Tag: geometric art

New Graphic Geometric Art: The Omphems Reyall Series

April 13th, 2013 | No Comments

Graphic Geometric Art by Grant Wiggins - Omphems Reyall 1
Graphic geometric art: New painting by Grant Wiggins, Omphems Reyall 1.

Graphic geometric art is really what I love to make, and it’s really what inspires me to keep innovating artistically.

My take on, or version of, graphic geometric art places emphasis on geometry — dynamic, visually charged compositions — but affords room for negative space, to achieve a balance. The result is a balance between minimalism and design-inspired maximalism.

That said, the newest addition to my portfolio is a series of three graphic geometric art works titled Omphems Reyall. The first painting in this series measures 20 x 32 inches (51 x 81 cm). The following pair is of paintings each measure 10 x 16 inches (25 x 41 cm).

Graphic Geometric Art by Grant Wiggins - Omphems Reyall 2Graphic Geometric Art by Grant Wiggins - Omphems Reyall 2Graphic Geometric Art by Grant Wiggins - Omphems Reyall 3
Omphems Reyall 2 and 3, respectively.

The invented word “Reyall” in the title is a pun and reference to Real Madrid football club, whose away jersey for the 2012/2013 season (below left; via realmadridshop.com) is the inspiration for this series’ color combination. As these graphic geometric art works began to take shape, the colors also reminded me of the paint scheme for the Subaru Impreza WRX rally car (below right; image via Ericd on wikipedia.org).

real madrid 2012-13 away shirt and 2005 subaru impreza wrx rally car

Hexagons, stripes, and geometric patterns — I just can’t get enough of them!

‘Beyond Minimalism’ Art Exhibition

April 6th, 2013 | No Comments

There’s plenty of time to see the Beyond Minimalism art exhibition I’m a part of at Hudson|LINC Gallery. The show will be on view through Friday, May 3.

Opening night, held March 19, was well attended. Los Angeles artist and designer Sacha Baumann in a very nicely done blog post describes Beyond Minimalism as “really good — bright, playful, tactile,” and offers several interesting glimpses of my paintings on opening night.

Below are photos of my work in Beyond Minimalism:

beyond minimalism art exhibition beyond minimalism art exhibition

From left to right, the paintings are:

Hudson|LINC is open Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and by appointment. The gallery is located on the second floor of the Pacific Design Center’s Blue Building. More at hudsonlinc.com.

Parallax Art Fair New York 2012

November 3rd, 2012 | No Comments

grant wiggins in parallax art fair new york november 2012
Paintings I will be showing at Parallax Art Fair New York, November 16 – 18, 2012; see links below for details about these paintings.

I cordially invite you to view my work in New York this month, at Parallax Art Fair New York, held November 16 through 18 at the Prince George, 15 East 27th Street, Manhattan.

A private VIP viewing will be offered Friday, November 16, from 7 to 9 p.m. The show will be open to the public the weekend of November 17 – 18 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. For free passes to the weekend dates, visit http://parallaxartfair.eventbrite.co.uk.

I will be exhibiting six works at Parallax Art Fair New York:

You’ll be able to find my work in Gallery 25. Look for the fluorescent orange, pink, and chartreuse paint. You can’t miss it!

After hosting several art fairs in London, Parallax debuted in New York this past August, presenting works by more than 180 artists from 30 countries. For this upcoming edition of Parallax Art Fair New York, more than 200 artists are expected to exhibit between 2,000 and 3,000 works of art.

Paintings at Salon Jo-El in Phoenix

June 23rd, 2012 | No Comments

For the past year and a half I have been exhibiting my paintings at Salon Jo-El, a progressive hair salon owned by Joel Porter — a loyal collector of my art and a good friend. Incidentally, it was Joel who invited me to show a few of my paintings at his home for the 2011 Modern Phoenix home tour.


