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Shane Guffogg's At the Still Point Series on View at Leslie Sacks Fine Art in Los Angeles
Shane Guffogg, At the Still Point 34, 2010, 40 x 40 inches. Photo: Courtesy Leslie Sacks Fine Art.
LOS ANGELES, CA.- Shane Guffogg’s At the Still Point series began with a late 2009 drawing, Xingu I (Private collection, Santa Monica, California). So, for more than a year now, Guffogg has been drilling straight down with a single minded focus and the results have been profound. The paintings in this show, oils on canvas ranging from about 2 x 3 to 5 x 5 feet, are “abstract” in the conventional sense of the word but their subject is real: energy made visible. The best explanation of this work is provided by the following statement from the artist.

One of the main ideas that fueled the abstract expressionist movement was the flattening of pictorial space; the denial of the Renaissance window. My recent paintings, collectively titled ‘At the Still Point,’ are not about flattening pictorial space but rather about creating it. Having the luxury of historical time to look back on abstract painting enables me to make abstraction my subject, just as a still life or person can be a subject within a pictorial space.

The movements of light - the ribbons in my paintings - are documents of my own physicality as I move the brush across the canvas. This was also a primary characteristic of the action painters, i.e. the abstract expressionists whom I’ve chosen to bring with me into the present with this element of my work. Each of my movements requires a counter movement to balance it, and this happens over and over until there is a web that is actually comprised of one continuous line.

I’ve also been inspired by Turner’s seascapes from 1835-46, Rothko’s last works on paper, Jasper Johns’ early Alphabet paintings and many Rembrandts. My work is a visual conversation with these artists in particular. Turner’s use of light, with his swirling strokes of glaze, draws the viewer into the picture plane, then backs us out to perceive the painting in depth. Johns’ Grey Alphabets shimmer like Turner’s atmospheres. Rothko’s late Brown and Grey works on paper separate light from darkness, as do Rembrandt’s paintings which often appear to be lit from within. All of this plays into how I see and what I paint.

The title of this series, ‘At the Still Point,’ is taken from a poem by T.S. Eliot entitled ‘Burnt Norton (No. 1 of Four Quartets).’ I began reading this poem a number of years ago and have returned to it over and over because it addresses my concerns about the role of art and, more specifically, the role of painting in the 21st century. As previously noted, for me this is a continuous conversation between past and present, and about creating movement out of stillness in order to make the abstract real.





Last Week News

February 15, 2011

Madrid's Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza Presents an Exhibition Devoted to Jean-Léon Gérome

Egypt's Antiquities Minister Zahi Hawass Says Some Objects Looted from Museum Found

Bas-Relief of a Sacred Character Discovered by Mexican Archaeologists at El Tajin

Frick Collection Exhibition Considers Rembrandt Through the Eyes of Two Collectors

Milwaukee Art Museum Offers a Fresh Perspective on Frank Lloyd Wright with New Exhibition

150 Archaeology Graduates Protest Against Egypt's Antiquities Chief Zahi Hawass

Venetian and Flemish Masters from the Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp on View in Brussels

Prince Philip: Celebrating Ninety Years at the Drawings Gallery in Windsor Castle

American Master David Smith Featured in Exhibition at the Phillips Collection in Washington

Researchers Say Slaves Hid African Charms on Colonial Greenhouse in Maryland

Rare Burges Furniture with Literary Connections Acquired for Bedford Museum

Property From The Life and Career of Musician Slash to Be Sold By Julien's Auctions

Outstanding Selection of Modern Drawings at Swan Galleries' Work on Paper Auction

"The Kiss" by Gustav Klimt Named Most Romantic Oil Painting for Valentine's Day 2011

September 11 Memorial to Have Limited Access to a Set Number of People for Years

Royal Peek-a-Boo: Kate's Sheer Dress to Be Sold

Surface/Tension: New Work by Kitty Kraus, Dan Shaw-Town and Gedi Sibony at Lisson Gallery

