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 William Potter  (20/21st century)

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Lived/Active: Indiana/Ohio      Known for: geometric sculpture, abstract painting, drawing, teaching

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
William Potter received his MFA degree in Painting from the University of Cincinnati’s school of Design, Art, Architecture and Planning (DAAP) and his BFA in Painting and Sculpture from the Columbus College of Art and Design. He teaches in and directs the foundations program at Herron School of Art and Design.

Recent exhibitions include “Touch Faith” at the Semantics Gallery curated by Jeffrey Cortland Jones, “Shaped” at the Manifest Gallery curated by Jason Franz, and “Constructed Paintings” at Indiana Wesleyan University.

In 2007, he received the Arts Council of Indianapolis Creative Renewal Fellowship. The fellowship allowed for travel to Germany to study the Bauhaus and travel to the Chinati Foundation in Marfa, Texas to study the work of Donald Judd.

Artist Statement:
Both austere and eccentric my work is influenced by architecture, language and an ongoing dialogue with early modernism. I create visual hybrids between painting and sculpture. I am interested in seeing how two different manners of working can affect each other when crossbred with one another.

I came to this manner of making because I wanted to create something that had a physical presence, and I was interested in seeing color freed from the flat plane. Seeing paint and pigment as a material that is not a mere application but rather something that has a tangible weight. The encaustic paint was a natural match for this sensibility. The surface of the encaustic is manipulated through scratching, scouring and burning. I work in an additive/subtractive manner in which the wax surface is built up and then excavated or built down. I regularly alternate between undermining and revealing previous the underlying structure.

At times the encaustic is scrapped down to the constructions wood surface. Viewing surface closely in person one sees the subtle residue of my decision-making process as the work was developed. I am interested in the presence that an object can convey.  Some of the constructed paintings have an almost animated quality. The three-dimensional paintings extend forward into the viewer’s space sometimes seducing, sometimes threatening. The paintings play with a number of tensions such as balance/imbalance, and stability/instability. I enjoy the emblematic and mysterious quality that my work expresses. I am interested in how form and structure can convey meaning while also holding meaning at a distance.

Sources:
"William Potter", Herron School of Art and Design, www.herron.iupui.edu/faculty/william-potter

"William Potter Profile, Indianapolis Local Artists.org, local-artists.org/user/8654/profile

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