Greg Drasler, Pratt in Venice Painting Professor ('08, '09, '15), is currently exhibiting new paintings in a one-man show at Betty Cuningham Gallery in New York. The exhibition, "Greg Drasler: Road Trip," is on view from June 15 – August 5, 2016.
Included in the exhibition is Stratocaster Suite, a six panel painting, stretching 70 x 400 inches. This major work echoes the vastness of the American landscape, punctuated by familiar landmarks. Also included are nine paintings, collectively named Piling up the Miles. These long horizontal works trace Drasler’s lengthy drive across the Midwest, with its boundless vista dotted by places where one stops for necessities – service station, motel, drive-in cinema, diner or bank.
Drasler was interviewed about his work on the occasion of the exhibition in ArtNews.
What attracted you to the image of the roadhouse?
I feel like that two-lane blacktop highway architecture is in danger of being lost. It’s this interesting half-sign, half-building construction which brings you to a full stop. I think of painting as being a kind of full stop too, which meant the two sort of attached themselves to each other and started vibrating in my imagination.
In terms of the landscape in those paintings, you mentioned that the ground was inspired by a “crazy quilt” you’d found in Virginia a couple years back. What was your thinking here?
I wanted these two very distinct orders. The ground still has perspective aspirations but it’s a bit wonky and you’re pulled onto the horizon. The subtext to this was about how the car has divided landscape up into property and how the crazy quilt in this usage sort of hinted at that division of the land as a man-made formation.