John Humble.  new work 2005.
Randy West
Bird, Rabbit, Snake #21
pigment ink print, 42" x 30"

Randy West

about     visuals

Press Release

Randy West: Bird Rabbit Snake: Reconstructions/Blades of Grass

June 9 through July 31, 2006

In this recent body of work “Bird Rabbit Snake: Reconstructions/Blades of Grass,” New York-based artist Randy West continues his involvement with abstraction. These new digitally-made pigment ink-based photographs reveal lines, textures and shapes that are at times highly complex and explosive, while other works are minimal and serene.

West develops these calligraphic forms from a collection of abandoned bird nests which he carefully takes apart, reassembling the bits of material on a scanner and making a digital file, often reworking the image to achieve the right composition. While mimicking the texture of drawing, the photographs have a dimensional quality that is a result of this ‘camera-less’ scanning process.

The title “Bird Rabbit Snake: Reconstructions/Blades of Grass,” comes from the patterns West saw those animals create in the open fields and skies near his home in upstate New York. The accompanying artist’s book of the series includes a poem he wrote, which he describes the work as “like a children’s story, with danger and sadness hidden in the beauty of the overall imagery.”

Similar to his preceding series, “Vines” 2002 “Pretty” 1998 and Chalkboard” 1997, “Bird Rabbit Snake” takes an intensive look at objects that when seen through a photographic process morph into imagery beyond each object’s recognizable identity. This latest series like so much of West work references the work of the American abstract expressionists of the 1950s, such as Mark Rothko, Clifford Still and Franz Kline.

Randy West earned his MFA at the California Institute of the Arts in 1986 and began his career in Los Angeles having several solo exhibitions and being included in a number of group shows at this gallery in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s. Besides doing his own work he is also the director of operations of the MFA Photography, Video and Related Media Department, School of Visual Arts in New York City.


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