Concepts of math, science and colour relationship in art have been quite literally defined in the cubist works of Picasso or Braque, and etherically in the neoplasticism of Piet Mondrian and more currently in the mind-bending op art works of Bridget Riley. In an attempt to create something unique, artists cannot help but be influenced by previous art forms and the conversation of contemporary art cannot help but draw on past discussions. Historians like John Gage and Martin Kemp have added thorough text to the visual discussion, yet it never ceases to delight the eye when contemporary artists delve into the chat. Depner’s work suggests a digital cubism although entirely hand done with the energy of his brushwork evident in his original paintings. His obsession with the grid and colour balance or imbalance to flesh out meaning resonates with time and place. And while the grid is not new in art, Depner’s reconstructions pay homage to the ongoing discourse.
Using the grid as a framework, Depner's 'reconfigurations' use color, form and surface to address the visual, physical and psychological. The color harmonies are intuitive and are used in conjunction with pattern, rhythm and variation to invoke a sensory experience which hovers somewhere between language and the senses. Each color and form is linked inextricably to the next forming clusters of color chords. These chromatic relationships are used rhythmically to allow colors to travel across the picture plane vertically, horizontally and diagonally. As a whole, these units combine to create a sort of 'abstract sign,' operating separately from speech and writing patterns with the intention of seizing the viewer on an unconscious or automatic level.
Jeff Depner graduated from the Illustration and Design program at Capilano College in 1998 and is currently represented by the Jeffrey Boone Gallery in Vancouver BC Canada. For information on original paintings, please see www.jeffreyboonegallery.com.
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