Joel opened his salon more than a decade ago in the Arcadia neighborhood of Phoenix, at 4118 E. Indian School Road. He moved his salon to downtown Scottsdale midway into the last decade. Yet, this past May, Salon Jo-El returned to its original Arcadia location.

The new location offered me a fresh opportunity to display some of my newest work — and of course I’ve hung some in salon style. Joel’s salon very much looks and feels like a white cube art gallery, with white walls, a white tile floor and spacious windows that let in ample natural light.

New ‘Simple’ Geometric Art

January 9th, 2012 | 3 Comments

I present to you my newest painting — a “simple” geometric artwork I call Variant.

simple geometric art
Simple geometric art: Variant. Acrylic on canvas. 48 inches (122 cm) square. 2011.

What makes this painting simple? Geometric art, as a genre, is characterized by repetitive shapes and motifs that often fill the entire picture plane, forming an allover pattern.

By contrast, although geometric, my newest painting takes a step back, allowing a series of stripes to interact simply with a pattern that appears to be just beginning to form. Neither the stripes, nor the pattern, become the geometric artwork’s focal point; the two elements achieve a fragile balance, framed by negative space.

The story behind this geometric painting is relatively simple, as well. I discovered this composition accidentally one night in late October, after four hours of mashing up patterns and shapes in Illustrator. The moment I arrived at this composition, I knew it had to be painted!

The happy accident that led to this painting only proves to me that as long as I experiment — no matter how long, laborious, or fruitless the process may seem — worthwhile results will follow. Four hours of going nowhere can lead to somewhere uncharted.

Julian Stanczak interview on Geoform.net

November 4th, 2011 | 2 Comments

I remember the first time I ever saw a painting by Julian Stanczak in person. It was at the Toledo Museum of Art, several years ago. Standing before And Then There Were Three, in all of its 4-foot-by-12-foot vastness, I literally felt myself being engulfed by the colors and forms before me. Green and red were banging against each other, forming a warm brown, vibrating against several rhythmic progressions of purples.

julian stanczak interview - and then there were three
And Then There Were Three by Julian Stanczak. 48 x 144 inches (122 cm x 3.7 m). 1971. Collection of Toledo Museum of Art. Photo by Faasdant via flickr.

I remember trying to focus on just one color — training my eyes to carefully scan the canvas from bottom to top edge, in a vertical line — and noted how my perception of that singular color changed, based on its proximity to other colors.

The more I gazed at And Then There Were Three, the more I fell into it, as if a gravitational pull had lured me into a radically different (and far more interesting) reality. I couldn’t pull myself away. I was in bliss.

That moment at Toledo Museum of Art changed my thinking about art and how I saw my own art. Julian Stanczak had joined my personal constellation of art superstars.

Ever since, I have followed the arc of Stanczak’s career with great interest. I have enjoyed the resurgence in interest in his work — as evidenced by his inclusion in the Optic Nerve, presented by Columbus Museum of Art in 2009, as well as CLE OP: Cleveland Op Art Pioneers, on view through February 26, 2012 at Cleveland Museum of Art.

The fact that Stanczak is a Clevelander — he resides in Seven Hills, one suburb east of where I grew up (Hint: It rhymes with “pharma.”) — who attended Cleveland Institute of Art around the time my mother did (ca. 1950), makes him even cooler.

Naturally, when Julie Karabenick, editor and curator of Geoform.net, contacted me last week to let me know that she had just posted an interview with Stanczak, I virtually flipped out. At first, I tried to read the interview on my phone, but quickly stopped once I realized how comprehensive it is.

Clocking in at more than 15,000 words (23 pages of 10-point type, without images, expertly led and transcribed by Karabenick), this interview is a definitive, tour de force window into how Stanczak sees his work, his influences, and his creative process. Read the complete interview on Geoform.net here.

“Color Meltdowns”

Several themes continually resurface throughout the interview. Stanczak’s love of color emerges early; he views color as “abstract, universal — yet personal and private in experience. It affects us emotionally, not logically as do tangible things.”

