Fall 2012, Volume 13

Art by Jane Fine

For Alternate Non-Flash Gallery

  1. Fatso, 2010, acrylic and ink on wood, 30" x 24"
  2. High Hopes, 2010, acrylic on canvas, 78" x 54"
  3. The Veterans,  2012, acrylic on wood, 42" x 53"
  4. Taking the Plunge into the Nasty Unknown, 2012, acrylic on wood, 44" x 56"
  5. Ghetto Meadow, 2012, acrylic on wood, 42" x 53"
  6. First Date, 2009, acrylic and ink on wood, 24" x 30"
  7. Bumping Uglies, 2011, ink on paper, 19 1/2" x 25 1/2"
  8. Chunk, 2011, ink on paper, 19 1/2" x 25 1/2"
  9. Future 86, 2011, acrylic and ink on paper, 22" x 30"
  10. Roadside Attraction, 2011, acrylic and ink on paper, 22" x 30"


Artist Statement:
Located on the border between figuration and abstraction, my paintings are raucous battlefields. The specific nature of each piece is determined by a mash-up of painterly technique including vigorous brushwork, delicate marker lines, areas of flat color, and glossy pours of multi-colored acrylic paint, using a technique of my own invention.  Sampling from the painters’ buffet, I am sometimes mimicking an anxious Pollock or a flesh-extruding Guston. At other times I feel like my Grandmother, caressing a surface with line as if embroidering the family’s tablecloths. 

For many years my work investigated a literal notion of the battlefield with pours resembling camouflage patterns, hulking tank-like forms and surface drawing full of rifles and bullet tracings. These paintings were dominated by explosions of color and gesture. Recently, I set aside the saturated colors that had been my trademark, replacing them with a neutral and predominantly dark palette. This project was initiated in the summer of 2010 with a series of drawings made with black marker on dark gray and brown paper, several of which are included in the application.

After a year of working only on paper, I returned to paint, continuing to pursue the challenge of the restricted palette.  In this new body of work, guns and tanks are packed away and we are left wandering in a damaged landscape that is the aftermath of conflict. (A month in 2010 spent living and working in the very real damage of New Orleans was affecting.) The new imagery suggests heaps of rubble and tangles of debris. A myriad of supports – scaffolding, nails, bricks, boards and patches – struggle to stop the slide toward chaos. Flags flutter and bits of fleshiness are scattered around. These are junk piles at the end of an empire, just barely recyclable into one last optimistic view of America. 

Making exuberant paintings with this neutral palette has been the greatest technical difficulty of my career and deeply fulfilling. In this time and place when almost every one of us is overwhelmed with digital experiences, I insist on creating work that is fiercely hand-made and physically improvised. Each painting is a perfect storm, impossible to recreate. Slowly worked, with no formula, no recipe and no predetermined state they are generous with detail and operatic in complexity. Using painterly invention as a sign for optimism, the creative battles are redemptive and the work celebratory.

There’s always room to dance, even if all the party guests are scarred and bandaged. 




BIO: Jane Fine grew up in New York City.  She attended Harvard University, initially as a math major, but graduated in 1980 with a degree in Visual and Environmental Studies. 
She is the recipient of grants from the New York Foundation for the Arts, The Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant and The National Endowment for the Arts.

In 2010 she was an artist-in-residence during the inaugural season of the Central City Artist Project in New Orleans. She was also participated in artist residencies at the Cité Internationale des Artes in Paris, the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Millay Colony and Yaddo.

Her work  has been exhibited nationally and internationally for 20 years and is currently represented by Pierogi in Brooklyn, New York.

Jane has lived and worked in Williamsburg, Brooklyn since 1986.