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Patricia Treib (2020)

63 pages, 24 plates, Hardcover
10.75 x 8.75 inches

Essay by Joanna Fiduccia
Conversation with Ben Lerner and Patricia Treib

"Treib works at an immersive scale, one that feels closer to the size of a bed than a door. You enter these paintings rather than pass through them. Nearly all are executed in the span of a single day. Working quickly but deliberately, Treib lays the canvas on the floor and then uses wide hake brushes to sweep paint over the surface, wiping out a gesture and then repeating it until each trace appears fluent and precise. These gestures appear as supple as her forms are mobile. With a turn of the brush, a contour line pools into a field of limpid color, which then divides into rhythmic strokes—contour, figure, and ground, all unified in a continuous mark. A soft skein of color can be flipped and pleated like a ribbon; a giant blue blot can be broken by the fluttering motion of a brush weaving through it. Just as the vibratory arrangement of forms in her paintings invokes the relation of the body to what it sees, these strokes suggest a mode of seeing through contact with the world, like the blind sculptor described by Roger de Piles, whose eyes were at the tips of his fingers. Treib thins her paints slightly so that they appear saturated yet translucent, and this gives her forms neither the solidity of still life nor the atmospherics of landscape. Instead of imagining that you might manipulate these figures or transport yourself into their midst, you are enjoined to follow the movements that produced them—the hand that wimpled or smoothed a shape, just as the body might sculpt a bed sheet."

-from Fiduccia's essay "Three Items."

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