Moderated and Text by Nicole Kaack

November 17, 2017


Karen Hesse Flatow:    I wanted to create a place where there could be community building and conversations about the work. Three months ago, I met Nicole Kaack. We came up with the idea to have conversations about the work that we’re having at CRUSHCURATORIAL. And to also record and document the conversation, so that we could contribute to the written record of the artists that we’re showing. Rather than waiting for someone else to write about our work, trying to take control of it. Nicole is an artist, and she’s a writer from Northern California, and she’s currently based in Queens. She is the Daedalus Fellow at the Museum of Modern Art, and co-director of Prompt and Of Missing Out. She’s the current curatorial resident at Small Editions, and has organized a series of exhibitions addressing the intersection of language and visual art. Kaack’s writing has been published in White Hot Magazine, Art Critical, SFAQ, NYAQ, AQ, and Artforum. I’m very happy to have her as my collaborator on this project. She’ll take it from here. 

Nicole Kaack:    Thank you so much, Karen, for introducing this project to the space and program. Before we begin, I just wanted to introduce both Charlotte and Peter, so that you can have more context. Then we’ll launch in. Charlotte Hallberg is a painter who currently lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. In 2010, she received an MFA in painting from Yale University. She was an Annenberg Fellow of Visual Arts from 2010 to 2012 and recently completed a residency of the Corporation of Yaddo. Her work has been shown at Tiger Strikes Asteroid, The Parlor Bushwick, CRUSHCURATORIAL, and most recently, Mass Gallery in Austin, Texas. Peter Halley has had solo museum exhibitions at institutions including the Musee d’Arte Contemporaine Bordeaux, the Musee Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid, the Steimlich Museum, Amsterdam, the Dallas Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Museum Folkvein, Essen, Musee d’Arte Moderne, St. Ettienne, Metropol, France, and the Shernkunsthall, Frankfurt. Halley has taught at Columbia University, UCLA, and the School of Visual Arts, New York, and was director of graduate studies in painting and printmaking at Yale University of Art from 2002 to 2011. So thank you both for being here. If you would like to dig in, Charlotte?

Charlotte Hallberg:    I’ll just give a brief introduction about the work. Thank you to Karen for organizing this and moderating. And thank you, Peter, for being a part of this. I worked with Peter at Yale, and it’s been a long time since I’ve been able to talk to him about my work. It’s very exciting that I get to do that tonight. 

Peter Halley:    Before you begin, let me just say a couple words about that, because I also worked with Charlotte’s husband, [Eric Gonzalez], who’s sitting right there. It’s such a pleasure to continue a dialogue tonight with Charlotte. I had a very special experience getting to know all these brilliant young artists during their developmental years. And still devoted to almost all of them. It’s such an amazing experience to follow up, five years, ten years later, to see what’s happened and to see what that germ grew into. 

Charlotte Hallberg:    Well, I’m glad that you stuck with me. 

Nicole Kaack:    Another final word before we begin. I just want to open this up to you —the audience— as well. If there’s something that is of interest to you or if you have a question, please do jump in. We want this to be a real conversation. 

Charlotte Hallberg:    Briefly, to give some context to the work, I’m just going to list a few things that I’m interested in. I’m interested in making paintings that require a long attention span, but that utilize a visual language that is maybe more associated with the fast attention span of our devices or media. However, I’m not interested in the painting speaking solely to that kind of relationship that we have to the screen. I think that that language is just a cultural given at this point in our visual world, and that’s just one tool that I’m using. The main aspects of painting that I’m interested in are color, light, and observation. I consider the color in these paintings to be observational, to be referring to different kinds of light or times of day or places. I guess I’m also interested formally in relationships of looking and the tactile qualities, the touch of paint. I’m very committed to making these as oil paintings and interested in that history of the depiction of light in oil painting. That painting itself or that looking at a still image can still be relevant today is something I’m interested in. To that end, I am often using compositional tools or ways of arranging the image or the space that refer to looking and touching. The limits of those things have changed today, in the way we see the observable world and the way that we are physically interacting with it is something that painting can talk about. Maybe that’s all I’ll say for now. I can elaborate much more. 

Nicole Kaack:    Something that we spoke about in preparing for this conversation is that digital element and perhaps questioning the usefulness of bringing that read to a painting. You can’t completely escape that conversation because these paintings emerged in a moment when the digital is relevant. But at the same time, these feel more about an eye seeing through those media, and about coming back to an experience of the natural by an embodied person. Perhaps that mediation is where the abstraction and observation come in.

