Toadhouse (a.k.a Allan Graham) interviewed by Kathryn M. Davis on ArtBeat.
September 10, 2013
Allan Graham has deconstructed the English language over the past thirty years of his career by literally envisaging words, phrases and concepts using the words themselves as the visual language. Canvas and oil paint, handmade paper, graphite, ink, toilet paper rolls and rubber plungers are his varied supports and media. His latest paintings are comprised of four letter words written with no spaces and the letters stacked in quadrants, two over two. Initially, the viewer sees a pattern in black and white, some purely geometric and others a bit more anthropomorphic depending upon the grouping of letters, but then the actual word emerges through the abstraction. Through his work the viewer realizes language is an abstraction, both in the way it is spoken and written. The meaning and power of language is not only in the content of the chosen word, but more in the context in which it is delivered and even then, subject to personal interpretation.