The series of cloud paintings began in the same way all of the others did, I wanted to see if I could uncover something about the nature of reality. Clouds seem to inhabit some place between being, becoming and disappearing. So it became obvious that it’s not really possible to paint a cloud, because a cloud never sits still. It is always changing. One can only guess. While painting a cloud, the cloud disappears and one is left with a series of changes occurring over the surface, and then you step back and maybe it looks like a cloud, but really the cloud has disappeared totally. You are left with the appearance of something that you were never really able to find in the first place.
The series of measurement paintings is a way of trying to make maps of changes as they appear over the surfaces of various things and trying to bring out something about the objects. So they are about identity. It is just a way of asking questions. Is it possible to determine the identity of an object? How do these things relate to each other and define each other?
But really, what you end up with is a series of changes which never quite become anything definable. The forms dissolve within a field of changes and even though later on you can say ‘that’s a vase’ or ‘that’s a bowl,’ really, they’re nothing like that in reality.
So as the series progressed, it became more obvious that there was no way of determining the identity of the things and I started painting cubes and wooden blocks instead of pragmatic vessels. And then it became just measuring things whose identities became completely impossible to determine, impossible to recognize as a thing. Flat squares on a surface with doubtful boundaries…
The block paintings emerged out of the measurement paintings. After I started measuring cubes on a table it seemed like I had painted all of the possibilities out and I wanted to work with some type of irregular geometry. So I got a chisel and a hammer and started breaking the cubes up into pieces. And what emerged were irregularly shaped wooden blocks. I sanded them and painted each one a different color and set them up on a table in front of a large white piece of wood and put a light on them. And right away their relationships became fascinating. This was a return to a geometry of relations. But it’s worth noting that what is truly fascinating about these things is their irregularity; their different postures and heights, leaning towards or away, grouped or alone, it really is a complete geometry of relationships. The possibilities are endless and each arrangement of these blocks is a totally different series of interactions.