|"Versailles (Profligacy Hybrid IV)" mixed media on masonite 48" x 48"|
|"Thermopylae" oil on canvas 60" x 48"|
|"Manassas" oil on canvas 48" x 60"|
|"Hastings" mixed media on masonite 192" x 83"|
|"Stowe" installation detail mixed media on masonite 84' x 8'|
Art history no longer has a single through line. It used to be thought that new forms of expression made previous ones obsolete. Pop art was supposed to have been the demise of abstract impressionism. But as Todd Sargood points out, artists like Cy Twombly and others didn't get the memo. Fortunately for us. And artists like Todd Sargood carry on the tradition, demonstrating that while it may no longer be the avante-garde, abstract expressionism still carries loads of potential and has plenty to say. Todd Sargood's paintings and installations have all the energy and frenetic excitement that is the primal state of drawing itself. Hovering just beyond the boundaries of representation they embrace chaos while at the same time contain within themselves the components of order as if meaning might emerge from them at any moment. His titles, which often reference famous battle sites, may elicit the tension and unleashed energy within the creative endeavor, or they may simply be an endless source of dissociated names. Either way it is the work itself that matters. And fortunately for me this is work being done in my own town of Portland, Oregon, so I'll actually be able to go see it in person (a rare treat for me).
To see more check out the artist's website: http://toddsargood.com/
(PS: a note from the artist let me know that the titles are not just battles, but also sites of historic peace accords and other situations where two cultures came together, which still conveys the idea of tension and resolution without necessarily evoking violence.)