New Work by Los Angeles Native Artist Laurie Frick at Edward Cella Art + Architecture

Once Upon a Wartime: Classic War Stories for Children at the Imperial War Museum in London

Deep Impressions: Willie Cole Works on Paper at Memphis Brooks Museum of Art

International Survey of Experimental Film, Video and New Media at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

First Major U.S. Retrospective of Artist Richard Hawkins Travels to Los Angeles

Anthony McNerney Appointed Head of Contemporary Art at Bonhams

Babe Ruth, Jimmie Foxx, Ty Cobb and Dozens of other Rare Autographed Baseballs at Heritage Auctions

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February 14, 2011

Egypt's Antiquities Minister Zahi Hawass Says Some Objects Looted from Museum Found

Galerie Max Hetzler Presents a Small Retrospective of Major British Artist Bridget Riley

Picasso: Guitars 1912-1914 Examines a Moment of Radical Experimentation in 20th Century Art

The National Gallery Presents Roxy Paine: One Hundred Foot Line and Painting Manufacture Unit

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Saint Louis Art Museum Presents Breathtaking Exhibition "Fiery Pool: The Maya and the Mythic Sea"

Kunsthalle Mannheim Presents Ré Soupault: Rediscovery of a Companion of the Avant-Garde

Prince Philip: Celebrating Ninety Years at the Drawings Gallery in Windsor Castle

American Master David Smith Featured in Exhibition at the Phillips Collection in Washington

Researchers Say Slaves Hid African Charms on Colonial Greenhouse in Maryland

The Fundación Juan March Presents "Cold America" Geometrical Abstraction in Latin America

14th International Sculpture Objects & Functional Art Fair to Open April 14-17, 2011

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ArtPrize 2011 Registration Dates Announced

The Knoxville Museum of Art Presents Nine Video Works by Filmmaker Peter Sarkisian

The Jewish Museum Presents 'The Line and the Circle' Video Installation by Sharone Lifschitz

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Masterpieces to Appear in the Upcoming Art Revolution Taipei 2011

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Romancing the West: Alfred Jacob Miller Exhibition Opens at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

Treasures of Heaven: Saints, Relics and Devotion in Medieval Europe on view at the Walters Art Museum

Sotheby's London February Wine Sale To Feature Superb Wine Collection

Best of the West Awards Recognise the Work of the Herbert Art Gallery & Museum

February 13, 2011

International Artists Deal with Unsharpness in "Blur After Richter" at Hamburger Kunsthalle

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18 Photographic Prints by Alex Van Gelder of Louise Bourgeois's Hands at Hauser & Wirth

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Art Gallery of Alberta Launches New Series of Alberta-Focused Exhibitions

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Walters Art Museum Curator Named to Head Major German Museum

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February 12, 2011

Art and Archives Make Up Caravaggio Show at Sant'Ivo alla Sapienza Church in Rome

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The Fundació Gala-Salvador Dalí Acquires Etude Pour 'Le Miel est Plus Douce que la Sang'

INAH's Exhibition "Teotihuacan City of Gods" has Been Visited by 350,000 Europeans

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Guggenheim Exhibition Explores Language and Translation through Video, Film, and New Media

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Gagosian Gallery Paris Presents "Rodin - Sugimoto," an Exhibition of Sculpture and Photography

Time Magazine's Image of Disfigured Afghan Woman Wins World Press Photo Prize for 2010

The Warrior Emperor and China's Terracotta Army on View at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts

The Wine Cellar of Douglas Bunn, a Key Figure in British Showjumping, has a near Perfect Round at Bonhams

International Center of Photography Announces 2011 Infinity Award Winners

NYU Professor Temporarily Removes Camera from Head

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February 11, 2011

Francis Bacon, Salvador Dali Works Boost Bumper Sotheby's "Looking Closely" Sale

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