As the interview progresses, Stanczak’s insights take on a gravity not unlike Paul Klee’s near-mystical observations in The Thinking Eye, but with a playfulness and optimism shared by Verner Panton. You intimately sense Stanczak’s love for color, and his deep interest in creating a visual sensation for the viewer, through interactions between colors.

“I want to fuse many colorants and their gradations into a single color experience — a ‘color meltdown,'” he says. “I am interested in the glow of colors as they interact and intermix, as they give to each other. And there are many factors I must consider to achieve the desired meltdown.”

He speaks of his paintings as an “interactive fusion” of colors, where “visual elements lose their individuality for the sake of totality.” Stanczak’s canvases are surfaces upon which colors invite our eyes to mix them into entirely new colors, forming a “haze” or “glow” as they interact.

Nature as the greatest teacher

Unlike anything else, the natural world has challenged and inspired Stanczak to experiment with colors, forms, and its many sensations. The artist expresses an instinctual fascination with the geometry and visual rhythms that permeate life.

“More than any of my teachers, Nature directed me, and I gained more conviction through, for example, observing water reflections, river currents, wood grain or grasses swaying,” Stanczak says. “In many of my studies the rhythmic use of line or shape refers to weather and light.”

During his early teaching career in Cincinnati and Cleveland, in the late 1950s and early 1960s — a time of great isolation for the artist — nature was Stanczak’s one constant.

“With no one to promote my clean geometry, whom could I turn to for some kind of confirmation? — to Nature, as always,” he observes. “I have always felt that Nature harbors the answers to all my questions.”

Josef Albers

Stanczak’s recollections of Josef Albers, one of his professors at Yale, form a particularly fascinating section of Karabenick’s interview. The artist remembers:

At Yale one of the first lessons I heard from Albers was, “I cannot teach you your art!” Albers used destruction as a method of construction in his teaching. Anything you thought you knew was taken away. The principle was not to get attached to anything too early, but to keep looking, searching, and thinking. Albers made endless demands for you to be better, to be a more observant participant in life. You experienced total emancipation from what to do, how to do it and what to think.

[Albers] gave me the courage to explore color beyond the classroom. He gave me the mindset to accept questions as part of life’s energy. My paintings and my search for understanding of color were based on a step-by-step process of observation. My observations might not match those of another person, but they became my foundation to build upon. I was gratified that Albers chose to include one of my pieces in his Interaction of Color portfolio.

Albers emerges later in the interview, when Stanczak drove to New Haven to invite Albers to the opening of his first solo show in a New York gallery — Julian Stanczak: Optical Paintings, at Martha Jackson Gallery in 1964. The exhibition’s title unnerved Stanczak, but particularly rankled Albers.

Stanczak remembers:

I found him aroused, pointing to the exhibition announcement in the paper. Without a greeting he said, ‘Your obligation is to correct that!’ I asked him what term he would use to describe the work, and he said ‘Perceptual painting.’ He was imperative about my responsibility to take action against something like this. I tried, but the term had already entered the public domain.

Stanczak viewed his paintings as an opportunity for “perceptual experience,” not purely optical experience. The latter was, in his opinion, a matter of merely “registering visual actions blindly.” Pattern and illusion — eye-attacking art-making tactics, on their own — never motivated Stanczak the way they did so many of his contemporaries.

Reading Karabenick’s interview is like a walk through time, spanning Stanczak’s life and the art currents surrounding and shaping him. The interview offers remarkable insights into one an artist’s lifelong approach toward color, form, and his highly individualistic art-making process — which undoubtedly has involved many miles of tape.

I consider this interview a gift that will continue to unfold new meanings as I re-read and reflect upon it, in a way very similar to seeing Stanczak’s paintings in person, up close. It is a master class that any artist can attend, and I am thankful for the opportunity to have experienced it.

Peter Halley: Artist Studio Visit

July 15th, 2011 | No Comments

When geometric artist Peter Halley opened the doors of his Chelsea studio to guests on July 10, 2011, James Kalm documented the event with a fascinating video.

