Blair Vaughn-Gruler’s paint vocabulary includes elements of drawing and elements of building. She uses marking, erasing, repeating, and layering in service to the materiality and physical presence of the paint itself. Sometimes the paint is applied on top of an infrastructure built out of wood or cardboard; sometimes the layers of paint are numerous enough to constitute a building project on their own.
This is a process-based practice, which means that the end result is more of a record of the making than a pictorial image of an idea.
WHITE, her new exhibition at GVG Contemporary, employs a subdued palette that puts the emphasis on paint and process, without the distraction of saturated hues (although there is the occasional surprise). In addition to the monochromatic palette, there is a focus on the creation of an all-over surface, and the moment when the individual marks become a unified whole.
Historically, monochromatic painting has explored one color, examining the changing values across a surface and the expressivity of texture and nuance. In this exhibition, Vaughn-Gruler also considers white as an erasure: taking out what is not needed so that the remaining marks take on a certain gravity and presence, even though many marks are ghost images pushed back into the surface of the painting.
Santa Fe based art writer Christina Proctor put it this way in a recent review;
“Through intricate loops, lines, marks, and drips a calming whole is formed. She is intrigued by the materiality of a painting and how the viewer interacts viscerally and physically with the work. Vaughn-Gruler’s art is as playful as it is meditative and inquisitive. She searches for the moment when the individual marks coalesce in singularity.
There is a wry sense of humor in her work and in her titles, which grapple with the duality of possessing and losing form.”
August 7-13, 2015