Thursday, February 27, 2020

New Drawings from February 2020

2020.109 - pencil, pen and markers on paper - 11.5 x 8.25 inches

2020.110 - pencil, pen and markers on paper - 11.5 x 8.25 inches

2020.111 - pencil, pen and markers on paper - 11.5 x 8.25 inches

2020.112 - pencil, pen and markers on paper - 11.5 x 8.25 inches

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

The Constructed Gesture Hardcover Book

Covering 10 years (2010-2019) of the Iberian Variations collages, this new 262 page hardcover book,  focuses on this series of abstract expressionist works within Touchon's oeuvre.




The Introduction

The Iberian Variations suite started in 1987. The original thought was to create a series of gestural, Abstract Expressionist collages. This idea eventually developed into the ‘constructed gesture’. This was based on make the material very freely and without concern for an ‘image’ and then construct the composition by cutting up the source material that I had prepared and arrange into a gesture through the process of collage. This strategy allowed me to work in a careful and controlled way in order to look for a composition that interested me.


This collage technique also allows for the visual connections and disjunctions common to collage construction. The ability to take unrelated snippets of the same material and reorganize it allows for a much greater level of constructive possibilities than a singular gesture accomplished in a few seconds as is typical with gestural art making. Another advantage is to be able to find and edit especially interesting gestural marks and then organize the composition in such a way that the work can seem to run off the edges of the composition instead of the typical centralized composition where the gestures have to remain contained within the confines of the surface being worked on.

This process permits the kind of time needed to contemplate the possibilities in a similar way that distinguishes how one speaks spontaneously in conversation compared to how one might write out the ideas where more time is allowed to think out the thing that one desires to express and to then express it in a more precise way. The urgency of the time element in conversation is eliminated when one is writing and thus the possibilities of communication is greatly expanded. This is the basic theory of the constructed gesture.

During the course of this series of works I employed a wide range of techniques in the creation of the papers used for these collages. The typical paper used is a collection of unused billboard sheets that are approximately 60 x 60 inches in size. Being paper for printed billboards, the paper is very durable and made for existing out in the weather and sunlight and for being pasted to billboard panels. For my use this creates a very interesting, resilient surface to work on with thinned down acrylic paints. The size of the sheets allows for working with the paint in a very fluid and unrestricted way.

I lay these massive sheets out on the ground when the weather was just right and then with a bucket of paint and a large brush I dance around the sheet and work from all directions. At times I would allow the sheet to mostly dry and then spray the sheet with water to wash away whatever remaining spots on the sheet that were still wet. This technique can be clearly seen on Fusion Series #s 2984 – 2987 where a great deal of the paint was washed off.



Another technique was to dampen the paper so that the painted marks would bleed out leaving delicate edges such as: no.s 2967, 2971, 2972. Occasionally I would first make the gestures with a very washy, transparent layer and once dry would go back over the sheet with a stronger layer such as: no.s 2968, 2978, 2983, 3007. At other times I might wish to make more frenetic mark making with lots of splashing around such as: no.s 3034, 3035, 3036.

Another technique was to stain certain sheets with a coffee color to give more warmth to the negative spaces. At a certain point I began experimenting with blue paint and a combination of blue and black using all the same techniques mentioned previously. Then sometime later I tried some other kind of markings such as: no.s 3842 -3844 to see what that might look like.

Compositionally, I experimented with creating dense, compact compositions and at other times more open or even very minimal compositions having the black markings occupying only a small part of the compositional space as in: no.s 2988 & 2994.

In a collage, every square inch must be considered as in a film where there is a reason for every scene, and each scene is cut at exactly the right point to create a harmonious whole. In collages such as these, editing is equally an important and critical element of the work that gives the opportunity for a greater level of control that other forms of gestural or expressionistic ways of working have difficulty in accomplishing.

All of these collages are mounted on larger sheets of watercolor paper. They are normally numbered in the actual work in pencil on the front and signed on the back of the watercolor sheet.

The numbering system used for these works locates them within the larger body of the Fusion Series. This accounts for the gaps in the sequence. Looking at the Fusion series as a whole one will see that at different times I switch back and forth between the types of collages I am creating because each group of works requires a different set of papers. I will work for so long on a certain idea, maybe days or weeks, and then put everything away and get out the other sets of materials for a different type of collage.

Friday, December 27, 2019

Three Asemic Poems

asemic writing - 6 x 6 inches - ink on  paper


asemic writing - 6 x 6 inches - ink on  paper


asemic writing - 6 x 6 inches - ink on  paper


Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Three Gestural Drawings on Paper

gestural drawing - 6x6 inches - ink on  paper


 gestural drawing - 6x6 inches - ink on  paper



gestural drawing - 6x6 inches - ink on  paper

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

typOetry: Selected Typographic Collages


typOetry: Selected Typographic Collages is NOW AVAILABLE HERE
and soon available on Amazon, Barns and Noble, and anywhere fine books are sold.

