James Collins
Liquid Engineers 31

oil on canvas, signed verso

43.25 × 31.5 in (109.85 × 80.01 cm)

James Collins’ paintings are often imbued with movements of surface, which forms the compositional structure for the image. In Liquid Engineers 31, Collins uses large sections of hot, earthy red and yellow hues to describe an interior space. The engraved segments map out a form with intersecting lines and curves, depicting a nascent figurative form.

James Collins creates writhing, tarry pictures under which geometric circuits pump and slither. Engulfed in subtly chromed darkness, they suggest maps or, perhaps, anatomical observations. Paint seems to move on its own accord, allowing the tension in Collins’s pictures to play out as if by some force outside his own hand, testifying to painting’s unique ability to redefine itself for each viewer. With no immediately discernable figures, Collins’s paintings rely on the innate desire for familiarity, promoting an understanding of abstraction that remains resolutely mercurial.