In my youthful, truth-seeking days, I wrote reams of
justifications for my work. Now that the work has
matured, and I, simultaneously put less and less value
on truth, words have become irrelevant. So, when called
upon to explain what I do, I am inclined to say, “What
you see is what you get.”
Couched in that
flippant response is a firm conviction that the visual
arts are exactly that—visual. No meanings. No messages.
No preachments. No symbols. Politics, philosophy, the
human condition, the environment and other causes about
which people paint, perform and sculpt these days are
subjects for discourse—best expressed with words.
Attempts to transform them into pictorial images tend to
become mere illustration—most often jejune.
My goal is to
surprise and engage the mind by seducing the eye. Toward
that end I rely on pattern. The term “decorative” has
been applied to my work—most often in a negative sense.
But, that’s okay with me, for some of the most important
art is essentially decorative. Islamic rugs, Greek
column capitals, Navajo textiles, Byzantine mosaics,
Baroque architectural embellishments … and so forth.
We all understand
a row of triangles, a strip of squares, an arrangement
of circles and swirls. No need to ask their meaning.
They simply are what they are. They speak to us
universally and without apology.
“My goal is to surprise
and engage the mind by seducing the eye,” says Quisgard.
“Toward that end I rely on pattern. We all understand a
row of triangles, a strip of squares, an arrangement of
circles and swirls. No need to ask their meaning. They
simply are what they are. They speak to us universally
and without apology.”
Her wall hangings are
composed of energetic patterns of yarn stitched into a
stiff buckram backing, worked in Quisgard’s signature,
ebullient color choices. Her paintings are acrylic or
oil on canvas, some incorporating found objects. Many of
the wall squares resemble abstract mosaics, symmetrical
in design, while other pieces are free-form and
nationally renowned artist, Liz Whitney Quisgard lives
and works in New York City. Among her numerous grants
and awards, she received the prestigious Pollack-Krasner
Foundation Grant in 2001, and has been chosen for
residencies at the Millay Colony and the Yaddo Colony,