Charlotte Hallberg:    I am more interested in the human element and the human experience of those things. Digital language is just what we’re dealing with, and these paintings were made in this time, and they’re of the time. But I think that this experience of somebody actually making them also kind of refers back to that human touch. Not just that an image is being made, but that the paintings have a tactile quality is an important distinction for me. 

Peter Halley:    I can present the opposite view. Seeing them in reproduction, I was sort of distracted by the idea that they’re illusionistic or would be illusionistic. Coming to see them here, I realized that they’re not illusionistic at all. Every illusion is cancelled out by the contradictory clue. I began to see them as, all of a sudden, the equivalent of analytic cubism. A composition in a different kind of language. Although, I was just thinking tonight, you could even bring in somebody like Léger or Delaunay, and later stages of cubism. To me it makes sense to bring this up at the beginning, but what really impresses me in terms of the slow read, is to think of them as really complex mathematical equations that a person like me could never solve. I’ve always been fascinated by works of art like that, often in traditional figurative painting —a Titian or a Rubens— or even in architecture, with Frank Lloyd Wright. I saw a building in Frankfurt by Hans Holbein, a couple of years ago, in a museum. The interlocking space was so beyond my mathematical understanding.  That’s what I see in these. 

Nicole Kaack:    In thinking about that —the slow read— were you referring to the surface quality of them also? You mentioned the contradictory clues —I liked that phrase— of reading them. 

Peter Halley:    I guess I knew this about Charlotte’s work, but she had spent time in museums in Northern Europe. They’re also on panel. So, for me, the Northern European exquisiteness of the surface also comes into play. 

Charlotte Hallberg:    I take the history of oil painting very seriously and enjoy using that history’s traditional techniques. Those techniques are why oil paintings are so luminous historically. If I’m talking about my project as being painting a quality of light or a depiction of color, those technical aspects of painting are really important to maintain. I’m making a lot of my own paint and working on a very traditional absorbent ground. When I was in Europe for a little while, I was loosely looking at the history of the depiction of light in European oil painting. It’s something that I think has taken my work a little bit of time to catch up to. Parallel to that I was also looking at the development of artists’ materials and colors, when different pigments became commercially available. I continue to try to access everything that is materially available within the medium. Sometimes it means having to make something that’s not commercially available in its form. 

Peter Halley:    The concentric circle motif is really clear. Where did the other lines that pass through come from?

Charlotte Hallberg:    I mentioned this interest in sight and touch. Circles are very symbolic of many things. The concentric element here, especially the sort of change in the scale of that element, is something I’ve always thought of as a dilation, like an eye. And then—this is maybe revealing a little bit too much— this wavy element, the squiggly line, comes from a depiction of a hand. There’s ten fingers, if you would imagine a plane divided evenly with ten digits. This wavy element acts as another symbol of movement or temperature or light or some sort of effect. I’m interested in making a still image by trying to distill this moving imagery into something succinct. 

Peter Halley:    I’m surprised that that was a secret, because the hand and the eye almost seems like some kind of Masonic, alchemical, powerful symbol. 

Charlotte Hallberg:    Yeah, I’m usually afraid to tell people that. 

Peter Halley:    In contemporary terms, it’s touch and vision. And that’s kind of like painting. 

Charlotte Hallberg:    They’re paintings about painting, surprise. 

Nicole Kaack:    Funny to me though that you say “still image,” because they feel like they’re moving so much. Dilation really was the perfect word. I really was thinking of them as eyes because of that central shape and the way that the light, the gradations, move you in and out. You’re moving, but the painting feels like it’s moving as well. It’s a very interesting form. I was curious, in doing a little bit of research into your work, that you had in the past done graphite drawings of these circles that feel in some way like the design, a pre-element. Do you still do those? 

