Serene Wise
410 South Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL 60605

Serene Wise, a painter, studied art and design at the School of
the Art Institute of Chicago and the University of Michigan. She is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin, Madison (B.A.), the University of Chicago (M.A.) and the University of Michigan (M.U.P., Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning).

artist statement I am a painter, a minimalist. My work is influenced
by a long line of minimalist practitioners from Josef Albers to Daniel
Buren. Minimalists look at the formal problems of composition
and then reduce the number of elements and/or deconstruct the elements.

My work focuses on lines: I love lines, especially parallel lines. I
am endlessly fascinated by the power and eloquence of lines. My
paintings are, indeed, line studies — studies in the linear geometry
of visual rhythms. The paintings are designed in series and each
series becomes a self-generating exploration of a defined visual
rhythm. Each series expands from the first statement of a visual
rhythm by manipulating its geometry. The excitement is in making
the first statement and then exploring its consequences. The simple
then turns into the complex.

The schemes of my recent series are deliberately simple — minimal.
This simplicity invites changes in rhythm in every direction and
creates complexity. I am using either horizontal or vertical lines over
the background fields and I use translucent and/or opaque textures
for contrasts: the brushed line, the screened line, the sanded line, a
light wash of line. My objective is to attract light and create depth. As I
vary the dimensions of lines and intervals between lines, new spatial
relationships develop. These relationships change again depending
on which background field receives which overlay of lines.

I work with square formats using oil on cotton canvas. Paint is applied
in layers - many layers. This ‘hand process’ produces irregularities
which I accept as part of the composition.

Note on the series Homage to Daniel Buren/Un hommage à Daniel Buren

I began work on the series, Homage to Daniel Buren/Un hommage à Daniel Buren, during my 2011 residency at the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris. In 2012/2013 I am exhibiting this series in Chicago (Gallery@220, Pop-up Art Loop, Chicago Loop Alliance), London (Chelsea Gallery, Old Town Hall) and Paris (The American Library in Paris).