘bycatch’, the internet & social media, networking), reflecting its unpredictability.

Captured and suspended in pictorial space, the net appears still and frozen in time, leaving it to the viewer to imagine its flow or shape ‘before’ or ‘afterwards’, and which metamorphosis it might undergo. Colour permutations underpin this capacity for adaptation and transformation.

In its fluctuating, contorted state, the net is suggestive of organisms or humanoid, curved shapes, evoking human struggles. While some connections form, many break. Some areas show coherence or resilience, while others fragment. Tensions ebb and flow.

These tensions and the interactions of lines and shapes, chromatic, tonal or spatial contrasts, and elements of Gestalt Principles, serve to explore the viewer’s perception and psychological responses.

The process involves drawing or tracing of safety nets, or use of digital images of these or of my paintings, which I then translate into new works. Different colours, lines and constellations emerge. As manifestations of human agency, subtle brush traces and surface marks contrast with graphic elements. Gradual build-up of the work conveys a sense of control and calmness, slowing down the speed of life in an apparently out-of-control world.

© Uta Feinstein 2012-2022 - All Rights Reserved

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