Todd McDaniel on ramble, repeat


The motivation for my most recent work comes from an overall interest in landscape, and more specifically, surrounding that landscape with a fragmentary, “dumb” structural element.  Architect Paul Rudolph once wrote:  “We build isolated buildings with no regard to the space between them, monotonous and endless streets, too many gold fish bowls and too few caves.  We tend to build merely diagrams of buildings.”  Living in New York again, these words hold great meaning to me.  I am constantly searching for those “caves,” both outside and within myself. Most of my current work utilizes drawing, something I all but abandoned for years. My interest in it now is confined to an almost mechanical process, eliminating gesture for the most part.  I feel the linear element, handled in an almost naïve way, strengthens the fragmentary, allusive, and ephemeral cloud that seems to hang over the work.  And because I quickly become tired of the image at hand, my work has always been small in scale.

My paintings / drawings reference nothing other than a search to locate visual facts which I feel are buried somewhere within all of us.  My devotion to the memory of early visual stimulation in my life is increasing as I get older – I find myself using the same compositional map that I unwittingly used in drawings I made when I was a kid.  I could mention architecture (primarily ancient and antique), older films (especially “B” types and serials), and surviving examples of Roman decorative wall painting as influences, but because I don’t bring these things to the act of making the image, I don’t feel it would be entirely truthful to do so.  I employ a non-conceptual approach to the process, and I deny content as much as I possibly can.  It’s merely point/line to color to point/line…and on and on.   These small pieces (fragments) are slowly coming together to form a much-larger thing.  What that is, I cannot say.  Maybe the viewer can complete the picture. 

work on view at Zeitgeist through December 21