The winter of 2003-04 saw a change in the methodology and approach I take to painting.  In the past the majority of my time in the studio was spent looking at paintings in progress; hours visualizing how changes in the painting would affect its appearance. Considerations and options were debated in a silent dialogue that would eventually manifest itself in action – a burst of impulsive and intuitive painting in reaction to what existed in the painting in a relatively short amount of time. Action painting. The cadence of these sessions would shift at times; painting more and looking less, but the premise did not. Conjecture on what may or may not work in a painting came from looking, which was an attempt to see the painting, with the actual changes taking place in those short, almost frenetic, painting clips. Over the course of a week, month, or year the painting would eventually be completed.


That winter I walked into the studio after a few months break from painting and began to work spontaneously, not looking from a distance, analyzing, and then picking up the brushes, but painting in earnest. I went missing in the marks.  Time was not an issue as the paint accumulated over the next four, five, or six hours, compulsively. I lost myself in the paint and its infinite variety of color, viscosity, and application.  When I stopped painting I went to my viewing chair, sat down, and looked at the painting as if I had just walked into the studio.  Conjecture in non-objective painting can be disastrous. One can miss the point entirely by losing sight of the emotional content of color and paint alone by attempting to “define” imagery or memory in a painting. Captivated by the paint while looking, I saw what the color was doing, how the subtle differences and changes in hue, saturation, and value of each mark affected adjacent marks or even marks across the canvas.  I was considering paint in a different way.  I sat for a half hour, maybe; it was a short amount of time compared to how long I had actually been painting that day.  Then I started to paint again on the same piece - meditative, direct, obsessive. Reaction evolved into response and the dialogue grew with each persistent and cumulative mark of paint.  This process continued over the next few days and the resulting painting was Kōan 1.


That painting led to a series of paintings over the next two years - Kōan. The paintings represent a paradox for me - while being grounded by the traditional realm of the corporeal and physical world the painter and the viewer can escape reference with a concerted effort to focus on the moment - tempted by accumulated paint and marks into the potential of releasing known perceptions and references to access the possibilities of the intangible and revelatory experience.


Lawrence Fodor © 2005

Koan - Echo Under Ice, 2003-04,

oil, wax and alkyd resin on canvas, 50 x 36 inches

Koan 01, 2003-04,

oil, wax and alkyd resin on canvas, 44 x 28 inches

Koan 02, 2003-04,

oil, wax and alkyd resin on canvas, 52 x 46 inches

Koan 05, 2003-04,

oil, wax and alkyd resin on canvas, 44 x 42 inches

Koan 09, 2005-04,

oil, wax and alkyd resin on canvas,  66 x 50 inches

Koan 11, 2003-04,

oil, wax and alkyd resin on canvas, 42 x 30 inches

Koan 23, 2004-05,

oil, wax and alkyd resin on canvas, 40 x 26 inches

Koan - Tiger, 2004-05,

oil, wax and alkyd resin on canvas, 82 x 80 inches

Koan 47 - Dark Water, 2004-05,

oil, wax and alkyd resin on canvas, 24 x 23 inches

Koan 48 - Salvage, 2004-05,

oil, wax and alkyd resin on canvas, 24 x 23 inches

Koan 49 - Glacier, 2004-05,

oil, wax and alkyd resin on canvas, 34 x 32 inches

Koan Sri Lanka, 2004-05,

oil, wax and alkyd resin on canvas, 60 x 50 inches

2003 - 2005