In most cases, observing a painting is like looking at a snapshot of a particular moment in time. But not for Eric Pause; the Ontario-based artist tries to capture as many moments as he can in his striking figurative paintings. Similar to the Italian Futurists—who wanted to synthesize time, place, and form—his work conveys movement and time through abstracted forms overlapping over one another.
“The overarching theme of my paintings is a combination of the human experience and passing time,” Pause explains to My Modern Met. “I don’t start with an idea of what the finished painting will look like. I tend to start with an idea of what kind of emotion or story I want the finished painting to convey, and work backward from there. Whether it’s love, anxiety, boredom, euphoria, etc. We all know how those feel, and the goal is to try and depict those feelings using body language. Hopefully to conjure personal memories in the viewer, rather than have the painting dictate a specific narrative.”
Using an array of geometric shapes, Pause renders figures in both active and passive states, usually at the same time. His limited color palette of blues, oranges, and white emphasizes the fragmentation of the composition and creates cohesion across the different acrylic paintings. “I’ll develop a few main pieces for the image, and then work to combine them in a way that feels right — it’s a lot of shifting shapes, lines, and tones around until it clicks into the right spot,” he continues. “Sort of like one of those slide puzzles or a Rubik’s cube.”