Sunday, May 16, 2010

Judith Linhares

Just wanted to give a shout out to one of my favorite female artists of our time. Judith Linhares had an exhibit at the museum at the University at Albany during the summer of 2007 while I was taking watercolor with Emily Rauch. Linhares' work seemed so effortless and simple that I decided it would be fun to try to copy one of them as an exercise in working with gouache. Famous last words! Her work is totally complex, I assume she learned "the rules" very well before breaking them, which she does beautifully.
Here is the piece I chose to work with:
My copy needs a lot more work before I would ever show it. For now I have abandoned that project and am working on an appropriation of this painting.

How many times have you heard that one must really understand "the rules" of drawing before you can play with them, test them, and break them successfully in paintings? The closest thing in Linhares' earliest archives that even resembles any typical life drawing assignment are the two skeletons in the piece entitled Love Letters from San Jose, 1971.

I am imagining that somewhere there is a stack of classroom work with Linhares' signature in the bottom corner - surely no one can just become so talented without studying and working diligently... right? Her figures are layers of colors in geometric shapes, not apologizing for their basic forms because even though they look effortless they are well thought out and strategically placed to create these vivid dream like realities. None of the subjects are so outrageous that we can't connect with them and what they are, and at the same time they are something I've never really seen before. Cheers Judith, thanks for the inspiration!

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