Mark Wethli

Mark Wethli’s paintings on woven paper are comprised of flat, rectilinear shapes whose contours sometimes align with the edges of the weave but sometimes don’t, suggesting an artless negotiation between the inherent characteristics of the physical object and a set of external criteria that are less readily apparent. While their equivocal figure/ground relationships and the visual tension between color, surface, shape, and proportion are their primary concern, their simplicity and slight variations within a limited range of motifs also hint at a linguistic or symbolic reading of the work. Inspired by Shaker drawings, Tantric art, rural sign painting, and the history of geometric abstraction, among other sources, the paintings’ reductive design, burnished color, and deliberate yet make-do brushwork blur the boundaries between functional and aesthetic purposes as well as the experiences we bring to each. 

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