Three Corner Symphony
September 15 - October 21, 2011

Fay Grajower

All of the arts, poetry, music, ritual, the visible arts, the theater, must singly (ital-fg) and together create the most comprehensive art of all, a humanized society, and its masterpiece, free man.     -Bernard Berenson

Central to my work is history and memory; the texture of memory and the unconscious elements of an inherited memory that shape our lives. Text factors heavily in my thought and my work.  Phrases, words and letters form calligraphic marks. As a shape and design they add layers of texture and meaning to the build-up of a painting.  Recognizable words inside a painting or the phrasing of a title can direct the viewer's thinking or reaction to a work.  So too does the absence of a title or a play with words have its effect.  Text is in texture as texture is in memory.  Text is the fitting together of letters and words and phrases.  Texture is the layering of events that make up history. Texture is the layering of materials that give body and surface to a painting.  Ultimately texture gives shape and form to the work and to the present.  My mixed media pieces incorporate paint, sand, fabric, paper, wood, found and recycled materials.  The outermost layer is but the surface.  The layering and the process are the richness of the piece.  Simplification can be complicated.

In my painting process, I layer materials, layer words, move color and interrupt myself with asides.  The asides take the form of words, stories and distractions by working on more than one piece at a time.  Each feeds the other as I struggle with any given piece.  The shortest distance between two points is not necessarily a straight line.  Lots of loose pieces of paper, multiple images, just stuff in the environment, that most people would call clutter, feed, engage, inspire and challenge me. 

The build up and paring down achieves the rich texture that is so essential in my work.  The grid and the buildup of small pieces to the whole as well as the breakdown of the whole to mosaic like parts factor in my work.  Stones are metaphors for life that was and for new life.  Stones are tablets; they are the surface and the tool for recording information as testimonials and as memorials.  Stones in my work are metaphors for the mosaic of unity and diversity.  Its meaning is alive with each person's changing perceptions.

I apply a visual language of abstract forms, layering of materials and calligraphic marks to stir up emotions.  An atmosphere of space and light is created for each viewer's perception of history and memory. The works energize the viewer to look into oneself for images and associations as emotions enter the process.  Current events impact word and image.  In the aftermath of terrorist attacks in the world, a transformation has occurred. The materials used to build a structure - a community - have been deconstructed.  In this destruction the material has been dematerialized.  We now face a new history and a new memory.  Our memory today is the inherited memory and collective memory of the future. The layers of a painting resemble the layers of memory.  To jar one's memory is to uncover history.  We have great challenges before us. The resilience of the human spirit triumphs over brutality.

-Fay Grajower  
 Boston, July 2011