Gagner, Tenaglia
weathervane Gagner, Tenaglia
weathervane Gagner, Tenaglia

Artist's Statement

Christina Tenaglia

Based on a language of everyday perception, I am making work that crosses boundaries between object and idea, familiar and unfamiliar, painting and sculpture. These pieces are materially uncomplicated and somewhat inarticulate. The constructions are wood, made using mostly hand tools with simple techniques, rougher than they first appear. They are often painted, re-painted, and painted again. They are built up and then cut back down. These constructions are stalled moments taken from the everyday, momentary thoughts, interactions between colors and forms, play with light and shadow, blanks - all meant to be observed more than recognized or understood.

Paul Gagner

My first love is abstract painting, but I don't think abstract painting loves me back. Or anyway, we have a troubled relationship. When I get started on a new painting, for example, with the intention of creating something abstract over the entire surface, I get hung up at some point. Anxiety sets in. Uncertainty mounts. Something is amiss in the painting, or simply missing. This feels a lot like being in a relationship—the feeling, that is, of being too close to see the truth, of being the half of a union that’s become dysfunctional. My sensation is that I have gotten lost in the process of progression, in a problem of my own creation. This is when I insert a reference point in the composition, something 'real' or 'representational' to ground both the painting and myself. Painting the abstract work into some sort of context—having it leaning against the wall in my studio, inserting a horizon line behind it, placing it on an open page in a book—gives me a buffer from my anxieties and provides a way to finish, or to at least envision an end point. I guess I have to regularly break up with abstract painting, or let it break up with me, in order to see us together and happy. Sordid affairs in assorted colors.