I thought it would be intriguing to ask painters this simple yet complex question. This query comes with no ground rules—it’s up to each individual artist to find their own approach and direction.
This project will be an ongoing exploration … let’s see where it takes us.
What is Painting?
Featuring Jeremy Long
Tackling the problems of creating paintings as spatial worlds rather then mere images is of interest to me. This can also be thought of as advocating thoughtfulness over excitement, or poetic meaning over novelty. The quality of light, the visceral geometry of space in depth and as a pattern on the surface in the paintings reinforces these concerns. Painting that is based on conviction and perpetual doubt is also of interest to me. The goal as I see it is to on one hand create an ordered, harmonious vision and on the other hand to understand that everything seen is relative.
I spend between one and two years making a painting. The painting that is made in this time is large and often complicated in its construction. Since 2003 I have been interested in the notion of how to spend one’s time in the studio. My training taught me that making as many as three paintings a day was one way to learn how to paint. This practice, as well as making the paintings from observation did teach me how to make a painting, but only small ones. My curiosity of how to make a large-scale painting came from questions I had about how painters who lived before me invented their pictures and did it on such a grand scale. I was also struck by how some figurative painters showed in their work an extremely sophisticated knowledge and love of abstract painting, abstract construction and an awareness of metaphor.
My work is an attempt to bring the structural and metaphoric thinking of abstraction to perceptual representation. Standing apart from academic formulas and any obvious modernist strategies I am involved in an effort to rethink figuration. In the course of these explorations I have been drawing on and reformulating metaphoric structures from multiple cultural sources-modernism and the early Renaissance, seventeenth-century realism and Mesopotamia. My hope is that the work is conditioned by the viewer’s awareness of my use of the past and that the art past is also changed in the understanding of the work.
Jeremy Long, Backyard Summer, oil on canvas, 6 x 8 feet, 2012
Jeremy Long, born 1971 in Chicago, Illinois, is an American painter who is an exponent of the Figurative movement in painting – specifically Post Abstract Figuration. He studied with a number of leading American painters, including Gabriel Laderman, Stanley Lewis and Wilbur Niewald at The Kanas City Art Institute.
After graduating from The Kansas City Art Institute he moved back to Chicago where along with fellow alum opened the Streeterville Gallery at 864 N. Wabash. Following this Long made his first trip overseas to paint from the landscape in Rome for six months.
After returning to the U.S. he was accepted into the Painting program at American University in Washington, D.C. where he earned his MFA working closely with Stanley Lewis and visiting artist Richard Ryan.
In 2006 he became an active member of the Midwest Paint Group who share a commitment to Post Abstract Figuration.
He has taught at Knox College, Ithaca College, Assumption College, The School of Art at Chautauqua Institution, and is currently an Assistant Professor at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio.
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The What Is Painting? Project – More Featured Artists