William Conger Exhibition

Vendome Projects

poster for William Conger Exhibition

This event has ended.

William Conger’s unique paintings represent an on-going investigation of abstraction that subtly fuses figural and landscape references to a vocabulary of irregular geometric forms. Conger’s paintings are a process of linear and color discovery. He connects shapes by stringing them together along linear paths. The linear connections create a web of ambiguous positive or negative space, figure or ground. This enables him to modulate the shapes, add atmosphere, play with illogical light and allude to things in a suggestive way. By this means his work carries classical abstraction into a new visual territory.

Conger started painting in the 1950s while studying at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. His early work was influenced by New Mexico-based artist Raymond Jonson and the Transcendental Painting Group that incorporated illusionistic form and real world references into their abstract art.

Conger’s subsequent work in Chicago has questioned the limitations of Abstract Expressionism by his exploration of multiple allusions and paradoxical space. He favors “subjective abstraction,” painting that is imbued with surreal content, and psychological narrative. He agrees with Kandinsky’s dictum that painting is “the road to inner necessity” and has to be informed by human feeling.

“My focus as an artist has always been centered on the provocative and ambiguous references suggested by abstract form in quasi-illusionist space,” said Conger. “My work expresses the gap between formal organic-geometric abstraction and suggestive metaphorical representation. I hope that my paintings, while remaining visually formal and abstract, also invite viewers to construct pictorial content or narratives that affirm the representational nature of art.”

Ostrow chose to present Conger’s work because unlike much contemporary painting, Conger constructs visually complex economies that permit his audience to speculate as to the nature of painting as a means to convey inter-subjectively a sense of deliberation and reflection. This is the result of how the compositional elements contribute to the painting’s overall identity, yet also produces an unaccountable surplus or inconsistency that begs for further elaboration.



from September 18, 2014 to October 18, 2014

Opening Reception on 2014-09-18 from 18:00 to 20:00


William Conger

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