Collages by Cecil Touchon made as poems between 2014 -2019. This is a specific set of works within Touchon’s oeuvre that he thinks of as different from his other typographic abstraction collages. This group is less concerned with an overall compositional image and tend to be more involved with structures similar to poetic architecture, often linier and working with open space like poetic texts on a page.

Examples from the book...




Monday, December 16, 2019

New Prussian Blue Typographic Abstraction Paintings on Canvas

 Post Dogmatist Painting #1100 - collage on canvas - 36x24 inches


 Post Dogmatist Painting #1101 - collage on canvas - 36x36 inches
  

Saturday, December 14, 2019

New Typographic Abstraction Paintings on Canvas

 Post Dogmatist Painting #1097 - collage on canvas - 48x48 inches


Post Dogmatist Painting #1098 - collage on canvas - 36x36 inches



Post Dogmatist Painting #1099 - collage on canvas - 36x36 inches

Two collages on Canvas

 Post Dogmatist Painting #1091 - collage on canvas - 24x20 inches


Post Dogmatist Painting #1095 - collage on canvas - 24x20 inches

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Asemic Writing: Poetic Structures


Asemic Writing: Poetic Structures is NOW AVAILABLE HERE
and soon available on Amazon, Barns and Noble, and anywhere fine books are sold.

These poems are created by using vernacular sources for materials such as restaurant receipts, poetic structures Touchon made with spam email, pages of lists from magazines as palimpsests to then overwrite the texts on the pages using the existing texts as prompts for his asemic writing. Touchon also used various authors’ poems whose structures he liked in the same way by printing out the poems on white sheets and then overwriting the texts. Some of the poets included e. e. commings, David Drew, Vito Acconti, documents from Sigmund Freud, some pages from Mathematical Manuscripts of Karl Marx, etc. In short, any sort of page composition that Touchon could exploit with the use of asemic writing.

Samples of pages from the book




Monday, December 9, 2019

Listening with the Eye - An Asemic Notebook - Volume 3


Volume 3 in a new series of books on asemic writing, Listening with the Eye: An Asemic Notebook is NOW AVAILABLE HERE
and soon available on Amazon, Barns and Noble, and anywhere fine books are sold.

This is volume three in a set of asemic notebooks. Like volume one, these poems or texts or drawings depending on how you think about them were all made with an ink marker on 6x4 inch smooth, glossy photographic paper. My idea was to have the works function as if they were plates of texts in a book so that the image would appear without a visible background. In this way the writing or text uses the page itself as background in the typical way that print functions in a book.
These works might be called automatic writing or visual writing or asemic writing. There is no intention to tell a story or to use any recognizable language or symbols. Rather the works function in free flow with intuition rather than thought, allowing the hand to just do what the hand does; make marks.
I prefer a more improvisational approach as if I am playing an instrument that records in marks what might otherwise be heard as notes of music. This is the natural realm of the arts; to work in a state of mindfulness or meditation





Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Listening with the Eye - An Asemic Notebook - Volume 2

Volume 2 in a new series of books on asemic writing, Listening with the Eye: An Asemic Notebook is NOW AVAILABLE HERE
and soon available on Amazon, Barns and Noble, and anywhere fine books are sold.

These works might be called automatic writing or visual writing or asemic writing. There is no intention to tell a story or to use any recognizable language or symbols. Rather the works function freely with intuition rather than thought, allowing the hand to just do what the hand does; make marks. There is a kind of visual vocabulary however, such as letter-like marks, punctuation-like marks such as chevrons, commas, accents, dashes and dots, the organization for the most part is in lines of markings to suggest a reading of progression. Some are lyrical and look almost like what a visual music score might look like. I experimented with different rhythmic motions, different ways of holding the tool, sometimes in silence and at other times while listening to music.

Sample pages from this volume...




Listening with the Eye - An Asemic Notebook


The first in a new series of books on asemic writing, Listening with the Eye: An Asemic Notebook is NOW AVAILABLE HERE
and soon available on Amazon, B&N, and anywhere fine books are sold.

The writings presented here were composed specifically for existing in a book environment as unified text. These works might be called automatic writing or visual writing or asemic writing. There is no intention to tell a story or to use any recognizable language or symbols. Rather the works function in free flow with intuition rather than thought, allowing the hand to just do what the hand does; make marks. Touchon uses improvisational approach to mark making as if playing an instrument that records in marks what might otherwise be heard as notes of music and this might be a way to approach the work – to look as if listening; spending time studying the nature of the work; its flow, its progression, its repetitions, etc. just as we might have an aesthetic experience from looking at pages of text in a foreign language that we are not conversant in. In such a case we get to enjoy the work on a purely visual level without the conversion of the characters into linguistic meanings.

