LeWitt, Doyle and Stockamore in Litchfield
Waterbury Republican-American, June 29, 2003
Like LeWitt, Stockamore is fascinated by the possibilities of geometry, in her case, the square. But she examines from a more expressive, less conceptual, standpoint. In her richly textured paintings, the square takes on a personality. Depending on the color, size, and position of the square, the object can look lonely and hollow, or assertive and domineering. Some are garishly beautiful and others seem to possess an inward strength.
Since all of Stockamore’s work is about the square, she is able to investigate the shape’s dimension with searing insight.
Stockamore mixes her own paint like an alchemist, manually rubbing the dried pigment and binder on thick rag paper.
The effect is richly textured with a deep, gritty roughness and a buoyant sense of palpable enjoyment. In the revelry with which the artist’s hand is evident, Stockamore's paintings are a rich accent to LeWitt’s latest works.
Innocent Eye - A Passionate Look at Contemporary Art
Tupelo Press, pub. 2012
Chapter 5- Do They Still Call it Painting?
The drama of Pam Stockamore’s painting is imbedded in material. Her works resemble hunks of corroded steel dragged from the dusty wreckage of a construction site, but these are actually pigments on paper. It is impossible to believe, by seeing, that these lavishly encrusted surfaces are not metal but paper or impossible to understand, despite what you see that their crusted patina is actually painting, not the bloom of corrosion or the cloudy darkening of tarnish.
This is precisely the contradiction between the artist’s sensibility and that of a viewer. The work is spare and geometric in form, but lush and suggestive in handling. Stockamore’s pictures are Spartan in conception, constrained by two-dimensionality: square-on-square, with no preference stated between vertical and horizontal. They abjure any suggestion of meaning per se. They operate via sense memory, negotiating the most personal and universal associations.
Stockamore’s work demands the sort of perceptive process with which an infant or toddler; unschooled in what things are supposed to mean, explores the world. In her paintings, history is entirely physical, embodied in the there-ness of the artist’s colored surfaces - which is not to say that they are infantile. Despite the obvious but superficial similarities of her format (and her articulate obsession with color) to the paintings of Josef Albers (an important Modernist in color theory), the contrasts are instructive: where the Bauhaus master is supremely cerebral in his dialogue of colors in context, Stockamore is resolutely tactile. The difference is like the difference between architecture and biology. Albers’ abstraction is an “academic” celebration of optics, an exploration of the way the human eye constructs its comprehension of color.
Stockamore, by contrast, is tactile. She never leaves the perceptual realities of touch, and she celebrates the most ephemeral effects of light and matter. She rejects the coldness of minimalism by eliminating the reduction of “line” (the pure concept of axial division) as anything but a material “edge”. Her squares are corporeal, not hypothetical; temporal and substantive, rather than conceptual entities. Stockamore’s exhaustive exploration of the qualities pigment enhances her pictures’ emotional kick. By confining herself to a mineral vocabulary (pigment) she finds a lyrical, living dynamic - one that enacts decomposition, which is also growth.
Color is rendered as sensation: a blush, a sudden blanching. Much as they are perceived by eye, these images are understood by the memory of touch. Stockamore’s palette is geological rather than chromatic: neutral but also glimmering and iridescent, putty warm and leaden cool, inertly flat but also freshly mottled. These pictures come alive to light, much as the world is transformed at twilight and dawning. I once had a painter describe a ripe peach as a “sunrise”; here the rusting ,cruddy surfaces of what seems to be metal come alive in ruddy, crackled, lichen-like blooming.
In every respect, Stockamore’s work is about painting, with no trace of that graceful, cinematic dance of figures and perspective space that is called narrative. Narrative here must understood in the primeval sense, as that silent place where pigment absorbs light even as it makes light dance. The science is factual: the eye receives only those spectral wave lengths that pigment disgorges; the give and take of mottled colors here creates the eye’s retinal dance. Within a conceptual system that is taut, regular, and geometric, the artist has found another world of experience that is anything but coldly objective. Remarkably, in defiance of an aesthetic history that is pristine and cerebral, she creates an arena that is intimate and primal and fraught with intensely felt retinal drama.
Metropolitan Museum of Art
FLUX (catalog essay) 2007
“The exhilaration that one experiences upon first viewing a painting by Pamela Stockamore is not unlike the reaction one might have to the discovery of a natural phenomenon. In that moment, we are seduced into believing that we are observing a work created by nature rather than by the human hand. And in the instant that we apprehend the image, we are able to hold two opposing and contradictory notions in our mind. That we are looking at work made recently in a studio by an artist, and also believing that only exposure to the elements for a millennium could have produced such a miraculous object.
It is not an accident that Stockamore’s work appears to have been excavated from the site of an ancient culture. Each piece on paper or panel is embedded in a historical timeline of her artistic precursors: a copper in ingot from the late Cypriot bronze age, Etruscan bronze and ironworks, a sandstone Bodhisattva from the Wei Dynasty, Rembrandt’s reworked and burnished copper plates, the landscape backdrops of 15th century Sienese painting, leading through Matisse’s window onto the open sea, west to the Hudson River and New York Schools.
As our eyes adjust and we regain our rational and critical faculties we begin to notice the gradation of colored pigment and symmetry of line buried beneath the surface, yet we are never completely released from our initial impression. Pamela Stockamore has produced by seemingly alchemical sleight of hand, works of art that embody and echo the past, but are undeniably of the present.”
“Geist und Gefühl in harmonischer Balance”
HandelsZeitung. Zurich, Switzerland. Nr. 21, 24. Mai 1995
Translation from German
For the past five years gallery owner Ruth Allemann has shown young artists from Europe - mostly Switzerland and also from the United States. The exhibitions focus on artists who search for a dialogue with nature and also with their materials; accordingly, how the materials are used plays an essential role.
The magical works on paper of the American Pamela Stockamore are an example of this.
Ms. Stockamore received a Master of Fine Arts degree from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY, graduating summa cum laude. Today she lives and works in Connecticut, surrounded by nature which sometimes inspires her work.
Pamela Stockamore’s work represents a characteristically American approach to painting and is influenced by the minimalist style. In works often painted in a series, Ms. Stockamore brings together the intellectual, the emotional, and the spiritual.
The colors, oil mixed with dry pigments which are applied to the paper by hand, employ, as do the titles of her paintings, a suggestive element. The reds in Vulcan and the metallic glimmer and luminous color in Winter Garden reflect the elemental experience of the artist with space, light, shadow and stillness. These works present - like floating surfaces - personal and historical mythologies. The luminous red field that fills a square along with lighter central square evoke the occupation of Vulcan and puts Pamela Stockamore in the tradition of American painting that blends abstract visual content and context within formal structure.
Pacific Highs: Design in California - “Light Construction”
Interior Design Magazine
“When it comes to collecting, nothing can replace the virtues of editing and an eye honed by years of looking at art. The collection assembled here is eclectic, but still imparts a vivid sense of the owner’s tastes. Blue chip modern masters commingle easily with other artists. Thus Picasso, Frank Stella, Francis Bacon, Milton Avery, David Hockney, Max Pechstein, and Cindy Sherman keep company with lesser-known figures who include Marc Fichou, Pamela Stockamore, Barry Russakif, Helene Slavin, and Squeak Cornwath.”