Charlotte Hallberg:   Yes. I will usually work out some kind of composition through graphite drawings. Usually they’re in pairs, so I can compare different ideas that I’ve had on one page. The works start entirely in black and white, in value. Once I’ve laid that out, the drawings are very much part of the final work. They’re essentially a map of the overall feel of the painting. If you took an image of one of these and converted it to black and white, it would stray a little bit, but the idea is that it sort of sticks to that value structure. Next to that, I will establish some kind of palette, which is becoming more and more specific as I’ve returned more and more to this kind of observational color in the work. Then, once I have those two things, I scale up the drawing to the painting, and I’m really just making color decisions when I’m at the painting. It’s not like I’m planning out where each color goes digitally on the screen. In fact, I haven’t done any digital preparation for my work in probably three years now, which was a very freeing decision. The paintings are very slow. There is a lot of waiting for things to dry. In some ways, when I’m at the painting and making these decisions, it’s almost like making a few one-shot paintings, waiting and thinking about it for a long time, then making another move. There’s not a lot of room for fussing, and there’s also not a lot of room for changing things because of the surface. Peter mentioned complicated math before; I often use the analogy of a game that my family grew up playing called Rummikub. I don't know if anybody’s played it. It’s like Rummy 500, except for with these little tiles. You can play one of your cards on the board if you can fit it within the structure of the existing things, and sometimes you have to move the entire board around in order to fit this one piece in. I often feel like that’s kind of how I’m thinking about making those color decisions. It’s the same kind of logic. 

Nicole Kaack:    Do you feel like you’re often moving the whole board around? 

Charlotte Hallberg:    No, I feel like I’m thinking really far ahead, and then I have to come back. Then usually I forget what I was thinking anyway. So it’s always a surprise. I never really understand what the painting is going to be sometimes until the very end. Sometimes I have to live with stuff that I don’t love, which is also a challenge. 

Peter Halley:    I always ask myself if artists of your generation think in these terms. Almost by nature, if I see this body of work, I think of its position within the range of contemporary art or recent art, and art of the last 100 years. I forget who said, “I make paintings because I don’t like any of the paintings being made.” There’s something lacking that I want to bring into it. Do you have any thoughts on where you locate these paintings within the realm of everything else happening? 

Charlotte Hallberg:    Well, there’s a lot of things happening out there. I don’t know that I locate them entirely within abstraction happening today. We sort of talked earlier, but the painters who are working right now that I’m looking at the most are actually figure painters or observational painters. I just saw that Louis Fratino show that came down at Thierry Goldberg, which was really beautiful and just full of amazing color decisions. I really liked the broad scope of painting. Who else? The Robin Williams show that just came down at PPOW — very strict figure painting, but there’s a really wide variety of formal elements that I really respond to. There’s also a kind of painting that’s happening right now that deals with the digital mediation of images and how that relates to painting. If you saw an image of this work, you would probably associate it with a few of those painters. I don't know how I feel about that. I’m not interested in paintings that are talking about a quick read. This isn’t a slight to any of these artists, but I think that there’s a kind of painting that uses this language to make really fast images and to continue to amplify that. I’m more interested in the opposite. I’ve been making work in this gradient motif for the last seven years or so now and I’ve thought a lot about its relationship to the screen. Personally, I am tired of that as the main content in my work, because it’s too fast. It’s tending more towards the human touch, towards the observational place. We are also at a certain point where we just live with that all the time and it’s not such a revelation. I don’t know. I think I am slightly in a weird place in terms of other works right now. There is a lot of painting happening right now, which is very exciting. The Josephine Halvorson that’s up at Sikkema Jenkins right now is totally incredible and those are plein air paintings. But I think that there is a strangeness and a slowness to that work that I really respond to also. 

Nicole Kaack:    I think that the gradient is something that kind of draws your work back to that digital feeling. It’s perfect, it’s beautiful. But also, when I was encountering your work online, there was an early video piece, a very simple thing that you did that —I believe— was taken from an airplane. It was two simultaneous screens that were catching the horizon moving, in relation to one another. That was really helpful to me in thinking about your work in this observational mode. Bringing it back to something that you are experiencing in a real, physical way. 

Charlotte Hallberg:    That’s funny. I haven’t thought about that video in a long time. I have made some videos. I think I always thought about it as a painting, actually, a sort of moving painting. It’s basically two frames side-by-side, tilting the camera back and forth through an airplane window during sunset. Sometimes the horizons line up and sometimes they don’t, so they’re in and out of synch. The quality is terrible. I’ve also been making these other videos recently, which are basically tracing the perimeter of the viewfinder of a camera through a landscape. So the camera is still, it’s just sort of a figure walking, down one side, across the top, and over the sort of linear landscape frame. Those I think of, also, very much as paintings. You’re looking at this image for this specific amount of time. The time that it takes to look at the image and understand it is the time that it takes for this person to walk. That is sort of a secret practice. 

Nicole Kaack:    It’s kind of interesting to think about these paintings as charts to attention, a diagram for the eye or a way of guiding a viewer’s entry to the painting. 

