Dear Family, Friends, and Innocent Bystanders, 

Henri Matisse wrote in JAZZ, "Qui veut se donner à la peinture doit commencer par se faire couper la langue ." With this in mind I'll endeavor to keep this short.

I was a painter of geometric abstractions in the mid 1970s. There came a point when I began to know what the finished pieces would look like before executing them. Completing a painting thus became pointless. I abandoned paint for collage, a process improvisatory by nature and far less scripted than what I'd been doing.

My first efforts were abstractions made from magazines and litter (Kurt Schwitters was and still is one of my gods). A search for raw material with greater archival properties drew me to old prints and illustrations in old books. Representational content - the natural and built world along with its inhabitants - began to ask permission for entry into the work, which I incrementally granted.

In the mid 1990s I wished to create larger pieces and expand my palette. A dear friend suggested digital composition, saying "computers love to make collages"!
I was reluctant at first because digital output at the time was nasty - very low res. Worse, the color - such as it was - sat up on top of the page like a decal. This changed radically with the IRIS printer. Suddenly, inkjet prints were of astonishing quality. Rich continuous color became one with the paper itself.

For me there was no looking back. I'd been endeavoring to make the collages seamless, sometimes painting the edges of the paper fragments before gluing them down, even sanding the edges of thicker papers to make the boundary between one piece of paper and its neighbor less conspicuous. Photoshop obviated taking such pains.

The early digital work relied upon scanning as the means of importing content. Eventually a digital camera became a more important importer. I've come to think of the most recent work as faux-tographs, compositions that appear at first to be pictures taken of objects arranged on a ground plane before being captured by a lens (at least that's my intention). Rather, they are composed of objects that have never been in the same place at the same time until I and the software worked our will upon them.

The digital compositions are meant to come into the world as archival Epson inkjet prints in limited on-demand editions of ten. Most of the digital pieces on display here have never been printed, existing only as ones and zeroes on my hard drive.

The work continues to be improvisatory. I play with the materials and endeavor to let the piece in progress tell me where it wants to go. It's something like auditioning dancers and devising the choreography while observing them. Please don't think that there's an interpretation I have in mind for you. I myself am trying to figure out what the pictures mean, if they mean anything at all. My hope is that you will simply enjoy the looking as much as I enjoyed the cooking.

Best,

Len   
   
 
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