Location: Camp Hill, PA
Featured work: Castelvecchio (A.P. 5)
Describe your featured work
In 2016 I was invited to teach in the Gordon-in-Orvieto program, where – with the guidance of Director Matt Doll – we visited two extraordinary sites by the Italian architect Carlo Scarpa: the Museo di Castelvecchio in Verona and the Brion Cemetery in Altivole. I was floored by the obsessive control Scarpa exerts over every minute aspect of his projects and the care he takes for the viewer experiencing his spaces. One specific design in Verona haunted me, and over subsequent years I keep revisiting this pattern in a variety of relief prints and paintings. Obsessively following Scarpa’s own choices of hue, value, and rhythm, I believe Castelvecchio (A.P. 12) is perhaps the most true to the source in Verona. Although this reduction relief print began as an edition, it quickly transformed into a series of 40 markedly distinct artist proofs – each with its own unique relationships between layers of color. Within the series, some of these prints are more understated and minimal while others include more monotyping with brushwork and atmospheric textures. The featured relief print here, Castelvecchio (A.P. 5), exists somewhere between these poles with the flat passages of blue contrasting the movement found in the atmospheric layers beneath them.
I have always been interested in making artwork within a set of self-defined rules and restrictions. I enjoy the challenge of revisiting the same structure as I attempt to discover permutations of color relationships, weight, and rhythm within each new work. Over the years, these systems have utilized different repeated forms – a grid of playing cards, a nine-patch quilt pattern, even a line drawing of a landscape from Assisi. In each case, one primary structure is used to produce a body of work, sometimes spanning years of ensuing studio practice.
I am almost always simultaneously working through an image in both painting and printmaking. I find that the two mediums require different pacing – with painting being much more direct and immediate and printmaking requiring more systematic planning – each resulting in surfaces and marks unique to their respective processes.
What are you making now?
Over the past few years I have been noticing overlaps in geometric patterns found in a variety of locations. I am constantly surprised by how a singular pattern can speak to both modernist abstraction and something seemingly at odds with it – such as Mennonite quilting. The pattern itself is not unique to either approach and somehow manages to reference the history of painting alongside this specific Christian community.
More recently I have found this same geometry echoed in architecture. I have become fascinated and challenged by the fact that when I generate an image utilizing the grid, it appears stark and minimal (and modern) even as it maintains its reference to a tile floor pattern found within a thirteenth-century church. This resonant location (San Domenico in Orvieto, Italy) manages to imbue the image with a presence of place even if the work appears to be simply a formalist investigation.
I belong to CIVA because…
I attended Messiah College as an undergraduate student studying art and took many studio courses with some of the founding members of CIVA, so I feel as though this organization has always been a factor in my development as an artist. Over the years, it transformed into an avenue for keeping up with friends whom I’ve known for years and keeping abreast of their current projects. But, more importantly perhaps, CIVA has become a tremendous resource for introducing me to new younger artists and their engaging artwork that wrestles with what it means to make art today as a Christian and, along the way, providing new friendships as well.
Brenton Good is a painter and printmaker living in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania. He is an Associate Professor of Art at Messiah College where he is also the current chair of the Department of Art and Design. He received his M.A. and M.F.A. in printmaking from the University of Dallas, graduating in 2005. He has exhibited his artwork internationally, and his work is featured in a variety of permanent collections. Also a writer, Good has published essays on art in publications such as IMAGE journal and in numerous exhibition catalogs.