Corydon Cowansage

Region: Northeast


City / State: Bronx, NY

My paintings explore the psychology of space and the relationships between architecture, nature, the body, and abstraction. Using repeating forms like blades of grass, bricks, roof shingles, leaves, and fence slats, I make meditative optical abstractions that creep into representation.

Ranging in scale from six inches to nine feet, my work often locates the viewer in awkward spatial situations. Viewers are pressed up against a wall, squeezed between spaces, pulled into a hole, or pushed to the ground. My paintings produce uncanny perceptual shifts as they flip-flop between graphic abstraction and more naturalistic representation. Flat geometries might suddenly appear to have depth and mass. Space is folded or compressed, perspective and scale are askew, and access is blocked.

I often think of the forms in my paintings in relation to the body— bricks are fleshy, leaves have veins, grass stands in for hair or fingers or tongues, and dirt becomes skin. Forms almost touch, poke, rub.