Kalm’s video offers an first-hand look at Halley’s newest eye-popping paintings and studies, as well as his jaw-dropping inventory of fluorescent paints.

I’m beyond inspired! Nevermind this blog stuff … I’ve got to get back to painting!

30-Minute Abstract Art Sketches

June 30th, 2011 | 2 Comments

Lately I have been experimenting with time-based abstract art sketches. For 30 minutes at a stretch, I attack a given composition with all I’ve got, working to produce something visually compelling under the pressure of a time limit.

Because the clock is ticking as I go, I have to work fast, and I have no time to second-guess myself. I am forced to “turn off my brain.” My intuition takes over. I go into a zone where some of my most creatively satisfying work happens. Things just happen.

abstract art sketches
abstract art sketches
Two recent abstract art sketches: I am in the process of refining these sketches into compositions that I will eventually paint. Going forward, I will be careful to honor the spirit of the original sketch — in other words, not tinker too much.

These 30-minute abstract art sketches also offer me a format for keeping my compositional skills fresh. It’s almost like how baseball players take batting practice every day, stepping into the batting cage and hacking away, working on the mechanics of their swings, trying to relax, and not to force anything, in the process.

Ideally, just like batting practice, I’d like set aside time each day to make a sketch, working on one specific design motif or geometric element per session. Unfortunately, I haven’t quite found the time to do this every day!

Another benefit of the 30-minute approach is that it prevents me from tinkering with a composition until I reach the point of diminishing returns, something I have encountered in the past. In fact, last summer I produced 24 different takes on the same composition! Results varied by the end, anyway: Once I started painting, the painting took on new life, deviating from the original sketch in significant ways.

I should add that I started experimenting with 30-minute sketches four years ago. The spontaneous art that followed, part of an art lottery project, eventually resulted in paintings such as Corporate Wellness Program.

We’ll see, indeed, whether my current batch of abstract art sketches will metamorphose into paintings in the physical realm.

Paintings in the 2011 Modern Phoenix Home Tour

April 18th, 2011 | 3 Comments

modern phoenix paintings
The Crouton P. Residence on 9817 N. Central Ave., most likely designed by Ralph Haver, AIA, in 1964. Photo courtesy of Aaron Kimberlin and Alison King.

Held at a variety of locations throughout metropolitan Phoenix last week, the 2011 edition of Modern Phoenix Week offered exciting opportunities to attend a range of free presentations and see inside some rare and remarkable homes within the Sunnyslope neighborhood of north-central Phoenix.

I was proud to be involved in Saturday’s Modern Phoenix Expo — offering a signed, framed print as a door prize there — and displaying my paintings within one of the 12 homes on Sunday’s home tour — the midcentury modern Crouton P. Residence at 9817 N. Central Ave., shown at right.

Here I would like to share with you photos of my paintings on display at the aforementioned residence, which was in all likelihood was designed by legendary architect Ralph Haver, AIA.

Paintings by Grant Wiggins on view in Modern Phoenix Week home tour: “The Secrets of Sunnyslope”

April 7th, 2011 | No Comments

Win a framed digital print, signed by the artist, as a door prize of the free Modern Phoenix Week Expo, April 16

I am proud to say that I’m a part of this year’s Modern Phoenix Week in two fabulous ways.

modern phoenix home tour

First, I will be exhibiting several of my paintings in a Ralph Haver-designed residence on Central Ave. in Phoenix, as part of the upcoming Secrets of Sunnyslope home tour. The April 17 tour — which is sold out — offers a chance to see some of the Sunnyslope neighborhood’s finest midcentury and modern dwellings.

Second, I have contributed a signed, framed digital print as a door prize of the Modern Phoenix Expo, which will take place at Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (SMoCA) on Saturday, April 16. (Please note: To be eligible to win a door prize, you must be present for that day’s 3:45 pm drawing.)