Tom Burckhardt’s incredible work is currently on view now through April 2, 2016 at FRED.GIAMPIETRO Gallery. The gallery is located across the street from the Yale Universtiy Art Gallery and the Center for British Art.

In the Studio – Tom Burckhardt


“At my core I am an abstractionist, but one who has some inherent distrust of its historical elitism and lack of humor. I think I have always tried to find ways to infuse it with a sense of it’s own absurdity, and poke some fun at it while showing my affection for it’s strength and ambition.  I’ve also felt the need to resist a sense of purism and find ways of including elements of figuration, although often bleeding them of their literal realism to find an accommodation of the two spheres.  In my “Cast” paintings I’m interested in creating a kind of false beginning, for the paintings with the support being fashioned as a faux sculpture. Once the inherent “quality” of paintings is reduced I feel the space has been cleared for me to invest my personal sense of integrity and attitude into the works. In these pieces I have cast all of the supports in plastic. I consider this good-natured humiliation a great place to start, almost like embedding doubt in the physical material of the support, and from this point the paintings proceed in a very abstract-intuitive way.


In other works, I am using stretched linen, sometimes with hand cut stretcher bars, giving them a wobbly edge, somewhere just shy of being shaped canvasses. I like the odd funky quality this gives, humanizing their virtue and giving them more a sense of persona, than object.


As the paintings develop, I’m eager to keep things a bit off balance, and even awkward, allowing unintended ideas to infect the structure. Things are in constant state of revision and editing. I find that I don’t want to find resolution until the very last moments to preserve the momentum and energy. It’s at this point that vestiges of figuration can be conjured out of the abstraction in a condition of pareidolia, where we want to recognize images in non-objective situations.


I hope that the excitement and joy of my process is rendered apparent, as well as a spirit of generosity. – Tom Burckhardt




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