Charlotte Hallberg:    Yeah. Part of the reason why I have stuck with the gradient in spite of all the other baggage that comes along with it is that it is a really straightforward symbol for color or light changing and form or space receding. It is also directional in this way. When I am doing this calculation, that movement is very much on my mind: “You’re going to look here, and then you have to continue.” 

Peter Halley:    Playing devil’s advocate, I don’t see the gradient as digital. I mean there are so many gradients in pop art and Léger and Duchamp and even in the Warner Brothers’ logo from many years ago. But there is something of the future in these paintings and I am trying to put a finger on it. One thing might be to think of making this complex, super-worked-out space as something that computers do. You have all of these computer-generated spaces that are ultra complex. The other thing I get is that if I saw a picture of it and didn’t know it was a painting, it reminds me of new light technology. Not necessarily LED, but sometimes you see these sculptural things in which something luminescent is embedded in something frosted and it makes all kind of strange space and luminosity. I am getting that rather than anything solely digital really. 

Charlotte Hallberg:    Well, that’s great. I’ll take that. I think I’m still wary of that kind of talk around this work because it is something that I had been engaged with. As the work has moved away from a strictly artificial light or digital rendering of color and light, I would hope that —and it’s not necessarily moving to a natural light— but that it’s taking in the whole range of what is available to be seen. I’m glad. I’m not interested in a conversation where it is solely something that is related to this digital experience. 

Karen Hesse Flatow:    Charlotte, where did the gradient come from? Peter’s comment prompted it and I often ask myself that question. Is it from Photoshop? Is it just from school? 

Charlotte Hallberg:    For me, it was always an easy reference to advertising language and our increasing digital experience with the world. It’s almost a shorthand, I think, in graphic design and advertising. But Peter’s right.

Peter Halley:   Well maybe digitally rendered volumes. 

Erik Gonzalez:    Early powerpoint slide backgrounds. 

Audience Member:    Charlotte, could you speak a little bit more about the notion of time in relationship to the sense that these are almost like little Petri dishes composed of an experience? As if these are samplings of what we perceive as a sequence of events in time and space. They are commixed and abstracted, yet they have that kind of organic energy as if you were looking at something that is coming alive in a primordial sort of way.

Charlotte Hallberg:    For me, time functions in two ways. The experience of actually making the painting takes a long time. Not to put it too simply, but that sort of revisiting of the painting over a long period; every day I am coming to it with something else and a different way of thinking about an experience. I think the light that I am most interested in is a liminal quality of light, where time is changing. It’s getting dark or it’s getting light or something is flashing. Something that is not stable necessarily. 

Audience Member:    Is there an almost diaristic attitude?

Charlotte Hallberg:    Maybe, but I don’t know if that’s conscious necessarily. For example, this painting I made after coming back from Wyoming and seeing the full solar eclipse which was a totally incredible experience. I am sure everybody is tired of hearing about the eclipse but I think that dramatic liminal experience of light was very impactful. When I was making this painting, that is a place that I continued to go back to. Because there is not a plan for the color, it probably is dependent sometimes on the day or where I am and what I am coming to. I don’t know if it is like, “I did this when I was in a terrible mood.” I don’t know if it is that specific, but it does change. I don’t think that I would make the same painting the same way.

Nicole Kaack:    Do you ever work from looking at things in a very specific, searching for color way? 

Charlotte Hallberg:    I take a lot of photos. So usually I am relying on my own references, but I’m not setting up a maquette in my studio and projecting things. Part of what makes it more interesting for me is having to go back and revisit, to try and remember what that pallet was. I’ve been trying to make this painting of the sunlight going through a bunch of pine trees for a year and a half. I’ve tried to do it a few different ways and each time it’s different, weird, and strange. I’m trying to do it again right now, but the paintings are different every time. I feel like, if I had that picture in front of me, I wouldn’t have to search as much. That’s the fun part for me. 

Nicole Kaack:    Do they all have references in that way?

Charlotte Hallberg:    Not necessarily. I think it’s getting more specific, but I am wary of giving those away because I don’t want to limit the experience. That this is somehow now the “eclipse painting.” I am very wary of that. Or that this would be the “blocking out the sun with your hand painting.” There is a green painting in the other room which I made while I was at Yaddo and my studio faced a lawn that was this acid green color. I actually had not made a green painting in many years and hate using it, but I decided to make it because this lawn was reflecting into my studio. 

