Philip Hardy originally learned to paint plein air landscapes as a native of upstate New York influenced by the romantic landscape painters of the Hudson River School and the impressionists. Later he moved to New York City where he studied classical figurative painting and drawing at The Art Students League and received an MFA with a specialization in painting from The New York Academy of Art.
In addition to teaching with Field Colony, Philip also currently teaches an abstract painting class focusing on acrylic painting techniques for the Jersey City Art School. Phil currently works from his studio in Hoboken, NJ at the Project Studios in the Neumann Leather Building. He is a guest artist at Proto Gallery and a reporter for the arts and culture journal BatteryJournal.org.
Currently the trend in modern science is to be more abstract as scientists struggle to conceptualize and realize their ideas. Quantum physicists are using mathematics as a model to understand unseen forces. Abstract symbols, visualizations and logical thinking are the essential tools for contemporary scientists, philosophers and artists as they probe the mysteries of the mechanisms of the inner and outer universes.
This current series of paintings by Philip Hardy are called Noodle Paintings. The title Noodle Painting originated chiefly as a descriptior, referencing the tubular paint extrusions applied in organic, curvilinear patterns to the surface of a canvas resembling noodles. Philip is heavily informed by classical oil painting techniques. The idea for the noodle painting series originated in the painting practice of impasto. Impasto is a technique in classical painting, where paint is laid thickly. Areas of paint are laid in excess to create small protrusions on the surface of the painting substrate. Light will affect these areas differently; often used for the highlight areas of forms to enhance the illusion of volume as well as to enhance the whiteness of the highlight.
Inspired by the all-over painting of the Abstract Expressionist art movement from the 1950s in New York City, Phil explores the existential and romantic idea of the age old question that has plagued painting from this period: “what is painting?” Many Abstract Expressionist paintings are free from narratives or symbolism and are purely conserned with the compositional elements and depth of the picture plane. Through his Noodle Paintings, Phil connects spiritually to the history of this ‘pure’ painting that is above all intended to convey something absolute. He has simplified the production of these works to a painstaking procedure whereby he first begins by entering a calm, peaceful state of mind, having readied all of his material elements and tools. By reducing his art-making process to highly disciplined, structured, and even ritualized actions, Phil is able to use painting as a vehicle for meditation and achieve joy - as well as incorporate his interests in string theory, internet culture and his favorite cuisine (spaghetti).
A strong underlying current of meta-painting, irony and humor occupy this series. Phil’s personal ideology of apathy complemented by his preoccupation with total and absolute destruction toward the world at large are starkly on display in his Noodle Paintings. Their cheerful and seemingly vapid palette, for example, are delightfully deceptive in that they hold a literal, physically layered frustration that somehow still makes space for joy and looks like icing on a cake. There is an intuitive language that Phil continuously interprets, extrapolates from and subverts. By playing a very pleasurable game with the elements of design he hopes viewers will intuit a physical manifestation in a meaningful way. The Noodle Painting Project is as much about conveying a feeling of joy through the paint as much as it is about the conceptualization of the feeling of joy, the process of committing to a ritually joyful act and Phil’s own metaphysical relationship of that act to his environment.