By Yassir Azzam
Artist Clare Grill was invited by the Graduate Art Student Union at Brooklyn College to exhibit her work in Boylan Hall 5143 on Friday, Dec. 1. She presented her artwork on a slide show, describing the history behind each painting and how she achieved the final pieces.
“If a painting doesn’t look ‘rich enough,’ like if it looks thin or like it doesn’t have any stories or secrets inside it, it isn’t done,” Grill told The Vanguard.
Grill, originally from Chicago, attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in 2011. She is currently working as an artist and is based out of Queens. Additionally, she has many exhibitions ranging from solo to group exhibitions. Some of her accolades include a nomination for the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2021. She has been invited to numerous lectures at schools around the Northeast, all attesting to her curiosity and creativity with her intriguing path to creation.
As the artist’s paintings invoke a variety of shapes, colors, and textures, the viewer’s eyes are enamored by the specific strokes that glide all across the paintings. One singular point of depth portrays her emotions in the process of painting her works and accepting whatever is created.
Throughout her exhibition displayed at BC, Grill emphasized the abilities of her medium. She utilizes paint on a variety of canvases, linens, and papers. She changes her material, but what she keeps consistent with her medium of paint is oil. Grill’s main point of emphasis in her process of curation of pieces is her starting point: images. She spends days creating an album of photos that are printed and uses the image that calls out to her the most.
She then focuses on one specific point, curating her work based on that area. During her presentation, she touched on how she paints, and it starts with the medium in her lap. Interestingly enough, she does not look at the full picture until the very end of the process. At the end, she looks over the work and assesses the piece amongst her other completed pieces. If it does not match, she paints over the piece. Grill does not dispose of her works; she instead keeps them as almost a history of what was there.
It is collectively seen that Grill’s perception of her own work proceeds us viewers. According to The Brooklyn Rail June 2023 Issue, Grill’s work “reroute[s] our expectation for the process of creating meaning.” She connoted during her exhibition that art itself, along with its creation, is inherently meant to create meaning.