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In my work I want to expand the conventional boundaries of seeing and painting. Though it is an accepted notion that photography (including cinema) has usurped the painterís function of helping us learn to see, and indeed this was one of the undergirding rationales for the development of modern painting, when I look at the world what I see is quite different from what photography shows. Photography to me is flat and filmlike, with the shallowness of its physical surface inseparable from its visual quality. It is like looking at the surface of a puddle rather than at the world it reflects. To more strongly express the forms I see, I have moved my painting off the two-dimensional picture plane into three dimensions. This has not been done before with landscape. At first this was partly inspired by the thick impastos of artists like Rembrandt and Van Gogh, which seemed to me to make the people and objects they painted more solid and tangible. I was also influenced by Frank Stellaís abstract shaped and sculptured paintings. A painting need not be limited by the rectangular picture plane and by the flat surface. I noted Stella for a long time purposely treated his three dimensional works as paintings rather than sculptures. In the same way I see my work as an extension of painting into a new area rather than sculpture. Over time my work has developed in two modes: one is three dimensional in-the-round, while the other is in low relief with some projecting elements.

Further, I want my work to move to reflect the dynamism of this society. The shape of each sculpture itself is a gesture in space, like the gesture of a dancer. Its irregular edges suggest space sweeping through it from outside; it wants to connect with infinity rather than be confined in a frame-like rectangle. At the same time I believe my work implies a new partnership with architecture, like the integration of painting, sculpture and architecture prior to the development of easel painting in the Renaissance. This reflects my agreement with McLuhan's view that the visual and aural world in which we live is in many ways more like the Middle Ages than the Renaissance. 




Charles Zigmund      Artist's Statement