oil on canvas
10 x 8 inches
“Bleckner’s paintings often begin with images of something tangible or representational, like a flower. Then in a process of destruction, abrasion, building then forgetting, Bleckner scrapes parts of the image away, layers more paint over it, adds symbols, geometric elements, color fields and more layers of paint. The process of adding, deleting, obscuring and revealing results in something akin to an apparition. What begins as an exploration of something real melts away into something symbolic and dreamlike. Bleckner’s finished works are manifestation of the process that creates them. They’re images of creation and decay, action and memory, partnership and dissolution, loss and gain. As viewers the blurred, sometimes confusing space they leave us in feels uncanny. We dimly recognize a Bleckner painting as something we know, and yet we’re unsure how to grasp it, or what it means.
Beginning in the 1980s, Bleckner became deeply affected by the idea of the fleeting nature of life. Some of that feeling was due to the AIDS epidemic, which was taking many of his friends and contemporaries. He expressed the sense of fear and loss he and so many others were feeling through his painting. By adding a visual language to his work that included such things as urns, vases and chandeliers, and symbolic images like birds and rays of light he expanded his oeuvre into a deeply personal realm” (Phillip Barcio, 2016).