Jay DeFeoAmerican (Hanover, New Hampshire, 1929 - 1989, Oakland, California)
Although Jay DeFeo identified herself as a painter, she recognized that her artwork "could more accurately be described as a combination of painting and sculpture. I consider the aspects of each inseparable and interdependent, the process being one of building and carving, but always in reference to the properties of paint as a medium."
This heroically sized painting teeters on the brink of sculpture, with more than five hundred pounds of paint encrusted on its surface. Applying layer after layer of oil pigment to canvas, then scraping or dragging a trowel through the paint with broad strokes, DeFeo produced crags and crevices that reveal ragged textures and underlying layers of color, suggesting built-up geological sediment. With dangling strings indicative of sinews, the work invokes a sense of living or decaying tissue.
Often conceiving of works in small groups, DeFeo initially designed Incision as the left-hand panel of a triptych. A broad V would have extended across all three canvases, with a green heart spanning the middle and right sections. Prone to laboring endlessly over her creations, she ultimately abandoned the project; the center panel was lost or destroyed and the right one never completed.
abstract, drips, impasto, texture