William Perehudoff - Paintings from the 1980's
William Perehudoff acrylic paintings from the 1980's
Perehudoff was prolific during the 80s, interested in exploring texture and using thick acrylic gel to create organic shapes that rise off the flat surface of the canvas.
The gel paintings
The coloured shapes created with a mixture of acrylic paint and gel, have a loose similarity in shape and topology to the hard-edged rectangles of the 60s, but are nonetheless very different because they are completely gestural.
These gel works have an immediacy about them because there is no rethinking the placement – the gel is thick, the colour pure and once on, it cannot be removed or rethought. With only one chance to get it right this gel series, which Perehudoff worked on throughout the early 80s, challenged him to incorporate a new confidence into his brushwork. The end result is a calligraphy-like quickness and liveliness previously unseen.
Toward the mid to late 80s, Perehudoff pares out the thick gel, but retains the more organic or biological shapes of colour that show this immediate brushwork. Now the background comes more into play. The thin stains of diaphanous colour loosely echo the square of the canvas to contain the central colour forms. This is where Perehudoff’s mastery of composition comes into play. The central forms neither simply recede through this window-like opening, nor extend out, but hover, creating a vibration between back and forwards, bringing a soft vitality to the painting.