cleaning brushes, teal red square
Part of his Cleaning Brushes series, the artist created this painting by gathering the excess oil paint from the palette of another, recently finished work. The resulting composition evokes a sense of corrosion. Brock employed sweeping gestural brushstrokes to work and rework the canvas surface; these marks are punctuated by holes, created when the artist scraped away paint with a razor blade. For Brock, the complementary rituals of applying and removing paint are equally important gestures in the creation of a work. In this series, the artist reimagines the space of the canvas—questioning the hierarchy between the tool and the final work.
At the center of Brock's practice is a commitment to ritual. The artist often works on multiple canvases at once in an arduous process of painting, scraping, priming, sanding and painting again. Brock's repeated actions of creation and erasure—layering multiple compositions atop one another—pays homage to the imagery it conjures, which is always articulated before its deconstruction. The original images frequently peak through the final surface of the work by way of color, shape or shadow. For the artist, this aspect of his work gives each painting the sense of a memorial that is full of ghostly referents. The artist's compositions are often created over many years, and their titles reveal snippets of the content lying underneath the top layers—encouraging viewers to take a closer look.
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Informed by his upbringing in a spiritual movement, Kadar Brock’s paintings draw connections between abstract expressionism’s intense ideology of individualism and new age religious cults. The artist’s work frequently employs a color palette that evokes new age aesthetics alongside painterly layers that quote prominent abstract works from the western canon. Often working on multiple canvases at once, Brock creates dynamic and vibrant abstractions through an arduous process of painting, scraping, priming, sanding and painting again.