St George and the Dragon I (after Peter Paul Rubens), 2014-15, oil, linseed oil and alkyd resin on canvas, 84 x 82 inches

collection the artist

Laocoön and His Sons II, 2014-15, oil, linseed oil and alkyd resin on canvas, 40 x 38 inches

St George and the Dragon II (after Peter Paul Rubens), 2014-15, oil, linseed oil and alkyd resin on canvas, 60 x 60 inches

private collection

Laocoön and His Sons II, 2014-15, oil, linseed oil and alkyd resin on canvas, 84 x 82 inches

private collection

MB Study I (after Michelangelo Buonarroti), 2014-15, oil, linseed oil and alkyd resin on canvas, 60 x 60 inches

Laocoön and His Sons I, 2014-15, oil, linseed oil and alkyd resin on canvas, 40 x 38 inches

private collection

Laocoön and His Sons III, 2014-15, oil, linseed oil and alkyd resin on canvas, 40 x 38 inches

Path I, 2014-15, oil, linseed oil and alkyd resin on canvas, 40 x 38 inches

private collection

Left: The sculpture Laocoön and His Sons (ca 27 BC - 68 AD) attributed to three sculptors of Rhodes was unearthed in 1506 in Rome and is considered one of the greatest examples of Greek sculpture from the Hellenistic period. It became one of the most significant influences on Renaissance art and sculpture as well as Baroque and Neoclassical sculpture. Michelangelo was included with a number of people who were called in to witness the excavation of the piece. He held a high regard for the sculpture, its scale (nearly life size) and aesthetic and he was clearly heavily influenced by the Laocoön. I have stood in front of this sculpture a number of times and its impact is palpable. It was a major influence on my early career as an artist for its formal genius and emotional prowess and continues to be a catalyst for rediscovering the power of translating human agony into a work of art. Although the sculpture is a narrative on the punishment inflicted by Poseidon, Apollo or Athena upon Laocoön, a Trojan priest, and his sons, there is debate and conjecture as to the reason for this punishment - for either attempting to expose the ruse of the Trojan Horse or for having sex with his wife in Poseidon’s temple. There is a certain irony in the fact that Laocoön was punished for either being right or doing wrong. I find the conjecture and history of the piece to be as compelling at the piece itself - thus my continued interest and incorporation of the image as an historic trace in this body of work. (photo: LivioAndronico)

Center: the painting Laocoön II after the first session of work in late 2014.

Right: the same painting after two more sessions of work on the painting in mid 2015.

Above: the final stage of the painting Laocoön II.  (The early stages of this painting were done without the use of grids, projectors or any digital means.)

2014 - current

MB Study II (after Michelangelo Buonarroti), 2013-16, oil, linseed oil and alkyd resin on canvas, 60 x 60 inches

MB Study III (after Michelangelo Buonarroti), 2013-16, oil, linseed oil and alkyd resin on canvas, 60 x 60 inches

Michelangelo Buonarroti Study VIII, 2014-15, oil, linseed oil and alkyd resin on paper,

30 x 22.5 inches unframed

private collection

Michelangelo Buonarroti Study IV, 2014-15, oil, linseed oil and alkyd resin on paper,

30 x 22.5 inches unframed

private collection

Michelangelo Buonarroti Study V, 2014-15,

oil, linseed oil and alkyd resin on paper on canvas wrapped birch panel, 30 x 22.5 inches unframed

Michelangelo Buonarroti Study VI, 2014-15,

oil, linseed oil and alkyd resin on paper on canvas wrapped birch panel, 30 x 22.5 inches unframed

Michelangelo Buonarroti Study VII, 2014-15, oil, linseed oil and alkyd resin on paper,

30 x 22.5 inches unframed

Studio Wall: St George and the Dragon VI & VII (after Bernat Martorell), 2015-17

oil, linseed oil and alkyd resin on canvas, oil on wood cigar box & pigment print on birch plywood & pine, 88 x 86 inches

private collection

St George and the Dragon VIII (after Peter Paul Rubens), 2014-17, oil, linseed oil and alkyd resin on canvas, 84 x 164 inches

Hercules and Antaeus I (after a Greco-Roman sculpture), 2015-16, oil, linseed oil and alkyd resin on canvas, 84 x 82 inches

Top left: source/historic piece (Greco Roman sculpture)   Center: underpainting/painting in progress    Right: completed painting

St George and the Dragon III (after Peter Paul Rubens), 2015-16, oil, linseed oil and alkyd resin on canvas, 60 x 60 inches

St George and the Dragon IV (after Peter Paul Rubens), 2015-16, oil, linseed oil and alkyd resin on canvas, 60 x 60 inches

Theseus and the Minotaur II (after Jean Etienne Ramey), 2015-16, oil, linseed oil and alkyd resin on canvas, 40 x 38 inches

private collection

A section of the artist’s studio in Los Angeles illustrating the process of how the underpainting is created using a reproduction of an historic work of art as a point of departure and appropriation. The finished painting on the left has a similar underpainting as the painting on the right.