Peter Halley:    The first time I saw these, I thought of Georgia O’Keefe and now I think I am right. It’s a parallel of abstraction not that different from some of hers. 

Charlotte Hallberg:    I am OK with that reference. I think our work is very different, but another person who is observationally looking at the world and then making paintings that are not representations is someone like Mary Heilmannn. Even when she is talking about her work, [she] will show a slide lecture of images that she has taken simultaneously while showing the paintings. Those paintings are very different, but just that sort of translation of looking through paintings. 

Peter Halley:    Another part of the process here that I keep trying to grasp and it’s just beyond my reach, is that it seems like the palette in each one is based on two or three colors and then pushed in different ways. Is that how you do it?

Charlotte Hallberg:    I will often think of the paintings as being, “This is the orange and purple paintings.” In my head, that is the parameter that I am setting up. But then, a lot of the time, I am trying to make decisions where the colors either won’t appear to be strictly operating under that rubric or where they are continuously pushing away from it. Here is a really bright orange, but there is something right next to it that cancels that out or makes it red. That is how I am thinking about color. These paintings are probably the most unified in terms of their palette and I think that’s helped a lot. But still denying the color to be its true self. I try very hard not to reuse a color in a painting, even if something appears to look the same it’s not. I try to make it different. That’s another part of the calculation, the game.  

Erik Gonzalez:    On that same note, I always feel that the color is narrative, like when you are reading a book or hearing a story, a good storyteller can weave out to tell a tangential thing that comes back and makes sense in the way that only a master plan would be able foretell. I know that you say that you are an improvisational painter in the way that you go about making the color selections, but I think that there is something in there. The color will go on a tangent, and you’re like, “Wait, why is there that blue in the painting?” So crazy, but then it comes back and it works somehow always. That’s also a compositional experience. That has to do with the question of time as well. 

Charlotte Hallberg:    Yeah, I mean, that is a very funny moment in that painting. I remember consciously making that decision and being like, “OK, I’m going to have to live with that and then I am going to have to figure out a way to fit it into the story a little bit. The physical way that I have to make the paintings allows me to give myself a weird challenge and do something that I probably wouldn’t usually do. Then have to figure it out and piece it together.

Audience Member:    I was going ask about the transparency of the colors overlapping, sometimes being correct and others incorrect.

Charlotte Hallberg:    To clarify, there is no overlap, physically in the painting. But there is some sort of deception, a different set of rules or something. 

Audience Member:    Do you work on one at a time or several? 

Charlotte Hallberg:    Right now, I am making two at a time and I’ll spend one day with a painting and have to wait for it to dry and then move on. It’s been a while since I have had multiple going at the same time, but when I do, they tend to be a little bit more related. These two were made simultaneously and there are compositional relationships and color decisions. I make the drawings paired on a single piece of paper. The drawings do sort of evolve together. The paintings that I am working on now are all related either compositionally or color-wise, even if I am not at all of them at the same time. 

 Audience Member:    I am curious to know how the process of these paintings [evolves] for you, how you build these paintings. In a time-based sense, not just thinking about how long it takes, how this process unfolds, moments of [needing] to back away from this or rotate it.

Charlotte Hallberg:    It’s a graphite drawing that lays out the value relationships and then I am making all of the color decisions. It does take a pretty long time, mostly because I am waiting for the paint to dry, but I think that time is actually really valuable and allows me to step back and plan a little bit but not too much. I haven’t yet not-finished something — most of that is that I have made plenty of things that I don’t think are successful.

Peter Halley:    Do you ever paint over?

Charlotte Hallberg:    No, the surface is too delicate I think. If it is absolutely necessary, but I try not to. So I have to live with whatever is there. If the painting doesn’t work —if I realize that halfway through— I’ll still finish it because I feel like I can still get something out of it. Next to the works when I am making them, there’s a test sheet for different colors. Those have become another element in establishing palettes for new paintings, so I can cut things out and move things around. There is a lot of side-work that happens, so I will always know what it will be, but it’s always different.  

Peter Halley:    You know, there is a lot of remarkable paint application on these paintings. If I am correct, all of the paintings are opaque, there is no glazing?

Charlotte Hallberg:    No, there is no glazing. There are some transparent colors and there are some that are applied in a thinner way.

Peter Halley:    Oh, to build up? Four layers makes a color?

Charlotte Hallberg:    No, there’s no glazing or passing over of other colors. 

