Russell Floersch

Denim (Nixon & Agnew in '68)
1991
vinyl color and acrylic on plywood with wooden strip, piano felt and typewritten paper collage
64 1/2 x 48"

These works were a component within a larger group titled "Field Paintings" exhibited in 1991-2 at Stux Gallery. All had titles with the prefix "denim" that preceded more specific titles. I chose a flat vinyl paint which was applied over an absorbent ground developed on plywood and pine supports. These works incorporate an element on the top edge of the painting. Beginning in 1987, many of my works had small objects or "props" that sat upon the top of the larger supports. These props suggested a utilitarian reading of the painting as a shelf. Additionally, the works were installed low so that the viewer might consider the smaller sculptural object before the painted field below.

In the works that reference failed U.S. presidential campaigns, the titles are the pairs of candidates and the year of their campaign. In each work, a slender pine strip sits atop a layer of bright red felt. This "temperament felt" is used on the hammers in a piano, to control touch, to diminish key noise, and also as a tool when a piano is tuned. The relationship of two pitches is called an interval. In the "from Denim" paintings, the felt is a physical interval and separates and insulates the flat monochrome from the wooden strip and its typewritten collage.
denim