Far left: Koan Box used as a palette for the two paintings on paper. Left: St George and the Dragon VI - finished unmounted painting. 

Right: St George and the Dragon VII - underpainting - painting in progress.

Center: small reproduction of Bernat Martorell’s, St George and the Dragon, 1434-35.

Theseus and the Minotaur III (after Jean Etienne Ramey), 2015-16, oil, linseed oil and alkyd resin on canvas, 40 x 38 inches

private collection

Theseus and the Minotaur I (after Jean Etienne Ramey), 2015-16, oil, linseed oil and alkyd resin on canvas, 40 x 38 inches

Theseus and the Minotaur IV (after Jean Etienne Ramey), 2015-16, oil, linseed oil and alkyd resin on canvas, 40 x 38 inches

private collection

Michelangelo Buonarroti Study X, 2014-15, oil, linseed oil and alkyd resin on paper on canvas wrapped birch panel, paper: 30 x 22.5 inches paper

private collection

Michelangelo Buonarroti Study XI, 2014-15, oil, linseed oil and alkyd resin on paper on canvas wrapped birch panel, paper: 30 x 22.5 inches paper

Michelangelo Buonarroti Study XII, 2014-17,

oil, linseed oil and alkyd resin on paper on canvas wrapped birch panel, 30 x 22.5 inches unframed

Hercules and Antaeus II, 2015-17, oil, linseed oil and alkyd resin on paper,

30 x 22.5 inches unframed

private collection

top left: source/historic piece (Peter Paul Rubens, St George and the Dragon, 1605-07)   center and right: left panel of St George and the Dragon VIII, underpainting and painting in progress

“Historiography itself, let us already say, will not succeed in setting aside the continually derided and continually reasserted conviction that the final referent of memory remains the past, whatever the pastness of the past may signify.”  Paul Ricoeur, Memory, History, Forgetting


Amended Mythologies & Eclipse: obscured memories


          Drawing on the vast archive of painting and sculpture throughout the ages, each painting in this body of work begins as an investigation into the dynamics of a significant work of art – pieces that have had a profound impact on my development as a painter. Historic works of art and significant celestial events have thrilled my imagination since I was young. I have drawn in museums from paintings and sculptures all over the world and I continue to explore, investigate and dissect historic and contemporary art. I have chased a solar eclipse, watched meteor showers through the night, experienced multiple lunar eclipses and seen ancient notations of astronomically significant events on the walls of canyons and caves. I am always looking - everywhere - in an attempt to see. These seemingly disparate conversations have indisputably guided my work, separately, for years - the melding and coalescing of these obsessions inform these paintings simultaneously.

      There is a drawn and painted version of a specific notable work of art as the foundation or anchor for each painting. I may spend weeks or even a few months analyzing the composition, structure, color and space of the historic work, rendering an “under-painted” version on the canvas. I am not making academic “reproductions” of the paintings – rather they are translations, dissections and appropriations of sorts. I am utilizing the past to fortify my present. A number of the paintings are paired as diptychs. Both paintings start as the same appropriated historic work, side by side. I develop one as an exacting translation of the original within the signature painting style of my hand – the other, obscured, abstracted and re-con textualized. There is a dialogue in the pairings, which gives clues as to what came before, what is present and what, within my convictions, must change.

     These historic works provide provenance and a literal history/memory for each canvas – from which I move forward to eclipse and re-contextualize the original piece and its conceptual theme. The paintings see an intuitive and emotional response to their historic point of departure – a transformation by means of obliteration. Using paint, various tools and my hands I rephrase the mired mythologies within the historic piece into a current context. Stopping short of what might be considered a formal “resolution,” there is an unfinished and somewhat fragmented aspect to these paintings that retain the evidence of thought process and methodology – and simultaneously contradict the “completeness” of each piece, or its partner. The historic source material is eclipsed, but not for merely a moment – they are obscured to reinterpret their outdated mythologies. These paintings are an invitation to exchange and expand personal narratives and investigate how they relate to each other and the world in which we live.

Lawrence Fodor  -  August, 2017

1: from a University of Chicago review of Paul Ricoeur, Memory, History, Forgetting       

Automedon and the Horses of Achilles (after Henri Regnault), 2015-17, oil, linseed oil and alkyd resin on canvas, 60 x 120 inches

private collection

Perseus Releasing Andromeda (after Peter Paul Rubens), 2016-17

oil, linseed oil and alkyd resin on canvas, 72 x 120 inches

private collection

Raising of Lazarus I & II (after Michelangelo Buonarroti), 2016-17

oil, linseed oil and alkyd resin on paper mounted on linen & birch panel, 61.5 x 24 inches each

private collection

For representation or acquisition inquiries please contact the studio: info@lawrencefodor.com

Laocoön and His Sons V, 2016-18, oil, linseed oil and alkyd resin on canvas, 60 x 60 inches

Laocoön and His Sons V, 2017, work in progress/underpainting/composite