“I trained myself to paint like a Renaissance painter,” Wallace explains. “I paint in very thin washes of color, building layer upon layer upon layer, and glazing. During the eighties, I was in the midst of a journey of discovery within my work. The symbolism I was using had begun to evolve, and as such so had the objects I was representing. In turn, even the way I applied the paint to the canvas was changing. When I started working more aggressively past those traditional bounds, I found that the paintings themselves had become violent - they moved faster, the colors swam, the brushstrokes vibrated. They had begun to take on a sense of movement. They started to fly off the canvas. I kept wanting to focus attention back into the painting, but I didn’t want to mute the imagery. I felt they needed to be contained somehow, and I considered how I’d frame them. I started out by simply holding up pieces of wood up to paintings to see what would work. Nothing quite made sense. I decided to build something.”
Along one wall at the studio reside a series of three paintings created by the artist during the eighties. The paintings are stunning – visceral, throbbing with movement. They’re surrounded by huge, sculptural frames of knotted wooden branches which seem to claw out into the space around them.