Jerry Walden paints hard-edged visual abstractions in acrylic on canvas by layering and juxtaposing random and well considered stripes of color to form undulating lines of shifting hue and direction that result in multi- colored Formalist compositions.
After 6 years of re-evaluating his studio practice by working through his Deconstructing Jerry (DJ) and Reconstructing Deconstructing Jerry (RDJ) Series this exhibition marks the transition to a new body of work. Rather than display a finished body of work this exhibition of 8 new paintings will document the artist’s transition from one mode of thinking to another and offer the viewer insights into the artist’s studio practice.
Like his RDJ series, Walden begins each painting by applying 1” stripes of tape every one inch so that half of the entire surface of the canvas is covered and fills in the untaped stripes with randomly selected color. The tape is removed and the painted areas are then covered in tape and the once untaped areas are then painted with random paint color. This process does not allow Mr. Walden to see the painting as a whole while he is painting it. He is in a sense painting blind, which is ironic considering the optical nature of his work and indeed painting itself. Once all the tape is removed only then can he make conscious changes to the color and line interactions on the painting surface. After careful observation and extended thought he repaints where stripes need harmony or contrast with changes in hue, value, saturation or temperature chosen critically, leaving other areas untouched and totally random.
Walden is searching for a visual Gestalt. His compositions are only considered complete when none of the parts of the painting can be removed without fundamentally altering the composition as a whole. Although firmly rooted in Western cultural heritage and psychological underpinnings the influence of Eastern philosophical notion of “one-ness” is not far from Walden’s mind. “Once brought to a visual oneness nothing can be added or taken away, and the painting exists on it’s own plane.” Often mis- categorized as Op Art Walden’s work has more in common with Sol Lewitt and has been especially influenced by the early work of Frank Stella and the late paintings of Ad Reinhardt.