Downtown Blue

 


Analysis and critique by David Genovesi director 
ARTROM Gallery Rome, Italy. 

Allan Linder has an interesting history. He’s seen a lot of art in his days, from the inside. This has certainly honed his eye. What I note immediately is a general desire in his work to enter as deep into the painting as possible, to penetrate the surface barrier and offer a big view. The perspective is effective in achieving this result and it is enhanced with lights and reflections. 
 
Technically Linder is there. Nothing is out of place and it is obvious that a good deal of planning goes into his work. The talent that is evident in his paintings is the ability to create a mood, a sensual style that is inviting and draws the viewer in. This is enhanced by the misty, slightly out-of-focus overall effect. Linder is a painter in the best sense of the word. I notice he sometimes paints over a pre-textured surface which is interesting.



Downtown Blue 
2007 
30 x 30 inches 
Acrylic on canvas 
Private Collection

There is a tendency to slip over onto the sentimental side, the scenes sometimes become a bit "dreamy" and ideal, sometimes pretty. Linder wants to please his audience but they are not tested in any way, which of course is not a crime. His work has great appeal, I'm sure he knows that, but they may lack that "unpredictable" element. Nonetheless, the paintings are impressive.


What is most evident is the treatment of the light from the sky, from the water, from the streetlights, from the reflected buildings. Light is the protagonist in this work, almost above the subject matter. The triangles he uses to divide the canvas are brilliant compositional devices. The slightly higher vantage point into the painting places the viewer as an observer of the scene and not a participant.


The dark umber under the fence serves as a strong, firm foundation and grounding device. The eye is led into and around the painting discovering the details that are nicely modeled where they need to be and left a bit vague where they are not necessary. All the elements in the painting, including the deep, rich, saturated color reinforce and enhance the appreciation of the spectacle he presents.


In "Downtown Blue" the sensations are transmitted. Similar to the sensations generated by the French Impressionists, with a slightly Pop sensibility thrown in. Linder has an eye for composition and the balance of forces within the painting. This painting, more than the others, is witness to that.



Untitled Painting

 


One hot summer night about seventeen years ago, my friend Sean Welsh, a writer in New York City came over to my loft in Chelsea and threw down some paint and we made art. In one night we managed to take two 8 ft. steel doors and turn them into something special.

Unfortunately, the image of the piece above is not the best but maybe the description can help.


For years, Sean and discussed a collaboration of our creative process on a large scale. It wasn't the first time, I had done several illustrations and later covers for his books, but this time it would be different. It would be large and it would be epic.


This painting was a real mixture of all types of media. It was a combination of graffiti, written word, found objects, paint and plenty of whiskey.


Technically, the painting is a diptych because it is two matching steel panels side by side. 

The idea stemmed from a story about an old man in the neighborhood returning to his favorite spot only to find that it was out of business, and the doors had been locked with a sign out front that said thank you for your years of patronage, you will be missed. It became a shrine, a memorial of past time that all the locals would keep alive if only in spirit.


The only way we could work on it was on the floor because of it's size. I brought out a bag of tools and began pounding on the doors with a steel mallet to give it an aged look. Sean took his pen and applied his prose. The whole thing just felt natural and organic.


I had plenty of room in the studio to get this done, and a place to hang out while we contemplated our next move.


The painting never got a title. We punched this thing out in one night. We kept trying to get back on the board to do a little more work on it, but it never happened. Sean arrived late that night and we watched the sun come up on the Highline where my loft was located.

It was something that both of us felt very good about. I was looking forward to getting this into an exhibition coming up, but life changed and I moved into another loft space.


Somehow, the painting got misplaced after the move and we have never been able to track it down. To this day, we have no idea where it ended up.