Friday, January 29, 2010

Eva Slater quotes on art

"The sum total of a work of art should be larger than its parts."

"You don't have to paint the desert to convey it."

"It is my aim to show ideas all people have in common rather than point out the differences".

"Color and form talk more strongly if the eye is not distracted by overwhelming subject matter".

"The only way to see something clearly is to step away from it."

"An evolutionary force within us wants to create."

"The essence of success is controversy."

"The purpose of art has to be more than getting attention".

"Knowledge without action is meaningless."

"Style is no substitute for substance."

"It is the weakest part of an artwork that determines the quality of its achievement."

"Every artist brings his soul to his work."

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Helen Lundeburg and Eva Slater

Eva Slater and Helen Lundeburg were not only good friends, they were two kindred spirits when it came to their art. Both artists painted primarily landscapes, still lifes and imagery from the cosmos. (The painting above is by Slater and the painting below is by Lundeburg). The two artists were both active in the Hard Edge style of the 1950's and 1960's and both were known for their sophisticated compositions along with elegant and subtle colors. They both had studied with Lorser Feitelson who had imparted his sophisticated aesthetic principles to them (along with Harry Carmean, another student of Feitelson's), so with that much in common it was inevitable that they would end being in the same circle of artists.

The photo of Lundeburg and Slater was taken Lundeburg's show at the Tobey Moss Gallery in Los Angeles in the 1980's.

Helen Lundeburg quote about Eva Slater:

“Eva Slater’s art reveals an extraordinarily sensitive and poetic personality. Obeying the promptings of her creative personality, her exquisite craftsmanship explores the marvels of the hallucinatory world, attaining the unknown – the privileged moments of mystic ecstasy. She discovers the mystery itself, and makes communicable the inexplicable. Here is the autonomous world of pure lyricism.”

Monday, January 18, 2010

Nature was Eva Slater's inspiration for her art

Eva Slater drew her inspiration from nature. She and her husband John Slater, an inventor, would travel throughout the southwest and it was out in the wild, vast expanses that she would get her ideas. These photos were taken by John Slater on their trips and they show the correlation between what she saw and the subject matter of her work. The trunks of the trees in the forest in this photo were the basis of her black and white "Forest" series and the clouds with the areas of rain underneath them in the deserts inspired her "Desert Rain" pieces.

Artist's statement


By Eva Slater

When painting I like to make visible, through the use of color and form, an idea, rather than to show objects with the aim of achieving literal likeness.

The wish to work this way is based not only on the observation that different subject-matters are in vogue in different countries at different times but also on the belief that color and form talk more strongly if the eye is not distracted by overwhelming subject matter.

My strong urge to break down the picture area into small geometrical forms originated in the concept that everything consists of tiny cells or particles and that differences among all animate and inanimate objects are not based on differences in cells but rather on the way they are put together.

Just as nature arranges tiny cells in unending variety I like to use triangles (as a symbol for cells) and explore unlimited possibilities.

It is my aim to show ideas all people have in common rather than to point out the differences. I like to think of art as a force to unify, to let people meet in a common understanding, to find a common base to build on.

Maybe our form of painting has to be spiritual (reflecting the mind) to balance the over-materialism of our time. Or is just that, living with too many fashionable things around us, it would be meaningless to look at more things on the wall?

Welcome to the Eva Slater blog

This blog is about the art work of Eva Slater, a Hard Edge artist from Los Angeles who is also my mother. Having grown up with her, I learned a lot about art, and will share some of the things she taught and how she approached her own art in this blog. She was a core member of the Hard Edge movement of the 1950's and 60's, keeping company with artists such as Helen Lundeburg, Lorser Feitelson and Frederick Hammersley. She exhibited with them for many years until she left the scene in the 1960's and was then forgotten by the art world. The purpose of this blog is to reacquaint the art community with a wonderful artist whose work offers a unique approach to the modernistic Hard Edge art movement and who is now starting to be rediscovered. In recent years her work has been seen in some important contemporary exhibitions on the sixties art scene in Los Angeles. This time around, Eva Slater should rightfully be included in the movement that she helped bring about along with her friends Helen Lundeburg and Lorser Feitelson.