John Tallman, Round Paintings, Nashville, 2008 (from ColorChunks)

Chattanooga, Tennessee artist John Tallman has recently revamped his website, which combined with his excellent blog called Color Chunks, gives us a great view of the range of this vital artist’s work and ideas. Tallman is a true and fully engaged investigator of the nuances of reality, and a very savvy painter to boot. His work operates within a highly focused set of processes and strategies, but within those limitations, achieves a sense of total freedom – a freewheeling and playful approach to the richness latent in the mundane. And for all its playfulness, his work is driven by a conceptual clarity that delights in exploring the inherent potency of particular materials, and the ubiquitous resonance of color in the world. In addition to the many examples of work on his website, there is also a wonderful artist’s statement/manifesto that reads like a poem and ends with the sentence: “I’m interested in the big, empty space that inhabits the center of my work”.