Laura Newman

1. — I probably first met Harry on one of the occasions he drove Cathy up to Yale, But I remember meeting him at a meal at Norfolk, before or after a reading, I think by Carol Maso. We sat outdoors; the day was sunny, and the conversation was terrific.

2. Personal statement— For a long time, I’ve felt that a painting is alive when I can feel the space in it. I would like to be able to paint air, but in order to paint air, I need to paint the things in it. I’m interested in a kind of space that is fresh, airy, vast and open. Many of my paintings explore the idea of looking out a window. I’m interested in the contradiction between flatness and the extreme depth, how color makes light, and how fragments of imagery and brushstrokes animate large expanses of space. I like the way windows at night look like abstract paintings. Other paintings are a response to the changes taking place outside my studio in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, where condominiums multiply and a giant crane constantly hovers in the sky. Although I often take specific qualities of particular places as points of departure, I try to approach the image without preconceived ideas and to discover forms through improvisation. I want my paintings to exist at the point where form takes on meaning–where a triangle can be read as a road in perspective, for example. Color is saturated and matte; space is warped; lines are active and almost three-dimensional. The scenes are reduced to sets, pressed against the picture plane, but at the same time imply a frictionless, vast, landscape space.

—- May 2007