Comments on: Gary Wragg: Positive Provisional http://abstractcritical.com/article/gary-wragg-positive-provisional/ Abstract Critical is a not-for profit company aiming to establish a new critical context for all generations of artists involved with ambitious abstract art. Sun, 09 Nov 2014 17:23:33 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 By: Keith Williams http://abstractcritical.com/article/gary-wragg-positive-provisional/#comment-52252 Tue, 14 Aug 2012 14:29:02 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?p=3408#comment-52252 By thinking about it, it becomes a conscious act. ‘The artist’s intention plays no part in the creative process…’ Carl Jung.

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By: jenny meehan http://abstractcritical.com/article/gary-wragg-positive-provisional/#comment-52186 Mon, 13 Aug 2012 09:50:44 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?p=3408#comment-52186 Composition is essential that I fully support But it can be structural and conscious, usually from the start and then amending, or subconscious and evolving with what feels right. The more recent paintings strike me as being constructed with what feels right using the minimum of conscious decisions. Those based upon a real situation have to contain more conscious structure within their composition, but as the years have passed and pure abstraction replaced semi-abstraction which allowed a greater proportion of subconscious actions to be used.”

Yes, well put. It’s much harder, (I find personally) to work in a gradual composition process in a subconscious/instinctive led way! I’m thinking of changing tac for a while, to see what happens, and starting with more established structure from the outset of painting, work into this more organic compositions, (though I will probably take the structures from other paintings I have done, which were formed in a process led proceedure, so evolved organically anyway). I think with regard to emotional resonance, it will be interesting to see what transporting a composition pattern from one painting to another will do. It could be horrid. Maybe lack its own sense of identity. But it could be helpful, just in making that void a little less dependent on my self from the outset. When you are painting a lot of paintings at once, particularly for a deadline, it’s rather stressful relying on instinct alone, because you never know if the essential structure is going to emerge successfullly until the end of the painting! So practical considerations come in that way too. !!!

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By: Patrick Jones http://abstractcritical.com/article/gary-wragg-positive-provisional/#comment-51810 Sun, 05 Aug 2012 18:43:18 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?p=3408#comment-51810 This remains for me a really interesting and profound piece of writing about Painting.As a result I was able to invite Sam to participate in a discussion on Abstract Painting at the Appledore festival,with Mel Gooding and John Daly.I feel that Gary and Basil Beattie have contributed greatly to the U.K.Painting world by there independant positions.That the problem,or crises, which Robin Greenwood alludes to often, is above all a cultural failing in the lack of engagement by institutions and curators to deal with their work ,does not diminish their individual acheivement.

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By: Keith Williams http://abstractcritical.com/article/gary-wragg-positive-provisional/#comment-51745 Fri, 03 Aug 2012 09:39:44 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?p=3408#comment-51745 Composition is essential that I fully support But it can be structural and conscious, usually from the start and then amending, or subconscious and evolving with what feels right. The more recent paintings strike me as being constructed with what feels right using the minimum of conscious decisions. Those based upon a real situation have to contain more conscious structure within their composition, but as the years have passed and pure abstraction replaced semi-abstraction which allowed a greater proportion of subconscious actions to be used.

As for other points raised in response. Conscious decisions have to take place with any painting like canvas size, shape and even making the first mark. Its colour shape, size and position on the canvas can then start subscobscious responses to it; or conscious ones. I simply feel with the more recent paintings most of the decisions are subconscious ones.

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By: Keith Williams http://abstractcritical.com/article/gary-wragg-positive-provisional/#comment-51225 Tue, 17 Jul 2012 13:14:35 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?p=3408#comment-51225 I have never met Gary Wragg, but became aware of him and his paintings through friends who attended a workshop he led at Matisse’s studio. In recent years I explored my own painting philosophy, combined with research and experiments, though in my paintings there is still representation. I was aware from observations that breathing and state of mind were important, with body, mind and emotions working as one, all supported by confidence gained through knowledge and experience. I later found these elements are explained within Chi and Gary is a Tai Chi master. Looking at conscious and subconscious questioning the difference is between making a conscious act or a subconscious response. In Tai Chi the subconscious response is the most powerful. It would seem the essence of Chi is important within the paintings, therefore removing representation and composition it supports that way of working. Everything about these paintings seems to grow subconsciously.

