Monroe Hodder





Layers in a painting interest me because of the rich undercurrents they bring. I like to begin with a radiant field of color and overlay this base with transparent clouds of paint and grids of skewed geometry. This structure serves as a platform for representational imagery, often from art history. I finish the painting with an expressionist display, a spontaneous explosion of paint wrinkles, smears, dabs and zigzags.

I make these opposing gestures and surfaces to speak about different kinds of human behavior, to express logical and emotional relationships that do not always co-exist in harmony. Color is my primary source of expression and these juxtaposed layers of color often have abrupt and asynchronous interactions.

Memories arise not only from the self but also from our common history. I have begun to add other images: the work of other artists, the outline of a house from my childhood, the birch trees I remember from my time in the Russian countryside. Often there will just be an edge of this "history" layer showing, like an uneven piece of underclothing. At other times it moves under the surface like a figure traveling behind a curtain. These image fragments may be simply background noise, but I feel they must be there.

The painting is completed with imagery that comes from contemporary life: an abstracted collage of colors from the media or a vision of the passing parade of New York street culture. This final layer, which partially obliterates the memory and history images, brings the painting forward into the present. The work, in the end, is intended to relate to the complex, cacophonic world of our day - to the interconnected and networked lives we lead.