Time Grows Over Memories

By Sam Tudyk
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painting - 2015 - 36 x 30

The triangular shapes represent folded letters. The body of the field is made up of repeated tally-marks, a symbol for time.

Discussion

Daniel Leng
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Intriguing to hear the background on the work, Sam. Thanks for taking the time. I find the image really engaging as well and would love to see it in person someday. For me, it eloquently captures the idea of a journey, physical as well as mental. The high horizon leaves my eyes wandering/swirling in the field of marks at the bottom, wanting to get to the clean open structures on the horizon, but not ever feeling like I get there. Love the tension.

Sam Tudyk
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Thank you Daniel, I love hearing your description of the work as a journey. It seems especially fitting since it was the last work in a series that I had been working on for months (an end chapter in my personal artistic journey).

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Catherine Haley Epstein
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Sam I love this work, I remember seeing it in situ in your last PDX exhibition - really brilliant!! The fact that the top half of the work is calm and slowly rendered, while the bottom half is an act of patience and anxiety all at once. Counting things finds its way in my practice and it's as much an act of quieting the mind as well as a rabid search for patterns. I love the relationship with these marks that seem to illustrate both rigorous self control and a big giant breath at once. Thank you for sharing this work!

Sam Tudyk
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Thank you Catherine, that is a wonderful observation!

I created this artwork after a month long self-imposed residency in Marfa a few years ago. The bright, arid Texas landscape with its blue skies and pale grounds was such a stark difference from the dark, wet, lush, green Novembers that I had grown accustomed to in Portland. I wanted to capture a sense of that, including the ochre grasses that surround areas of the Chinati Foundation.

Even more impressed upon me in Marfa was the concentration of minimalist art, and of course Donald Judd’s work. My perception of that style of artwork shifted in front of my eyes on that trip, and it led me to imagine my folded letters as objects with a greater physicality and scale. I was working on several large paintings for the show you mentioned, focusing on handwritten materials and correspondence, and this was the last work I created. I usually have an extensive amount of process that goes into my work before I get to painting, however this work flowed out of me without any over-thinking. The tally marks had become a symbol to represent time-passing in my vocabulary with art, and it seemed like a perfect visual to illustrate the grasses. The shapes on the horizon are a simplified representation of a folded letter, one that never gets sent but remains in memory.

Thanks for the dialogue!

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About Sam Tudyk

Sam Tudyk
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I enjoy the entire act of creating, taking an idea from concept to completion and the procedure involved in the making. The process in my artwork includes photography, sketching, computer rendering to recreate a composition, and the final application of paint on board where I let the painting guide me in it’s final direction.

I have two series of work, both relating to symbols of communication and how time affects them. My eye is always drawn to the structures of old deteriorating billboards. I aim to achieve balance between the graphic structure of legs, the flat plane that they hold up–an organic painting-within-a-painting [where we instinctively look for a message], and the surrounding companion that is nature.

In my second series of work, I focus on the act of handwriting, and the documentation of language, ideas and feelings. These symbols are given permanence when written by hand, while our memories change shape over time.

Artist Statement

I enjoy the entire act of creating, taking an idea from concept to completion and the procedure involved in the making. The process in my artwork includes photography, sketching, computer rendering to recreate a composition, and the final application of paint on board where I let the painting guide me in it’s final direction.

I have two series of work, both relating to symbols of communication and how time affects them. My eye is always drawn to the structures of old deteriorating billboards. I aim to achieve balance between the graphic structure of legs, the flat plane that they hold up–an organic painting-within-a-painting [where we instinctively look for a message], and the surrounding companion that is nature.

In my second series of work, I focus on the act of handwriting, and the documentation of language, ideas and feelings. These symbols are given permanence when written by hand, while our memories change shape over time.

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