Scott Hadfield’s painting practice takes an altered approach to archeology. Where a researcher uncovers what has come before and digs deeper and wider to gain a clearer picture, Hadfield pushes, pulls and scrapes not only to reveal what has come before but also to build towards the future. He alters each additional layer to unify the surface, yet each action of selective removal keeps some awareness of the individual layers. By doing this, he promotes the importance of chance conversations and continuity.
The balance between thin (both curved and straight) exacting lines and expressive brushtrokes builds a space as deep as the imagination and as subtlely undulating as the formerly viscous texture of paints layed on the canvas. When looking at Hadfield’s new paintings, a viewer can see respect for the past and desire to explore what comes next. The true beauty in the work is that this respect melds into a present that is, at once, comprehensible and incommunicable.
As the great poet, Rainer Maria Rilke wrote in “Initiation”:
Whoever you are, go out into the evening.
leaving your room, of which you know each bit;
your house is the last before the infinite,
whoever you are.
Then with your eyes that wearily
scarce lift themselves from the worn-out door-stone
slowly you raise a shadowy black tree
and fix it on the sky: slender, alone.
And you have made the world (and it shall grow
and ripen as a word, unspoken, still).
When you have grasped its meaning with your will,
then tenderly your eyes will let it go …
Providence, Rhode Island, 1953.
1977-80 Nurban Institute
1973-75 School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA
1969-72 Allen Street Studios, Providence, RI.
1997 Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant
1984 Recipient, Kyoto Sister City Travel Grant,
Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, MA
1981 Finalist in Painting, The Artists Foundation, Boston, MA