Sean Connaughty

"Beneath all things" At The Soap Factory (whole)

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"Beneath All Things" Detail

"Beneath all things" At The Soap Factory (whole) | Media List


This painting was commissioned for the Soap Factory in Minneapolis in May 2002. The piece was created in the Soap Factory inside the unheated Soap factory in the month of April. It was very cold. I was given five weeks to complete the painting. the actual surface of the painting in two parts is 48 feet in length. The panels were carefully prepared with a minimum of ten coats of gesso, which was then sanded and polished to a glass like finish. I had some difficulties getting paint to dry in temperatures consistently below freezing. Once the panels were finished I began to apply layers of oil paint. I would apply a layer of paint over the surface and then work the surface, creating a field of random marks in the wet paint. To do this, I used a large palmetto frond, which I brought home to Minnesota, from Savannah, Georgia. I also made marks in the wet paint using Juniper branches, rags, my (gloved) hands, etc. I would allow the paint to dry and then I would repeat this process over the earlier layers of paint. In this way I built up a varied and rich field of buried random marks to begin my painting. Once I had multiple layers of paint I began to work subtractively by sanding away the paint using a wet sanding process. All the sanding was done by hand and involved a great deal of physical effort. My right arm became larger than my left.
As I worked, narratives and images began to reveal themselves. I guess the process relates more to some drawing methods or sculpture than it does to painting. If you have ever worked a stone in lithography and scraped away the ink from marble, it is a lot like that. It is also a very wet and messy process.
I would like to find a safe home for this piece. Preferably an institution that has the ability to preserve and care for it. I would donate this piece for the right place


'When Sean Connaughty asked me to write about his work I began to think of the impossibility of it because Connaughty's imagery and process are located in a world beyond words.

At the root of this particular burning is acknowledging that there is something that is deeply and profoundly sacred. When we are withour beloved for example, we see and are seen as divine. Something greater than us swells far beyond us and takes us into places of greater compassion- beyond our normal capacity. An expansive abundant ripening occurs in patterns and cycles. This is love.

A painter's relationship to his/her canvas can be similar, at it's very best. The dialog that Connaughty demonstrates in his work is surely one of great love paired with a highly disciplined steadfastness rarely seen. Closely observing his visual journey for over a decade, I have seen it take many turns. Each has been equally calculated and risky. In the quiet presence of his work a silent powerful atmosphere ensocells rapidly. The low hum of of the viewers internal narrative is seduced to begin its timeless turning and one is immediately engaged at a level of great intimacy. The stillness of the unspokenand vaguely suggested leave space for the viewer to activate his her own imagination, a rare and downright radical experience these days. Suddenly the work becomes the mirror.

The physical athleticism of his process gives way to meditative , reflexive, repetitive worship.
The physical mantra of the endless layers added and subtracted breathes as you do. Touching these glistening places, creatures, atmospheres and actions, they all reflect our own juicy humanity, our own simple childlike wonder as we look at the sky and see animal shapes, our own ancient human history of painting on cave walls in the bowels of the earth. In the present art world filled with tons of cool, clever social witticisms and ultra hip visual no-brainers, Connaughty's work is especially timeless, refreshing, authentic and singularly important"

Jean Humke 2003

Artist Work



All Work

terraforming at Soo VAC
Dogsign Variations Wallpaper
Torus Float
Concrete Float version 6
Bigloo v21
pod burning
Bird Feeder Mask
Open Field WAC 2010
pod with wool
Human Head Bird Feeder
Human Head Bird Feeder
Bigloo Versions 13, 14 and 15 Best Friends Forever
apple tree camouflage print
INCIDENT #1,2,3,4
Incident #1
Incident #2
Incident #3
Incident #4
A History of the Earth image 1
A History of the Earth image 2
A History of the Earth image 3
A History of the Earth image 4
A History of the Earth image 5
A History of the Earth image 6
A History of the Earth image 7
A History of the Earth Image 8
A History of the Earth Image 9
AHOTE photogravure "Alexander"
A History of the Earth (the boxes)2
A History of the Earth the photogravures
A History of the Earth photogravure prints
AHOTE Memory
AHOTE gentle ride
AHOTE Valerian Plant Duluth
AHOTE gravures "Super America"
AHOTE Time and Space Study
AHOTE Periphery
AHOTE "Love Letters to Language"
AHOTE Savannah Wall
La Mano Poderosa
AHOTE karma (video)
AHOTE The New Charlie Close (video)
AHOTE Advertisement! Video
AHOTE La Mano Poderosa (the song)
AHOTE "20th Generation Approximation" Ron Dahl's Class 1988-89
Bigloo Video
Bigloo Versions 13, 14 and 15
Bigloo v6
Bigloo version 9
AHOTE Citizen
Bigloo Medicine Lake
Bigloo 2
Bigloo Medicine Lake
Bigloo Ice Quarry
Bigloo Medicine Lake 3
Bigloo cd gravure
Incident at Utopia Planetia
Incident at Utopia Planetia 3
Hey 2
Bent Hemlock
"Beneath all things" At The Soap Factory (whole)
"Beneath All Things" detail
"Beneath All Things" Detail
"Beneath All Things" Detail
"Beneath All Things" Detail
"Beneath All Things" Detail
"Beneath All Things (In Progress)
"Birds of Appetite" whole
"Birds of Appetite" Detail
"Birds of Appetite" Detail 2
"Birds of Appetite" Detail 3
"The Congregation"
"Godzuki Presides Over Prakrti" Detail
"Fast Friends"
Big blue stem (detail)
"Dual II"
"Bunnyman Prays for the Souls of Savannah" detail
Bigloo Versions 8, 10 and 11
"rose fish"
frame #1
Lost Painting have you seen me?destroyed
Parasomnia 1993
Homunculus with Reliquary
La Mano Poderosa painting detail
Bunnyman and Friends 1993
Spaceman Looking at Himself
Garden Project CD
indoor living pod
dogsign screenprint
Winter Survival Pod
I Hope
figure four 1991
Europa Module
Ark of the Anthropocene
Ark of the Anthropocene (standish)