Barry Masteller – Natural Occurrence – New Paintings

Exhibitions Paul Mahder Gallery

Barry Masteller – Natural Occurrence – New Paintings

Mar 25 — May 21, 2017

Check gallery website for hours and additional info

Masteller’s works remind that paintings not only represent but also exist as physical landscapes. They reflect a keen understanding of paintings as three-dimensional terrains, formed by sedimented layers of pigment binder and varnish, and built up, like geological formations, over the course of time.
Marcelle Polednik PhD.

Painting is my way of working through this process of thought – a connection to history, my humanity. For me it’s a language; each mark, color and passage a letter in a personal alphabet, each painting a word in a sentence, all adding up to a story. A chronicle that has meaning with a beginning and an end. A testament to what I know, understand – and especially what I don’t. The answers for me are in the doing not in the done – in the seeing – the bridges and the echoes of time – the space between the micro – macro, and in the search to understand the questions that can never be completely answered.

When I begin a painting I am rarely sure how it will resolve. It is in itself a part of a greater whole. That is; it has something in it of the work before it. In this I believe painting is like language and paintings like words, each making-up a kind of vocabulary whose meaning becomes clearer or at least more complete with each subsequent work.

My images are not of real places but of the imagined, felt or memorized-places of the mind, I like to think of them as magical and dream like aspects of the deeper mind and subconscious. However my work is not limited to making interesting or even thought provoking pictures, though I certainly hope they are. I am after all a painter; which means that paint itself is my medium of choice as opposed to other crafts. I find power and excitement in the medium and application, in the fluid to solid quality of the material. In glazing, scumbling, scratching, scraping and wiping away, in the laying down of veils of color and in the pure physical interplay between the canvas and myself.

Painting for me is like magic, what you see is not what you see. The closer you get to the surface the more the picture fades away and the more its just about paint. With all of it’s beautiful blemishes, brush marks and hair’s, bubbles, cracks, and studio detritus. Step a few feet back and you re-enter the place of the subconscious and of dreams.

 Barry Masteller
Barry Masteller, born in Los Angeles, 1945, lives and works in New York, New York and Albuquerque, New Mexico. He has a long history of solo exhibits spanning 50 years, most recently in 2015 at the Triton Museum of Art. Masteller is widely collected both privately and publicly and has work in numerous museums.
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Barry Masteller. synapse — Oil on canvas, 66"x108, 2013