“It is hard for a flat thing to understand a round one.”

- Arthur Dove

What goes "a-round" comes around with this rework of a previous mashup series, for which the source images of large concrete pipe fittings date back to 2019. Being naturally rich in texture, concrete as a material is a perfect "fit" with my visual aesthetic. Stylistically, the use of circular metaphors and a push towards painterly abstraction reflect my affinity with the work of Arthur Dove (read on past the gallery below).

Bonus Round

When I first came across the collections of concrete pipe fittings being used for upgrading the water system of the city where I lived at that time, I made an instant "connection." The "portals" naming for the series is apt given the circular shapes that dominate the compositions, but it's also tied to the fanciful notion of the openings being an entryway into another dimension, a.k.a. the Twilight Zone television series from the 1960s (cue that strange but familiar opening intro ).

Arthur Dove (1880-1946) is often considered the first American abstract painter. As his career progressed he came under the influence of French philosopher Henri Bergson, who "proposed the existence of an 'élan vital,' a spirit or energy that constantly animates all living things in their fight for existence." This spiritual energy is seen in works such as Sole d'argento (Silver Sun, 1929), which also exhibits a purely formal approach in translating the natural world into simple shapes and lines, an interest he shared with fellow artist and ally Georgia O’Keeffe.

Sources: wikipedia.org, metmuseum.org

Image attribution: Sailko, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons. No changes/edits were made to this image.

Arthur dove, sole d'argento, 1929