I work between the flat abstract space of a grid and the illusionistic deep space of landscape.  I identify as a landscape painter in that I am concerned with space and depth, however my feeling for landscape has less to do with nature than it does with movement and the emotional qualities of environment and perception.  Between myself as the observer and that which I observe is the flat space of the canvas, the schematics of planning and building, and non-objective abstraction. In one sense I’m painting observationally from life but in another my practice is mostly conceptual and studio based — I am caught up in the problems of mediation and form. I’m trying to bring these two modes of thinking and working to bear on each other and to explore their relationship aesthetically. 

Straight lines produce depth through layering and also function to cut through the illusion of real space. These lines also reference the predictable, rectilinear, flat shape of the canvas, the linearity of linear writing, and strings. Painting from life must always still contend with the abstract space of the canvas and like-wise, designs and concepts contend with the body and perception, affect and illusion. 

I have worked in many different ways freely exploring different avenues, my interest in the intersection between observational painting and abstraction has evolved over a long time and has not always been apparent to me. Some of my experiments have been more successful and useful than others. In 2016 and 2017 I made many works which I called pattern paintings in which I would photograph watercolors and drawings and then turn them in to black and white computer images. I would print these out and rework them, and then photograph and print them again. In a sense I let myself become very distracted by the common practice of documenting or photographing work. Sometimes the watercolors would start with observational paintings and other times they would start abstractly and move towards grounded depictions of space. My practice is still concerned with the role of photography but also the more banally painterly problem of the rectangle.

The role of repetition in artistic production is complicated by the ease of reproduction through photography. I often destroy paintings and then attempt to remake them. Remaking, or copying old work is consistently a strategy for looking for structure but it is also a critique of technical reproduction. I am no longer working with computer generated images. Currently, my drawing practice involves working quickly with watercolors outdoors — to find patterns through observation rather than in connection with technology — although, of course the influence is unavoidable. 

In 2012 I made many paintings of rooms with paintings on the walls, and of oblique shapes that resembled looking at a painting from the side — my concern in painting has been trying to find meaning from it by looking at it sideways, as both an object and a window simultaneously.

In 2021 over a period of 3 month in New Mexico I began to work explicitly between the depth of landscapes and the flatness of grids. I grew up in Northern California and the first paintings that I looked at and thought about were plein air landscape paintings.  My father is a builder and I started making things from wood and building from a very young age.

It seems to me that we live in a world that is both built and not built, both individually subjective and limited by concrete circumstances — my work is about these tensions in painting. 

I currently live and work in Norfolk, Connecticut with my wife Molly Zuckerman-Hartung and dog Moses and teach at MICA in the LeRoy E. Hoffberger school of painting.