Below are a couple of sample pages from the book...




Friday, May 18, 2018

Silent Witnesses for Péter Forgács - Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Silent Witnesses
for Péter Forgács - Wednesday, May 16, 2018

and I saw the scissors.
at the edge of the unthinkable
giving a certain emotional meaning which never existed before.
and it’s very hard to feel how long an image should last
and put it together in [the] mind.

We have a lot of information.
95% is irrational, emotional, subconscious information
We are selective.

So it was about “nothing.”
That’s why it’s disturbing
about fire, skin, hair, touch, and body.
And it was quite difficult to create anything from them.
hair is being cut in the photograph.
townspeople casually witness the incident.
shocking in its banality.
when I watched it,
I hired someone who reads lips

It’s a part of a bad dream.
medieval punishment is repeated again and again.
the same aggression and punishment.
the humiliation is always the same.
There is no justice.

And then we are apart.
send a message from somewhere else;
a distance from the present time
not an easy process.

People are always trying to explain their actions.

I love those old clothes.
the different ways they wear their hair.
silent witnesses of the past
And of course, the machines...


snippets taken from: Meanwhile Somewhere: A conversation with Péter Forgács- Deirdre Boyle



Thursday, July 6, 2017

Cecil Touchon - Post Dogmatist Painting #859 - 48x30 inches - acrylic over paper on canvas

Fusion Series #3853

Cecil Touchon - Fusion Series #3853 - 10x8 inches - collage on paper

Fusion Series #3849

Cecil Touchon - Fusion Series #3849 - 9x6 inches - collage on paper

Fusion Series #3842

Cecil Touchon - Fusion Series #3842 - 18x12 inches - collage on paper

as seen in The Constructed Gesture book

Fusion Series #3804

Cecil Touchon - Fusion Series #3804 - 18x12 - collage on paper

as seen in The Constructed Gesture book

Fusion Series #3810

Cecil Touchon - Fusion Series #3810 - collage on paper - 18x12 inches
as seen in The Constructed Gesture book

Press release from 2015

Beyond Words, an exhibition of new painting and collage works by Cecil Touchon, will be on display from September 12 to October 10, at William Campbell Contemporary Art. A reception for the artist will be held on Fort Worth Art Dealers Association (FWADA) Fall Gallery Night, Saturday, September 12, from 12:00 to 9:00 p.m. The show will feature the latest work from Touchon’s ongoing exploration of typographic abstraction, wherein pre-existing letter forms are deconstructed and extemporaneously re-assembled to create what the artist calls a “chance aesthetic.”

Based loosely on the concept of the grid, Touchon’s nonrepresentational collages juxtapose structure with spontaneity. Disparate text-inspired shapes are disassembled and compartmentalized within tight geometric areas, at times reminiscent of ttraditional printing plates, but remaining completely abstracted. Limited color palettes maintain a quiet cohesion among the various shapes, textures, and lines that move meticulously around the space, where the segments simultaneously align and overlap, protrude and recede. Ultimately, the compositions evoke a dynamic yet controlled environment throughout the picture plane.

Touchon’s collages focus not on the prescribed, utilitarian function of letters, but rather on their fundamental design aspects and visual impact. “I am interested in the concrete fabric of language, not what can be made out of it as a representational medium,” the artist explains. “I look directly at the letters, not at the ideas that float into one’s mind from reading letters… This is why I say I am releasing the letters from their burden of being bearers of meaning. Hence, this leaves the viewer free of such burdens as well.”

Touchon’s creative process begins with small collages on paper, some of which grow into larger paintings. (Beyond Words will include both the smaller works on paper and the larger canvas pieces.) He originally selected the medium of collage as an homage to the printed page, which, historically, has served as the primary vehicle for representational communication. He choses to employ typography in reference to verbiage, but also because of its graphic impact. At its core, Touchon’s principal interest lies in transforming the written word into something purely visual. “Working with typography as a base, I experiment with multiple ways of thinking about this kind of material such as color relationships and ways of reconstructing the material,” he says.

Touchon strives to create a type of visual poetry within his work as he strips typical communication symbols of their familiarity to highlight their lyrical elegance. In this manner, he elevates through reduction, altering the letters from both visual and cerebral angles. Specific, identifiable systems transcend their assigned roles to become wholly aesthetic and universal, communicating in a way that is, consequently, beyond words.

from
http://artgroupsdfw.com/exhibits-events/cecil-touchon-beyond-words-opening-fall-gallery-night/