Roy Colmer




Born: 1935

British-born Roy Comer studied at the Hochschule fur Gestaltung in Hamburg; he moved to New York in 1967. Colmer’s large paintings of horizontal bands in sprayed acrylic recall the glare of early color T.V. and share its visual crackle. In 1971, he began to work with video and film. He experimented with closed-circuit television and incorporated video feedback into a multimedia event at the University of Cincinnati in 1972. In the mid-1970s, Colmer stopped painting to work on documentation and photography projects. While his films and photographs have been exhibited and received critical attention, his paintings premiered only recently, at Mitchell Algus Galley in New York in 2004. Colmer lives and works in Long Beach, California.





September 2005

Experimenting with video feedback, I became excited working with a flowing and constantly changing form. Working in black and white video, the liquid properties of the image suggested many possibilities. In my painting, the use of an industrial model spray gun allowed me to cover large areas of the canvas with little effort. The stripes were taped horizontally. I could then approach a breaking down of the color vertically. Where blending and mixes with other colors occurred, I created an area of fluid movement.

I was affected by work of Arshile Gorky and Jackson Pollock, as they were involved in flow and rhythm. Pollock sometimes used explicit pouring of paint on the canvas. The dance like movement I wanted to create in video films was in response to the freedom of movement earlier explored in Abstract Expressionist painting.

In painting, I was seeking out and testing opposite values: soft/hard, rigid/flowing, color/noncolor, control/lack, and horizontal/vertical. The element of unpredictability was there with feedback in live time; the question was, how could this spontaneity be put into painting? I felt it was necessary to speed up the (painting) process to where something could be created in an instantaneous manner. Spray technique allowed me to do that.

The liquid properties of feedback suggest flow, uncontrolled movement, and a powerful form seeking to be liberated. In my painting, although controlled, I was seeking to free form from edges and boundaries, where color would dissolve optically.





Recent Group Shows:

2008           High Times, Hard Times. New York Painting 1967–1975
                              ZKM | Museum für Neue Kunst & Medienmuseum, Karlsruhe Jo Baer,
                              Lynda Benglis, Mel Bochner, Dan Christensen, Roy Colmer, Mary Corse,
                              David Diao, Manny Farber, Louise Fishman, Guy Goodwin, Ron Gorchov,
                              Harmony Hammond, Mary Heilmann, Ralph Humprhey, Jane Kaufamn,
                              Harriet Korman, Yayoi Kusama, Al Loving, Lee Lozano, Ree Morton,
                              Elizabeth Murray, Joe Overstreet, Blinky Palermo, Cesar Pedro
                              Paternosto, Howardena Pindell, Dorthea Rockburne, Carolee
                              Schneemann, Alan Shields, Kenneth Showell, Joan Snyder, Lawrence
                              Stafford, Pat Steir, Richard Tuttle, Michael Venezia, Franz Erhard Walther,
                              Jack Whitten, Peter Young

2007           Short Distance to Now Part#2 - Paintings from New York 1967-1975
                              Galerie Thomas Flor, Dusseldorf Lynda Benglis, Dan Christensen, Roy
                              Colmer, Louise Fishman, Mary Heilmann, Gerald Jackson, Harriet
                              Korman, Lee Lozano, Joe Overstreet, Cesar Paternosto, Howardena
                              Pindell, Gary Stephan, Richard Tuttle, Michael Venezia, Jack Whitten

2006           High Times, Hard Times - New York Painting 1967-1975 Weatherspoon Art Museum, Greensboro, NC;
                              Lynda Benglis, Dan Christensen, Roy Colmer, Ralph Humphrey, Ree Morton, Elizabeth Murrage,
                              Lawrence Stafford, Richard Tuttle

2004           Twister - Moving through Color, 1965-1977
                              Jack S. Blanton Museum of Art, Austin, TX,
                              Roy Colmer, Dean Fleming, Rogelio Polesello, Kazuya Sakai, Almir da
                              Silva Mavignier, John Torreano

2001           Für Hanne
                              GALERIE CRONE, Berlin
                              Carl Andre, Roy Colmer, Sol LeWitt, Lawrence Weiner