Ian was recently awarded a residency at the Josef and Albers Foundation, Connecticut U.S.A. Whilst there he looked, in particular, at four small grey ‘Homage to the Square’ paintings and realised that Albers, as all good artists are, was after a ‘truth.’ Ian felt Albers way of getting there was to cut away all the cleverness, artistry and mystique about painting, until left with the simple, clear pure magic. Ian has subsequently reinvented this approach for his own work.
“Through the fundamental abstract elements of painting, which are both the subject and the means. Whether on small watercolours and gouache on paper or large oils on linen, the process is one of staining in layers of transparent and opaque paint. Brushing it on and scraping it off. Letting it run (or not), following the gravitational movement of paint. Responding to the scale and shape of the object, the two verticals and the two horizontals of the edge. I search for a balance and rhythm until it is itself. The complete slab on the wall with a physicality and mood, a surface of marks, space and colour that speak and sing together until they make a clear, pure magic of their own.” Ian Humphreys