Stephen Grillo interprets
Finnegans Wake
in paintings

Painting the Wake:

Generally, for me the phenomenon of layering in painting
 -- i.e., the natural process of putting one layer of paint
 over another, whether by glazing, scumbling, scraping or wiping,
 successively building the final surface, or picture plane
-- and Joyce's "portmanteau" words --
 his layering of word-roots, meanings, and languages
 to create the composite words in the Wake
 -- is a fortunate parallel in art.


In these very recent paintings,
 the concept of figure-ground presents
 another fortunate parallel.
  Figure-ground is the relationship, in any art form,
 of the dominant marks, colors, textures, etc.
 (fill in the necessary terms to change discipline, if you like),
 to the surface or support that is its unified field.
  I think of Joyce's Sigla as figures, and much like
 Chinese calligraphy, characters functioning both pictorially
 and as references to the text;
 the heavily textured and indeterminant landscapes,
 unified by all-over color, establish the text/ground.

It's a metaphorical wedding of the plastic with the verbal,
 the liquid with the solid, time and space, and,
 obeisance to Mr. Joyce, the tree and the stone.

Stephen Grillo

In order to see details of the paintings,
two larger images are available for each.
Click on an image to go to a larger view;
click on that image for the largest view.
Very large files -- patience may be required!



acrylic on canvas
48" x 36"

acrylic on canvas
40" x 30"

acrylic on canvas
40" x 30"

Country column
acrylic on canvas
36" x 48"

Sigla 5
acrylic on canvas
36" x 36"

Sigla 6
acrylic on canvas
40" x 30"

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