Christopher French

My work has long conflated the sensibility of touch with the immediacy of sight, a tension between concrete tactility and visual ethereality has become by metaphor for the perceptual tension between looking and touching, comprehension and intuition evoked by the word haptic. Since moving to Water Mill, NY three years ago my attention has turned to landscape, with the attitude of “remember the landscape, forget the horizon line.” The horizon line suggests time, deadlines, destinations, while our memories of place are conjured by the tactile immediacy of those things closest to us. For me, that means color, and all of the works in “Inventions and Recollections” take heed of how interplays of land, sky, and water shape my perception of color. This is evidenced in the titles of paintings of Tracing the Colors of the Sky, and I Am a River Who Delights in Overflowing, where a dominant ground color is subdivided and refracted into families of interrelated hues, as well as in the series Remains of the Day, where a visit to a specific site on a specific day yields an aleatory composition of the kind of incidental but essential colors that, like visual perfume, animate any landscape’s dominant tones. My Floral Prototypes pares photographic portraits of flowers into geometric essentials from which I construct my own version of idealized florabundance.

-Christopher French, 2011