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Inbetween Violet and Green, Oil and Acylic on Canvas 162 x 62cm
PM Do you a initiate your working process with a clear schemata, and if so, to what extent does change occur either deliberately or unpredictably?
LN I feel the work operates between something consciously 'painted' and sections
that have a more ‘accidental’ quality. I am always considering the formal control
and management of the whole painting and how I can make the exactness of the surface
and quality of the paint produce a post-
PM How do feel about the way in which your work communicates with an audience?
LN I want the audience to feel a visual tension, through a strong sense of presence in the painting. I would like to encourage a disorientating effect on the viewer by using the impact of reading the painting from left to right, starting with flatter colour and then changing gear to a more gestural approach, to draw the spectator into a sense of the physical and plastic qualities that are key to the painting’s phenomenology.
PM Thank you, Laurence Noga.
PM Do you aim to steer the presentation of your ideas into what you regard as
a completely autonomous position? Do you acknowledge any form of outside influence
that might affect you in your decision-
LN I would say that the work jostles for autonomy. The collages are always
set on a long table in my studio. This very long table is set with a specific set
of brushes, rollers and masking tapes. Both acrylic and oil iare used in the work,
and sometimes enamel, and these are also displayed in a colour order. This is reset
every day in a continual reflective process. There is an arrangement of artists’
images on the table, in a kind of shifting visual hierarchy: Ellsworth Kelly, Patrick
Heron , Raul De Keyser, Mark Rothko , Richard Diebenkorn, Bridget Riley , Peter Halley,
Barnet Newman, Thomas Schiebitz (slapstick ) and Mary Heillman. Also, Dutch interiors
by Vermeer and De Hooch. This relationship with the works on the table helps make
clear for me that colour underpins each decision, but also frames an attitude towards
PM There are a range of treatments contained within the physical execution of the work, the ‘fracture’, as you refer to it. Can you say why you have used this approach and how you think it succeeds for you personally?
LN I use this approach to question the predictability of colour relationships,
often with the aim of disorientating the viewer. The surface fracture can be pared
down and translucent, or use sudden density. I want the atmosphere in the works to
question the tension between form and formlessness. I like to use a strength of colour
that is often disbursed, or used in compartments, to create a deliberate, strange
depth of field within the structure of the paintings. I am interested in taking risks
with the colour that pushes the spectators’ buttons, not always using colour that
is seductive. I make careful decisions about how to apply the paint, so oil paint
is often used with a roller, in a kind of anti-
Curved magenta filtered Orange Oil, Acrylic and enamel on canvas 214 x 93 cm
PM Laurence, the term ‘abstraction’ has been used a means of categorisation.
How do you see, or relate to, the term ‘abstract’ when defining your practice -
LN I am an abstract painter who is interested in an emotional specificity. The
colour or space is usually frontal; there is a long-
PM Phenomenologically, your work seems to contain a diversity in approach. The
scale and shape of the work has been arrived at through what appears to be a very
LN Phenomenology has a considerable impact on the picture making, in the activation
of genetic, collective or individual memories. I start the paintings in an intuitive,
very fast, manner -
I discussed this idea recently with Alexis Harding, who curated my last open studio. He felt that the collages had also become much more works in themselves as well as structural signifiers. The collage works are often mounted onto panels, increasing the object quality, and drawing the audience into a small, peripheral world of imperfect geometries.
Optically, both the collages and the paintings aim to activate luminous states of spatialisation and ambiguity. I want to pose a visual/retinal problem of focusing simultaneously on converging layers of tonally dazzling colour, while emphasising a psychological stimulus for the spectator. I have built on this idea more recently by showing the collages alongside larger works, adding to the peripheral experience.
Soft lemon filtered silver, 2012
Patrick Morrissey interviewed Laurence Noga
©Copyright Patrick Morrissey and Clive Hancock All rights reserved.
PM Does the process of layering various materials have an exclusively experimental
LN My feeling is that the series I work in tends to develop a conversation,
and a presence between the works. The intuition within the collages allows a flow,
in the making of the larger works, trying to remember and acknowledge the speed and
choice of colour or shape. So the outcome of the paintings can have a pre-
The application of the colour has some rules concerning the number of layers, or
specificity of brush or roller, but I also wonder if it’s deeply embedded in me as
to the kind of colours I always want to use. I find myself coming back to certain
oranges, whites, and all types of violet-