Janet Mazenier

Abstraction: gesture, materiality, vitalism


As I began my research for my painting project, I reflected on the detrimental impact that our contemporary way of life, mediated through screens based on digital technology, is having on us. Collectively, capitalism, consumerism (including internet-based consumerism) and corporatism are key influences that drive a relentless, fast pace of living within a mechanistic world that is becoming more alienated from nature and humanity.

This project sits within a wider investigation of modern painting which works towards a process of abstraction - involving a close reading of artists who embrace painting for its liveliness, continuing a conversation that started with artists such as Cy Twombly and Joan Mitchell, and more recently, Max Gimblett.

As I proceeded, I became aware of art critic Isabelle Graw's hypothesis for painting, in terms of its 'vitalistic fantasies', and Jane Bennett's idea "of matter as passive stuff, as raw, brute or inert". I related these concepts to my painting practice embedded in its physicality; the materials, the way I paint, and the sense of aliveness that I perceive, and hope that the viewer perceives, emanating from the work.

Pink Green
Posies Landscape

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