At the beginning of the 1980s, Michael Venezia turned to a new painting substrate for his works. Instead of applying paint to canvas, Venezia began to apply it irregularly with a brush or palette knife to the front of narrow wooden slats. Left on equal footing, the unpainted support and the color combine to convey an immediate sculptural effect. The support material is not neutralized on the upper and lower edge of these image objects, but remains visible to the viewer. The clear traces left by the paint’s application and Venezia’s decision to reduce the surface of his works to horizon-like narrow extensions on the wall evokes a sense of continuously elongating movement. When asked about his work, Venezia explains, “I try to get away from the notion of the canvas as a rectilinear playground on which there is something happening here and there. Applying paint with the brush goes hand in hand with making decisions that derive from compositional motives. I’m not interested in selections of this sort. My works are about movement in a direction and the creation of a form that is on friendly terms with this movement.” (Michael Venezia)
Born in New York in 1935, Michael Venezia lives and works in New York and Trevi (Italy).