Anne Sherwood Pundyk:  Painting as Theatre of Agency
Anne Sherwood Pundyk, "Each Other," 2019, Acrylic, Latex, Colored Pencil and Stitching on Canvas, 56.5 x 51 inches.


Look, No Hands
 
A mist of futility burns off from my bright urge to make something new for you, but also for me. I offer up a painting. The painting, “Each Other,” (2019) is mostly blue. The core dichotomy between fruitlessness and invention plays out in its construction. Across the painting’s buckling, seamed, unstretched surface of variously sized, hemmed canvas panels, the overall blue gradually differentiates as many moody, shifting densities and shades: true, violet, cerulean, sky, cobalt, indigo.  
 
Painted light reveals the drama. A fringe of indigo rivulets graduating from almost black to robin’s egg blue trickles eastward reaching toward the remains of a small cove of warm raw canvas. Their palest azure tips nearly touch the vertical fabric fold reinforced with double rows of cautionary red machine stitching. In the adjacent window a narrow twist of translucent white paint stretches up opposite the canvas cove, visible between two dark blue walls stiff with saturated paint.
 
Light emanating from the ghostly spasm is caught on either side by fine white and orange vertical contrails of dashed thread. It moves up and across a dark horizontal passage at the top of the painting. The light illuminates the uppermost portion of this canvas rectangle and rests behind a neighboring square of dusk. Lingering in this after glow, however, is a reminder of the painting’s stitched together, self-determined means of support; loose, uneven, white, red and black threads hang down off its opposite lower edge.
 
Behind the curved tendon of light, a thin, white pencil arc bisects a clear cobalt night sky. Ominously a veiled Argos watches the whiplash effects of wet light from across the nearby darkest canvas void, positioned to reflect the angle of the pencil arc. Collections of untrimmed strands of threads extend from corners and intersections. These groups of loops pantomime a total collapse of the painting’s engineering. Yet, as an alternate ending, here and there, short, faint, hand-drawn colored pencil lines act as structural reinforcement. They cry, “Look, no hands.” 
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