11 October 2011

William Stein


Can you briefly describe what you do?

I make paintings on chalk gessoed panels. This very particular ground allows both a light and vigorous approach, and so the works are layered, moulded, and excavated into their final incarnation. They explore an interior life, drawing attention away from the known, and towards our more essential selves.

What drives you to make work?

An ineluctable, nightmarish, selfish, absurd, niggling, errant desire. To function well and kindly I must make work.

Can you tell me something of your day-to-day working practices?

I work on chalk gessoed marine-ply panels. I will prepare a number of panels over a period of days, which I will then work on over the following few months. The daily activity: In the studio by 9.30am, coffee, spend time looking, usually fifteen or so paintings will be hung around walls. All works are 53x40cm and are hung grid-like, organised, level; I may spend time moving works around, opening up new dialogues. Quite by surprise I will find myself making some urgent moves on a painting. I should continue with concentrated activity (painting, drawing, rubbing, scrubbing, sanding, looking, throwing, thinking, oiling, hoping) on various panels in rotation, until mid-afternoon .The day’s practice closes with the cleaning of brushes (rinse in spirits, cleanse with vegetable soap, put to rest), and some further time spent looking and re-hanging.

How long have you been working in that way?

With the specific work dimension and chalk ground: Two years. 

Which artists have had the greatest affect on your work?

Munch, Klee, Morandi, Guston

What, outside visual art, informs your practice?

Bleeps, basslines, shadows, the city, nerves, lack of sleep, wind, rain, corners, thoughts, words, my children: their clarity.

How would you like people to engage with your work?

With patience; I do not demand this though, it is my responsibility to draw this from them. I hope the image I present would encourage a viewer’s calm attention, carry them along, and eventually away from the visual and to then experience the work/themselves in its/their entirety.

Have you seen anything recently that has made an impression?

The spectacular garden at Upton House, Warwickshire

Do you have anything exciting on the horizon?

A show at Studio 1.1, in March 2012

1 comment:

  1. Unbelievable paintings, I love this guys work... and a really interesting lyrical response to the interview. William (if you read this) I definitely engage with your work as a really exciting visual experience, I love how 'props' make there way in such as box's or balloons so the viewer can use them to create an environment from the material. I get a real sense of theatre, with stage and lighting within your work. The paintings feel really weighty and dramatic. Kind Regards