Erin Washington

Region: Midwest


City / State: Chicago, IL

I remember learning about the ability to X-ray a painting, to examine the previous layers of paint and their application. Learning that you could see naked underpaintings, even mistakes and corrections. Could painters, with only one canvas for their entire life, make hundreds of paintings on that one surface? Can we think about flat, two-dimensional space in a four-dimensional, time-based way? A seed of that question germinates in my current palimpsestic method: the history of processed accretion is a present and available ghost. In my paintings, I reference symbols and imagery from the sciences, mythology, and art history that represent ruptures and schisms in the search for meaning and truth. Colors fade, pigments are burned, chalk erased: the physical objects emulate the metaphorical cycles they describe. My actions and products are in a constant state of flux, highlighting the disharmony between meaning, beauty, and a fundamentally messy universe. However, the relative temporality of the work’s making counters ambivalence; the immediate process and present-ness of the work eclipses uncertainty . . . for the moment.