Our latest exhibition “Bridges” spotlights a community of visual artists working and exhibiting just outside of Philadelphia in southern New Jersey. Although quite talented and prolific, many of these artists are overlooked as collectors in the region limit their options to the vested New York City galleries. Among these artists is Ted Walsh, a representational painter whose landscapes and figures add a contemporary twist to the American Realist Tradition.
Careful not to dictate a specific portrayal of the subjects in his paintings, Ted intentionally sidesteps traditional narrative scenes. Instead, he focuses on conveying personal impressions through color, texture and brushstroke: “I try to achieve a level of open-endedness that is comparable to the mystery indicated by the narrative scene. In the end, it’s the combination of both the thing pictured and the way that it is painted that work together to give the work a complete feeling.”
For Ted, painting is a way of “reconciling the gap” between the outside world and his own ideas about it. He works full-time in the studio, devoting his days to both exploring and constructing this bridge: “Most of my deep thinking happens while I’m painting in the studio. As a result, I feel the act of painting informs my thoughts about the world, and my thoughts inform my paintings.”
In this sense, Ted’s process is both physical and conceptual. Gathering materials and developing a painting over a period of time accounts for the physical act of creating. Applying what has been learned (technique, history, theory) along with his own perceptions enable him to conceptualize objects and make decisions regarding how they will be received. “Our perceptions" Ted says "are informed by many bits and pieces; oftentimes, I choose my most handsome or intriguing bits and turn them into pictures.”
Ted Walsh’s work is on view now through December 31 at Stanek Gallery.