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Ed Charbonneau

Artist Statement:

My goal is to produce artwork that recalibrates how paintings can operate as representations. In this way, I hope to arrive at an alternative point of view. This has led me to an investigation of painting through a reduction of form and color. Beginning with the painting, Unusual Landscape, the series employs colors and formal modes that challenge my understanding of history - - art history and the artists who have been a personal influence - - and how that history affects the choices that I make. Artificial (and extremely unnatural-looking) florescent colors and metallic paints are paired with organic forms. Utilizing this process, the individual elements are building a language of representation that is challenging my perception and leading me toward different ways of thinking.


I’m excited about two new paintings that were inspired by my recent overseas travel. This past December, I was in London where I purchased a tube of Kings Blue Deep oil paint from a local paint company. Additionally, this past summer, my wife and I traveled to Sydney, Australia, during which time I bought a tube of Australian Red Gold oil paint from an art store. Recently in my studio, I prepared two identically sized canvases to hold each color. I’ve titled the first, London, and the second, Sydney. Can a color represent a place? When I was in Australia, I saw a great deal of Australian painting, and Australian Red Gold seemed to be present in the  pallets of most of the regional artwork that I saw. (I keep wondering what a Minneapolis painting might look like.) Thinking about how a painting can operate in this way represents a large shift for me - - it’s a shift that has been slowly taking place since graduate school in 2004. In the past, I more than likely would have painted canvases with the Big Ben Tower and the Opera House to represent each city. It feels incredible to be at a point as an artist where I can smear a color on a canvas and find that just as (if not more) accurate of a representation of a place. – EC

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