Carl Ostendarp

The painting on the left is “Jack McDuff” 75 7/8″ x 59 5/8″, and the one on the right is “Jimmy Smith” 63 1/2″ x 102 1/4″
Mathematical calculations

The installation shot is from an exhibition I did called “Blanks” at Elizabeth Dee Gallery in 2014. The “Buddy” image is of some of the mathematical calculations I do to determine the scale and location of the images within the area of the painting. in this case, the initials of my name. The math thing came about because of an experience I had seeing a Barnett Newman painting called “The Gate”, at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam just after graduate school in 1985. Looking at the work, I had the feeling that my body and my eyes were telling me two different things about where the center of the work was; and were directing me in my physical and feeling response to it; and suspending the duration of the experience. I developed this “crackpot” math thing which has to do with converting the aspect ratio of the format for a better understanding about the specific area as a felt space—mostly because I wanted to get out of the composition business which always felt to me like stage direction, and which seemed to make the painting’s feel episodic.

—Carl Ostendarp, 2016

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