My works on paper combine hand-drawn and printed marks that are stacked and repeated to construct abstract forms. Compositions are often comprised of multiple pieces which share formal motifs and are juxtaposed to underscore shifts in color, texture, and value. The architecture of this work is anchored on a foundation of hard-edged shapes rendered in varying levels of transparency, that are printed and layered using cut paper stencils. Intentional misalignments in the registration process yield unforeseen moments of complexity which I respond to with hand drawn elements and the building of overlaid systems of fine lines. While my vibrant color choices are best exemplified by the use of highlighters as a drawing tool, the ubiquity of ash pigment across this series provides a translucent, warm, and grainy space that allows light to permeate into the picture plane. These materials and images combine to reference analog mechanisms used in the organization and preservation of printed media, such as accordion folders, highlighted text, and splayed books.

My ongoing project and body of work, Index, began when I started to burn my old drawings and prints in a wood stove to heat my cold studio. While this initially felt like a release, a lingering sense of ambivalent sentimentality drove me to salvage the ashes that remained, eventually grinding them into powder fine enough to use as a pigment. This reconstituted matrix of particles, composed of previous iterations of my artwork, is now the most common pigment that I use in my cyclical practice. Within Index, I investigate the concept of the archive as a means of considering the fruitless pursuit of permanence, while highlighting the associated forces of recollection, inheritance, and renewal. As such, Index’s foundational exploration of print media serves to reference the industrial and social histories rooted in the dissemination of information, as well as the ways in which those traditions are being translated and reshaped in the context of the contemporary media culture.

 © 2020 Noah Lagle