Peter Halley:   In terms of a wholly traditional technique, do you ever wonder why you gravitated towards opaque paint rather than other techniques?

Charlotte Hallberg:   I think there is something about the immediacy of the color that I need to see. Because I am using a lot of fairly traditional techniques and I’ve thought about a Renaissance glazing technique, it is something that is percolating. I am trying to do it on a large scale, but I think there is too much dust in my studio for it to work. I think there is an immediacy in opaque paint and I am also trying to take that project of oil paint being a luminous medium. If you really want to nerd out about it, oil paint is pigment that is suspended in oil so that, technically, if light passes through the oil layer, it is reflected off of the back. You’re supposed to have this luminous light projecting from the painting itself and I think that is a really interesting idea. 

Peter Halley:    The fact that the paint is opaque certainly makes it more pop, a more contemporary vocabulary for sure.

Audience Member:    These paintings are, to me, unusual. I don’t think I have been so struck before by the difference between a photograph and the medium. They are still really fascinating to look at, [but] I came because I wanted to see the thing, the way they actually looked, because they were so luminous and they have this dimension. It’s like a sculpture

Karen Hesse Flatow:    And they are also so flat.

Audience Member:    I’m curious how you decided the scale. 

Charlotte Hallberg:    I’ve made a smaller circular painting once, but I had to change the scale of the elements within the image and it didn't feel right. It started off as a physical limitation to the material — they are forty-eight images which is the width of an available panel. I liked that scale because its big enough that you can see the whole image but you can also perceptually be in the space of the painting without seeing much else or if you do it is in your periphery.

Peter Halley:    You know, I just thought this when you said that, but they relate to mainstream American sixties abstraction, because they are ‘all-over’ and distributed evenly, and because every unit is of similar scale, just like a Frank Stella. It takes a while to realize  that, but that I think that way back in the unconscious that association takes place. 

Charlotte Hallberg:    There’s something about that all-over quality that I think is perceptually hard to reckon with. In these paintings where I am making more over-all value distinctions, I am curious how that effects the overall read, if it is a slower read versus if it is a faster read. How does a painting where things are closer in scale and more varied and opposed to one another affect the speed of the read. 

Nicole Kaack:   Thinking about the ground ambiguity is what that brings me to. I am shifting between reading the wavy lines as alternately figural or the ground. I’m not sure what is the volume. But that definitely adds to the time. 

Charlotte Hallberg:    It’s funny to recognize that in your own work. “Oh, this is basically an all-over painting.” There’s lots of examples of that too in Renaissance painting, like you mentioned Rubens before which is a tumble of stuff happening. In my mind, I had always connected it back, way back.

Peter Halley:    That’s a bit interesting too, to think of it as a jumble of limbs.

Nicole Kaack:    Which it is!

Audience Member:    To build on that, I see a grid, and I know that they are circle paintings and they’re all wavy lines. Your earlier work had a lot more straight lines and in these newer ones there are the smaller tendrils where you are changing scale. Are you moving away from the grid? Is that even conscious in your work? 

Charlotte Hallberg:    It is. The paintings are evenly divided into a ten by ten so that I can work everything out. These ones are the first time there is the sort of weaving, vertical and horizontal movement happening. It always seemed like a weird project to me, to put a square in a circle. I think that sort of movement that is now happening that was maybe not happening in the earlier works is just more of a natural progression in making the paintings more complicated. Earlier, the very first iterations of these paintings were basically just one big squiggle, cut by concentric circles. The biggest change is that they’ve gotten more complicated and that’s just another way to complicate them. 

Nicole Kaack:   I feel it might be good to have some final thoughts on future steps. How are you hoping to complicate further? 

Charlotte Hallberg:    Well, there are a couple of paintings that I am working on that have a similar division but it’s not vertical or horizontal, it’s concentric, almost like a clock [where] the over-all value structure works in a spiral. There’s another piece that I am working on that is more focused on value relationships, like things of similar value versus things that aren’t. It’s pretty wide open. I feel like I have set up a structure for myself where I could focus on different formal problems or color problems, really the fun stuff that gets me thinking. When I am thinking about making the next painting, I’m sort of like, “What haven’t I done?” When I feel like I am making the same painting again, then I will probably move on to something else. I have been working on this body of work almost three years now and before that I made square paintings for a really long time. As long as I am still engaged and discovering something new, that’s what I’m doing, but I don’t know if I will make it forever.

Nicole Kaack:    Thank you both and thank you all for coming tonight!