Avoiding the illusionary qualities of paint

by LouAnne Greenwald, University of Southern California Roski School of Art Design, May 4, 2004

Avoiding the illusionary qualities of paint, artists such as Robert Tiemann (MFA 1960) focus on materials and techniques, taking advantage of the fluidity and chance operations of the painting medium and contrasting that quality with a systematic approach to its application and the painting surface. Tiemann paints on pegboard, working both sides of the punctured surface and employing the uniform dot pattern as a structure for his asymmetrical compositions of dots. Alternately filling the holes with raised pegs or making them flush with the surface, he creates fields of brightly colored points that protrude from or lay flush with the contrasting surface of his painting. His work reflects the tension between the organic strokes of the painted surface and the disrupted grid of the prefabricated patterned board.