George Negroponte by Betsy Sussler

BOMB 67 Spring 1999
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Discover MFA Programs in Art and Writing

Negroponte 01

George Negroponte, The Visiting Card, 1997–98, oil on canvas, 46 × 42 inches. Images courtesy Jason McCoy Inc.

At one time the paintings were all atmosphere. There was no ground, no topography upon which the eye could settle—time was fluid—and what lurked beneath the surface referred more to collective memory than the painter’s marks. This opacity becomes overt in George Negroponte’s most recent work, but what lurks beneath the surface of these paintings are the gestures and strokes that have been left behind. This past, glimpsed at, more often covered by another layer of brush strokes, forms the ground upon which the paintings evolve: it is in this fusion of past and present that Negroponte creates tension. The act of painting, the formal language of abstraction, becomes transformed in these works into an illusory world where time is framed. Their drama, indeed our drama, exists in the fact that in their making, the paintings become grounded on a changing and sometimes invisible past. While the drawings differ in that they are singular acts—gestalts to the paintings’ cerebral build-up—what both paintings and drawings so elegantly tread is this shifting sense—the middle path—between joy and dread, terror and certainty.

—Betsy Sussler

Negroponte 02

George Negroponte, #27, 1997, Acrylic and watercolor on paper, 12 x 9 inches.

Negroponte 03

George Negroponte, Untitled #29, 1997–98, acrylic and watercolor on paper, 12 x 9 inches.

Negroponte 04

George Negroponte, #10, 1997, Acrylic and watercolor on paper, 12 x 9 inches.

Dan Wolgers by George Negroponte
Dan Wolgers 01
Catherine Howe by Madeline Weinrib
Howe 3 Body

During the 1990s, Catherine Howe and I were painters in the same downtown studio building at the edge of the West Side Highway and frequent visitors to each other’s work space. 

Beatrice Caracciolo by George Negroponte
71 Caracciolo 01 Body

All that I look for is right here in Beatrice Caracciolo’s work: weight, touch, light, atmosphere, scale. 

Lex Braes by Roland Legiardi-Laura
Lex Braes

One night Lex Braes came to a party in my loft, a bit of boisterous dance music, a dram or two of whisky, and a chance encounter with a fellow Scotsman were enough to send Braes into a rollicking frenzy of delight. 

Originally published in

BOMB 67, Spring 1999

Featuring interviews with James Hyde, Mary Heilmann, Alan Warner, Scott Spencer, Catherine Gund-Saalfield, Cassandra Wilson, Revenge Effect, Elevator Repair Service, Zoe Wanamaker, and A Day in Brasilia. 

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