Julie Rafalski

Layers of Paint

In Tomma Abt's paintings, the process of applying paint to the canvas is made visible, or to be more precise, is suggested. On the paintings' surfaces, there are traces of paint that was applied at the beginning. She creates each painting through an endless process of reworking it.

The hidden 'underpinnings' suggest a laborious process in which the time it takes to make the painting is entwined in the many layers of paint. The road she took to arrive at a finished painting is hidden- just under the last thin layer of paint. These paintings are a little like a building. We have to guess from the architecture of the outside what the building contains on the inside. In Abts' case, the building is locked, the keys lost forever, leaving one to endlessly consider the possibilities of what each surface hides underneath.