Holding Light 4

315 paintings - a site specific installation


NEW MEXICO MUSEUM OF ART     26 October ~ 2 December 2012

ALCOVE 12.6 

curated by Merry Scully


(Dedicated to my aunt, Mary Joan Fodor, who passed away while I was working on this piece. She taught me to not only look, but to see.)


Holding Light 4 is a site-specific installation of 315 individual 7 x 7 inch watercolors on archival recycled paper mounted on maple plywood panels. It is a chromatic scale shifting horizontally, vertically and diagonally. The four corner pieces are the key colors for this scale and the remaining 311 watercolors are a specific proportional formula of these four colors - with the center watercolor being an equal 25% mix of each of the four corner colors.


While the formulae for each piece is pre-determined, the act of painting each piece is unplanned, intuitive and improvised. Small brush strokes of watercolor define, trap and leave exposed tiny points of the paper. Each point of exposed paper is counted and a mark of the same watercolor is made for every 100 points then totaled once the piece is finished. The count in each piece ranges from approximately 2,500 to 4,300 points of negative space and these notations are documented on the back of each panel. The total number of “Points of Light” in the 315 pieces is over one million.


I generally paint in an abstract expressionist mode – frenetic, unrestrained and intuitive. Successive layers of paint on my large paintings become infinite points of textural highlights and are the unintentional result of the process of untold marks. They recall the unfathomable and infinite variety of the macrocosm. This is the genesis for these watercolors, which, in relationship to my large paintings, can be seen individually as relating to the infinite variety of the microcosm.


I have long been intrigued by the sensitivity of watercolor; it is direct, unforgiving and intimate. Painting these watercolors correlates to the practiced meditation of yoga, as does the counting of the points of light. They are mantras. In as much as watercolor painting is in direct opposition to the countless-ness of the large paintings, it is an exercise in placing my studio practice in the immediate, the present, the personal and the spontaneous.


Counting the points is my attempt to give “definition” to each watercolor - each microcosm. Ultimately that is impossible. Never the less I am compelled to try – to define – to count (like all humans struggle to give definition to their lives) and in doing so I am ultimately “pointing out” the indefinable nature of our existence. And while we can give definition to our lives, indeed - aren’t we all striving for just that, the possibilities are infinite and our futures unpredictable.


Lawrence Fodor

2012

Holding Light 4, 2012, (New Mexico Museum of Art installation),

watercolor on paper on applewood, 79 x 312 inches

Holding Light 162 (back)

Holding Light 4, 2012, (New Mexico Museum of Art installation),

watercolor on paper on applewood, 79 x 312 inches (detail)

Holding Light 4, 2012, (New Mexico Museum of Art installation process),

watercolor on paper on applewood, 79 x 312 inches

HOLDING LIGHT

watercolor series on paper on wood panel

Holding Light 15 (chromatic scale), 2015,

watercolor on paper on applewood with gesso, wax & 12kt gold. 42 x 42 inches

Holding Light 3012, 2015,

watercolor on paper before mounting, 7 x 10.5 inches

Study for Holding Light 15 (chromatic scale), 2015,

watercolor on paper,  9 x 10 inches

Study for Holding Light 16 (chromatic scale), 2015,

watercolor on paper,  9 x 10 inches

Holding Light 13, 2015,

watercolor on paper on applewood with gesso, wax & 12kt gold, 7 x 7 inches each

Holding Light 3512, 2012,

watercolor on paper before mounting, 7 x 10.5 inches

Holding Light 10 (chromatic scale), 2013,

watercolor on paper on applewood, 42 x 42 inches