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Abstract Expressionism and An Excavation of Color

June 16th, 2015
Abstract Expressionism

At first glance the concept of Abstract Expressionism might seem confusing, however, this type of work is specifically meant to be nonobjective. Abstract Expressionists do not have much in common in terms of their artwork except for the shared notion of breaking away from traditional technique and subject matter to use their art as a channel to reflect their feelings. Expressionists use overlapping sources and inspirations to create a piece that is full of varying emotion.

The movement emerged from New York around the time of World War II when people were looking for a constructive way to channel their concerns. At this point in history, many people were distraught and anxious; this form of expression was the perfect way to direct these feeling. The key to understanding the concerns of these first artists, one must comprehend the crisis of war and its aftermath. Some Abstract Expressionists turned to “action painting”, a form of expressionism in which the artist was able to use the blank canvas as a space to act—what was presented in the piece was not a picture, but an event.

Artist Chuck Hosier is a self-taught abstract painter who paints to live in the creative moment. Whether it is a feeling, a smell or wearing the medium, he has a passion for creating his “action paintings” and through the physical act of producing his art, he works out expressive urges. For Hosier, abstract painting is all about expressing emotion. He says, “The satisfaction I find in the physical act of painting is what drives me from canvas to canvas.”

Hosier works by applying many layers of oil, acrylic paint, spray paint, and other mixed media then scrapes the canvas with different tools to reveal temporarily hidden shapes and images. He compares his method to the act of unearthing artifacts during an archaeological dig. He primarily works on canvas or wood panel; always switching up the medium that he chooses. The art of Willem de Kooning and Gerhard Richter, both abstract painters who brought together contradictory things to form one painting full of emotions, are seen as influences to Hosier’s work.

A native to South Jersey, Hosier lives in Haddonfield where he keeps his studio. Over the course of the last 20 years of his career, his work has been exhibited throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania. He also has several national publications.

If you would like to find out more about Chuck Hosier, join us at the Markeim Arts Center. Meet the artist and view some of his work an open reception on Friday, July 10th at 7:00 PM. Call (856) 429-8585 for more details.