“Center of Narrative Gravity 56” by Andrew Werth.

Artists responded to U.S. 1’s invitation to share visual thoughts, feelings, and discoveries during our current health crisis.

This week Princeton Junction-based artist Andrew Werth notes the following:

It was supposed to be a busy and exciting spring, with a solo show at the Center for Contemporary Art in Bedminster, participation in a Brooklyn art fair, and a couple of group exhibitions, including one on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. Then the coronavirus brought the entire art world to a halt. The group shows became virtual, the art fair was pushed back until August (at the earliest), and the solo show was postponed until 2021.

My art work continues from my home-based studio in West Windsor. The first few pieces during the pandemic were continuations of previous series, but as the news has grown grimmer I find myself wanting to paint with a darker palette and to experiment with some new forms within the paintings. I don’t expect my paintings to get political — they remain influenced by more philosophical and formal concerns — but the urge to paint darker is hard to deny. I have a few works in progress with moodier, more obscure underpaintings than I normally start with.

In addition to creating new work, I hosted a virtual studio visit on Zoom and have attended several others. It’s (surprisingly) not a bad way to visit with artists whose studios you might never see and to ask them questions about their process. The art world has made a lot of content available online, from lectures (the ones from Princeton University Art Museum have been particularly good) to new technique and materials demonstrations by art supplies manufacturers. Though not a replacement for visiting art galleries, which I miss tremendously, these do help me feel connected to others for whom art is an important part of their life.

“Untitled” by Andrew Werth.

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