Monotypes

 

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In his monotypes, Traver creates group portraits of other objects with a rich symbolic tradition. Once stylized and decontextualized in abstract space, Greek amphorae and empty picture frames become more universal in their symbolism and whimsical in appearance. The playfulness of the forms is emphasized by the way in which Traver combines, composes and crops them: some vessels loom larger-than-life while others teeter in precarious towers; fanciful gilded frames interlock, rendering them useless except to showcase one another. In the background, pattern and color foil the shapes, pushing and pulling the eye between flatness and infinite space.

No matter how reductive the form, any link to the "real" world releases our minds to invoke myriad associations. Traver's paintings suggest a spectrum of disparate sources: family genealogical trees, Emerson's transcendental eyeball, lava lamps, the surreal mindscapes of Max Ernst and Yves Tanguy. His vessels connote spirituality, pragmatism, ancient ritual, femininity, and innocence, while the frames certainly allude to the value and objectification of art. However, despite such fertile imagery, Traver's firm presence of materials keeps his paintings and monotypes rooted in abstraction, one that offers "new ecologies of mind, that is, different spaces for the mind to enter, explore and inhabit."*

* Kevin Melchionne, Pictorial Abstraction, exhibition publication, Tyler School of Art, 1999.