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By: Sam Cornish http://abstractcritical.com/article/gary-wragg-positive-provisional/#comment-8530 Tue, 20 Mar 2012 07:10:06 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?p=3408#comment-8530 Thanks for the positive comments…

Re: composition; What I meant was that Wragg attempts to avoid a imposing a scheme from the outset, or the sort of painting which achieves resolution through a kind of even filling up of the canvas. He is also keen not to repeat himself; to maintain a variety from painting to painting as well as within each individual painting.

How his return to old formats such as in the Edge Series or the Interiors (the last two images reproduced above) fits in with this desire to avoid repetition or imposed schemes is an interesting problem.

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By: Geoff Hands http://abstractcritical.com/article/gary-wragg-positive-provisional/#comment-8498 Mon, 19 Mar 2012 11:46:31 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?p=3408#comment-8498 This is a very interesting and problematic point. “Avoiding composition” may not literally be true – because it happens.
Once the canvas has been chosen it will, logically, be a particular dimension/size and format (square, portait or landscape).
From considering Wragg’s paintings and being aware of the process of a particular kind of abstract painting (the expressive, gestural, organic rather than the geometric, measured, hard edge) I assume that the artist avoids a pre-determined, prescriptive process. A clever ‘knowing’ or ‘expertise’ is likewise avoided.
The painting process (action and non-action) dictates the ultimate composition. So the action recorded is contained within the boundaries (the ‘edge’ may influence of course) but is free within this physical 2D field – hence an insistence and celebration of intuitive decisions.
So the ‘skeleton’ is constructed in the very process of making the painting – and the clothes fit perfectly!

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By: jenny meehan http://abstractcritical.com/article/gary-wragg-positive-provisional/#comment-8453 Sat, 17 Mar 2012 12:08:56 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?p=3408#comment-8453 What an excellent read, thank you.

I am not quite sure what you mean by “avoiding composition” though, as in the paintings shown, there is a strong sense of composition, you must mean that is is more covert maybe?

Composition is essential to any painting working. I love the way his paintings work. It is the skeleton beneath the flesh, and how generously clothed these paintings are.

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By: Geoff Hands http://abstractcritical.com/article/gary-wragg-positive-provisional/#comment-8231 Mon, 12 Mar 2012 22:05:52 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?p=3408#comment-8231 This is such a thoughtful and perceptive article by Sam Cornish. The un-dogmatic and non-programmatic nature of Gary Wragg’s work is identified, and appreciated, with great insight.

As a long term admirer of Wragg’s work I imagined that, if given human voice, his paintings and drawings might say, “Hey look, you can do this, you can see this with me. You can feel this and move both physically and emotionally – but be yourself and make up your own mind.”

I cannot imagine that the artist would advocate following fashion or formalist dogma, or would court ‘contemporaneity’ in his art. There’s nothing ironical or pastiche-like in this marvellous body of work. Wragg’s paintings are always honest, at times humble, celebratory, searching or even apparently complete in their in-completeness. To me his work is always bursting with passion for the visual and confirms the necessity for the act of making (or ‘affirming’ as stated in the article). This is what makes the work intellectually astute and dissolves any distinction between concept and process; action and contemplation; letting go and going with.

Whatever else has happened in fine art over the past few decades, Gary Wragg affirms the primacy of painting. Young artists (of Sam Cornish’s generation), take note…

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By: Patrick Jones http://abstractcritical.com/article/gary-wragg-positive-provisional/#comment-8193 Sun, 11 Mar 2012 20:04:44 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?p=3408#comment-8193 I have followed Garys work since his sensational show at the ACME gallery thirty years ago.I am delighted to read Sam Cornishs intelligent and perceptive article on Gary Wragg.I very much look forward to seeing Garys paintings at Alan Wheatleys and at the Abstract Critical Awards.He is an artist I admire greatly and feel his work thoroughly deserves detailed scrutiny and interpretation.He is deserving of public recognition and critical acclaim.

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