Gregg Renfrow, a Bay Area based artist, continues his preoccupation with light and color as the fertile field in which he deploys his materials and processes. Renfrow applies pigment dissolved in polymer medium to translucent sheets of cast acrylic. These hang unframed and slightly forward, allowing the passage of light through in both directions. The luminosity that ensues seems a kind of summoning of light through the medium of color–a conjuring of experience that we the viewer bring to the work as we physically experience it.
Renfrow has often stated that the subject of his painting is the actual viewer–that the engaged interaction of the audience is embodied in the painting process and the painting materials. This experience of pure seeing is the only claim on one’s time and one’s senses. In the artist’s words, “The point of everything is the search for and discovery of light. Everything else is just commentary.”
As art writer Richard Speer says, “You could build a new religion around Gregg Renfrow’s artwork. His abstract compositions–polymer and pigment poured onto cast-acrylic panels–are so luminous and elemental, they inspire a reverence normally reserved for deities. Each piece features a central motif roughly the shape of a rectangle, surrounded by shapes that echo its contours… There’s something mystical or psychedelic about the echoing shapes as well; they radiate like tracers, expanding in a way that suggests vibration or movement… Looking at Renfrow’s panels, it’s impossible not to imagine what they would look like lining a cathedral, like stained glass.”