Howard Hersh is internationally known for his mastery of the ancient technique of encaustic painting, which involves the use of molten beeswax and pure pigment, resulting in luminescent, richly layered works. Working in this organic and moody medium, Hersh has perfected his ability to manipulate the wax: to confine it in areas and let it spread freely in others, creating elegant layers of translucent color. In his newest works, Hersh pushes this technique to new innovative heights. Evoking both the imposed structure of the man-made world through geometry, and the power of nature and organic forms to re-assert themselves, Hersh's complex abstract works speaks poetically and powerfully about the possibility of resolution between the organic and the man-made. Hersh's paintings seem to live and glow with an interior light, and their smooth, seductive textures engage our tactile sense as well as our vision.
Says Hersh about these two new bodies of work:
"Dispositions of Structure" (encaustic on panel) are paintings about structure: the fabric of the universe as we know it, from invisible forms of energy pulsing through every atom to visible natural phenomena. And beyond physical structures, these paintings tackle the societal, political, and intellectual structures we all must navigate.
"Skin Deep" (acrylic on birch and basswood) developed from an inquiry into the nature of painting itself. Specifically, I am questioning the notion that paintings exist as pictures of something -- illusions -- while sculptures exist on their own, as objects. Because I love making things as well as paintings, I wanted to deconstruct painting and push this work closer to "object-hood." The basswood wall structures of "Skin Deep” exert themselves as objects, encapsulating as well as supporting the paintings.
Simply put, "Two Means to an End" are paintings about structure and structures about painting."
Dispositions of Structure 17, 40x39, encaustic on wood panel
Dispositions of Structure 18, 45x60, encaustic on wood panel
Dispositions of Structure 16, 40x39, encaustic on wood panel
Dispositions of Structure 6, 24x24, encaustic on wood panel
Dispositions of Structure 5, 24x24, encaustic on wood panel
Skin Deep 15-7, 31x34x4, acrylic on wood
Skin Deep 15-4, 40x40x4, acrylic on wood
Skin Deep 15-5, 20x60x4, acrylic on wood
Skin Deep 14-6, 20x30x3, acrylic on wood
Skin Deep 14-8, 40x30x3, acrylic on wood