Garth Weiser

TV Keith (2008)

Acrylic and gouache on canvas
93 inches by 83 inches

Located on Hall of Fame Level, Owners Club

Garth Weiser strips painting down to the basics. TV Keith (2008) is a large, abstract canvas from which color has been almost entirely eliminated. The same goes for the free-form gestures that ordinarily provide evidence of the artist’s touch and typically give abstract art its hand-made originality. In the young New York-based painter’s no-nonsense canvas, the shapes are common, the lines are precise, and the composition is rudimentary, a nearly symmetrical division of top and bottom, left and right, circles and rectangles.

Despite the reductive format, Weiser’s work is anything but limited. This deceptively simple image is equally engaged with the materials and techniques of its construction, the world around it, and the history of Minimalist abstraction. It makes room for fascinating reflections about painting’s capacity to multitask, to be not only many things to many people, but to be many things to individual viewers, all at once.

To apply paint, Weiser uses brushes, palette knives, and spray guns. Some parts of his image are atmospheric, others are flat expanses, and still others appear to be three-dimensional, jutting forward like a steely cone, or overlapping like a target’s concentric rings. The line that divides the airy top of the painting from its rock-solid bottom recalls the horizon of wide-open spaces and evokes the landscape of Montana, where Weiser was born. The stylized simplicity of corporate logos and the crisp efficiency of graphic design play important roles in Weiser’s multilayered work, which also recalls the test patterns and static that often appeared on TV screens in the days before the world went digital.

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