“When they kick out your front door
How you gonna come?
With your hands on your head
Or on the trigger of your gun”
—The Clash, Guns of Brixton
Reductive abstraction is at last shaking off the dead weight of its hundred-year history. It is no longer ruled over by self-imposed limitations or utopian visions of the world, no longer orthodox in form or self-censoring in subject matter. Reductive abstraction can be anything and be about anything. And, through the unlimited reach of technology, it has expanded beyond traditional geographically-defined pockets of activity, dialogue, and innovation. Meaningful work can be made anywhere on the planet. This is my point of departure.
I am deeply committed to this pluralistic approach. In my studio, I merge painting with conceptual, process, and installation strategies. For me, it is important to make work in the most direct, matter-of-fact manner possible — no novelties, gimmicks, or tricks. I am more interested in the idea of painting than the process. Paint is applied as if painting a fence, color is used straight out of the tube. I am decidedly unromantic about this process. It is all a means to an end.
I freely sample, remix, and often subvert my precedents — suprematist, constructivist, plastic, concrete, minimal, monochrome, pattern, op, neo-geo, radical and others reductive strategies. However, my work absorbs, digests, and reacts to what I see and hear around me daily in my environment — urban culture, corporate government, news propaganda, unwinnable wars, religious fundamentalism, unconscionable materialism, and more. I am interested in attacking the problem of reductive abstraction from every possible vantage point.
Matthew Deleget, New York, 2010