Monique Van Genderen

Region: Pacific Coast

I have been trying to undo structure in order to get at the underpinnings of the conceptual model of painting. I have experimented with materials in order to unravel “ideas.” I have tried to include narratives in the paintings and their titles; I have exposed the stretcher bar, painted directly on the wall, created sculptural paintings and reflective painterly spectacles. I have tried everything to the best of my abilities. In all these ways, I have seen myself as an artist very concerned with breaking away from traditional approaches to painting. I think I can count myself among those contemporary painters who want to expand the definition of painting, and to use painting as a tool that can question itself as a discreet object of desire.

I revere painters like Mary Heilman and Raoul De Keyser, who have set an example of working against the grain, despite any opposition. They have persevered in their idiosyncratic methods of creation. To me, both of these painters are like poets of the lyrical tradition. Their painting moves and material references are heavy and saturated with meaning that speaks to subjects like metaphysics as well as things derived from the soil. The humor invested by Mary Heilman in her work makes me, as an artist of my generation, breathe a sigh of relief, knowing that I can coexist in the world of painting and narrative without having to depict a subject.