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Doug Trump: Recent Paintings

Art New England, Dec/Jan 2004 


New England College Gallery,
Henniker, New Hampshire
July 10 - August 8, 2004

By Craig Stockwell

Doug Trump states that “making paintings is my response to life.” These intelligent and subtly sensual abstract paintings are created from many layers of response. The paintings invite the viewer into a rewarding world of luminous field and diversity of mark making. 

“Indiana,” 2001, is a medium sized, nearly square formatted painting. An almost opaque, matte, gray/green “field” dominates the lower 2/3 of the painting. The suggestion of a horizon is near the top edge and just below and to the left is a luminous and transparent yellow/gold area that is perhaps the brightest and most saturated color in the room. Within this painting the following rich variety of mark making exists: hand drawn and ruled pencil lines, lines that exist due to underlying texture, lines from collage, underpainted lines circles and drips, edges of shapes, scrapings, the texture of brush strokes. This vast diversity of mark making adds interest to the field without creating a jumble. This is traditional abstract painting done well – painting deeply rooted in the abstract tradition of Diebenkorn. 

To enter Trump’s work is to enter the studio and take pleasure in the process of layering, mark making, and thinking. Thinking not about what it means but how it all relates and comes together or not. The pleasure of making choices intelligently, discovering relationships, going forward without a road map. Many of these paintings come together well, and there is a subtle order-making of line and shape that takes place in contrast to the airy field. Some remain unformed, and a few include figurative elements barely suggested. Other paintings that stood out were “Reception, Box and One,” and “No Devises.” Doug Trump inhabits well the artist’s role of a thoughtful respondent to life.