Bette Klegon Halby
California College of the Arts
Wayne State University, MFA Art
My new work is somewhat of a metaphoric translation of the lyrical
qualities found in music. Lyrical aspects of my work are akin to that of riffs in
jazz or the solemnity of a fugue. Impulses of the Baroque
occur and reoccur in the mark making and saturated
palette of the most recent “Night Shift” series.
Within this context I enjoy extending the boundaries of two dimensional space,
inferring a promise of movement. Always the work is concerned about
spatial relationships-- shapes that shape
the way we move and mold the way we see. Of particular concern
are the interstices, the spaces and places that stand between.
The work is concerned with the sensuality of forming and
transforming within the magic of materials and the alchemy
of color. I begin by painting on raw canvas within a narrow
range of a specific color. Color selection is always a matter
of decision. “Color”, as the late Helen Frankenthaler said,
“...is like choosing a word in a poem”. It must
resonate within me and evoke emotion.
There are all kinds of associations within the “Night Shift”
series: memories of my father, ancient chants in a language
unknown, timeless repetitions of remembrances -- honoring
those who have come and those who have gone...
honoring beings -- striking a chord.
I have a strong connection with the rhythms of the sea. Drawn to its
vastness and substantive abundance, it is for me symbolic
of the open ended momentum of life. I too,
*“ ...believe in the green light,
the orgiastic future that
year by year recedes before us...”