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Jacqueline Humphries

April 24, 2012

Cecily Brown –

Let’s talk about how your paintings discourage stationary viewing. They seem to want to be perceived from multiple points of view. The reflectivity of your silver paintings especially emphasizes the unfixed nature of things; do you think of them as having one preferred point of view? Or does that change as our physical relationship to the painting changes?

Jacqueline Humphries –

What fascinates me is how little I can control their behavior in new situations. An image will coalesce and then disintegrate, giving way to another reading that sort of comes out of the background. To me some parts of a painting appear as if you’re looking down at them from an airplane window; others might evoke something that you’re very close to which is out of focus, and maybe this is interlaced with forms that feel very distant, and crisper. The objective is to knit wildly varying perspectives into a unified space. Because of the way light reacts to the metallic paint, the paintings change as your physical relationship to them changes. I like the unstable situation that depends on the light and the viewer both moving around; the painting changes before your eyes. They’re impossible to photograph—there’s no “accurate” image.

Jacqueline Humphries at Greene Naftali

Cecily Brown –

And that destabilization almost becomes the subject or content of the painting. Do you want uncertainty to be the content?

Jacqueline Humphries –

I don’t think the artist can determine the meaning of content. What I am trying to do is alter baseline conditions of viewing to anticipate a new kind of viewing, to establish a site for “content” or experience. In a way, the paintings resist meaning.


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