Wadsworth Series
Video Madonna

Video Madonna
Year: 1983, Dimensions: 84 x 48, Status: Available Medium: oil on canvas.

The Wadsworth Atheneum series of paintings were the result of merging of art history and Coyer’s biography. Ready for new paintings and wanting them not to be totally abstract, he decided to bring his influences to the surface.

If there were certain influences hidden underneath the surface of the cone paintings, why shouldn’t I make that my subject matter? The more I thought about it, the more valid a concern it seemed to be, and I felt liberated with this realization. If you love De Chirico and you have an instinct to paint like he did, then you’re totally liberated when you can make a facsimile. I thought back on my childhood as to which works of art had been most powerful to me then I chose from the collection of the Wadsworth Atheneum, because that’s what I had seen as a youth.

The dates that Coyer stenciled onto his new canvases were the dates that, thinking back, Coyer felt he had achieved a real appreciation of the artist.

The Wadsworth series incorporates a medium that Coyer later abandoned for health and environmental reasons: spray paint. At the time the works were being created, 1983, graffiti artists were the rage of the trendy art scene. More than one writer proclaimed them the true heirs of Pollock. Coyer was intrigued with the new medium. However, he did not spray on the paint in an undisciplined fashion; instead, using a piece of cardboard as a border, he literally drew with the paint.