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Brent Ridge
brent grant
2004, 25" x 25", enamel and spray paint on canvas


This painting is a complex tangle as to what is negative and what is positive space. It’s not clear what was painted first—it gives an impression of being made in a rush with a lot of quick strokes, but it’s careful and subtle too.

In What Painting Is, James Elkins analyzes a few square inches of Monet’s painting, The Artist’s Garden at Vétheuil:

In Monet as in other very different painters, part of the object is to work until it is no longer possible to tell what paint is on top and what is underneath. When that happens it is a magical moment because the painting stops looking like a flat color-by-number with a few added touches, and takes on a rich and confusing aspect.


Grande Memorial is also a local detail. I always think of the painting when passing this store:


Graveyard monuments on Graham Ave in Brooklyn—and as a sideline: Italian bread. It is one of the two paintings in the collection whose subject matter can be visited in New York. The other is Kurt Hoffman's Cherry Tree by the Pond.

Brent’s work is also related to Adam Simon’s in several ways, one of which is using photographic means for the initial capture of his subjects. Brent projects his images with a contraption that he loves and both painters also seem to be trying to get away from something—some parts of themselves they want to trick away. Must be kind of disappointing to have me for a fan—who searches their work and values it for what they want to leave out.

They are also alike in that Brent also searches for iconic images and uses them repeatedly, in simple and complex combinations—one example is the series Loose Wires:

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