Arden Hendrie’s paintings are an expression of intuition. Initially having earned an MFA in Fiction several years ago, and only recently completing an additional MFA in Painting from the University of Iowa in 2014, I was drawn to how this knowledge of his background and interests informed how I ‘read’ his paintings. At first, I felt no particular sway to interpret them any differently, aside from his well-crafted artist statement, but the longer I considered them, the more I wondered if it was less about the individual paintings, and more about what I consider a narrative to be.
Narrative is a word often associated in art with things that resemble, much like in writing, a story. There is a beginning, a middle, and an end. With Hendrie’s work, I don’t particularly read a narrative, but in visualizing his series, such as Arrivals in 2013, there are forms in common in each piece. A shape is replicated on similar surfaces, with similar materials, each incarnation of the shape adopts a particular mood or tone, or way of being. Each basic form is like a petrie dish in which slightly different quantities or types of material are added and then his intuition decides what ultimate form it will take. He explains in his statement:
What I consider most real is the intuitive, which I define as an intelligence that reacts positively to what is necessary in a situation and negatively to what is not. My goal is to show the reality of this intelligence in the most focused and clarified way I can. I’m interested in it not as a peripheral tool or unknowable guide, but as a central, concrete thing. I want to know what the intuitive is. When I pay close attention to how it responds as I work, the picture in many ways becomes a portrait of it.
I see this in his unique installation work Hello Angel, on white walls in an unassuming utility room of some sort, which gives a stream of consciousness impression, perhaps a little unsettling in its coloration and its environment, as if Hendrie had been locked in the room for hours and had to find a way to stay occupied. And in this there is an inherent intuitive response to the space and location.
More of Arden Hendrie’s work can be found at ardenhendrie.com. His work is currently in a group exhibition at the William Platz Gallery, Albequerque, NM.
All images are copyright Arden Hendrie (ardenhendrie.com) and are used with the artist’s permission.