Thaddeus Radell: Speak, Memory

Thaddeus Radell’s narrative paintings have been described as “poetic, mysterious, and epic in their rich concentration of pigment suspended in beeswax, sculpted with palette knives and small brushes.” 


Thaddeus Radell, incorporates a variety of techniques in the creation of his paintings, narratives that he describes as “profoundly abstracted figure compositions in an undefined setting.”  Radell begins his paintings intuitively with random marks that establish larger masses—heads, torsos, and limbs. Gesture and rhythmic distance between figures evolve to animate his “scenes.” Ravishing colors glow with the matte luster of his wax medium. The finished paintings often bear titles from classical literature, but these can be seen by the viewer as either descriptive or metaphorical. 


“Applying and scraping off paint, he positively hacks out the images in his paintings with palette knives. Bits of burlap curl out here and there, but below the raw ‘tectonic’ forces lie subtle observations,” writes John Goodrich. “Radell shares the abstract-expressionists’ faith in the power of the gesture; in fact, Radell’s paintings are gestures, built-up of repeated layering of rapid, black outlines and ragged, humming planes of color. These impart a richly atmospheric impression of pulsing depths and thick space.”