The exhibition title references the short-lived French 20th c. art movement called Supports / Surfaces. The artists in the group focused upon the elements of painting that are generally invisible and taken for granted: the canvas fabric and wooden stretcher components. Their work favored imaginative construction (and deconstruction) processes over figurative imagery.
Taking this movement as a point of departure, I approached the paintings as a sequence of events and choices -- beginning with surface, support, media, and successive layers of paint and assemblage. One action is taken in response to the previous one and may continue over a period of months or years. The process is intuitive and held many surprises along the way.
With a portrait or still life, I have a general idea of the finished appearance of the painting, but the abstractions have no predetermined result. They are experiments, starting with uncertainty and freedom. A personal reexamination of painting is the intention behind the series. The several references to alchemy speak of experimentation and striving for transformation.
--Heather Ryan Kelley, July 2023