FRANK ETTENBERG Statement



"My basic artistic impulse comes forth as Abstract Expressionism, and is modified by a number of other “isms” and tendencies. First, I take my time to load my brushes, with paint made to flow. Then I make marks with gusto. In many cases I don't have any plan governing what I do at first. I look at what I'm doing & the marks often start to mean something. My imagination starts to work on and develop the raw marks.

My vision can include a kind of image development by free association, which was championed by the French Surrealists. There is the need for pause and the possibility of having and using hindsight as a means of realizing or giving sequential meaning and temporal development to the immediate markings. This idea of pausing for lengths of time, to view this work, is also quite relevant: for the artist himself and for the work's viewers.

I appreciate intuitive contemplation, which has a way of either dissolving, or accepting complications.

The contemplative is a cousin of Romanticism, which tries to be persuasive and forcefully dramatic. This leaning toward creating a strong image may overrule accepting the simply immediate ( which does often come forth as something feeble or clumsy ) or spontaneous activity in the here-and-now.

Bringing all these preferences to the creation of fresh-looking art suggests the kind of struggles that come up as I go through the motions. This can lead to complex art. Sometimes the result is fun or boisterous, other times it can be obscure or muddled. Whatever you think you're seeing at first will usually be replaced or modified as you continue looking later on.

Like most artists, I wish for and design work that should capture one's attention at first sight. The question is whether one is persuaded to continue studying the work for a considerable time afterward. Is one able to experience new sensations and meanings unfolding as the viewing continues into the future?"

Frank Ettenberg April 2008