Chase Langford‘s paintings are born in cartography, in a lifetime obsession with maps, in the geometrical reinterpretation of the world we inhabit; the cities, roads, mountains, rivers and oceans that we traverse, the planet as a two dimensional surface of symbols, motifs, colours and abstract lines.
Ever since he was a child Langford has been drawing and collecting maps, a passion that led him to study cartography at the University of California and a career creating maps at UCLA. This love of the craft led him to painting, to reinterpreting maps with oil and a brush and over the following 30 years his work has developed, taken on a new expression, his technique and abstract language – that remains rooted in cartography – articulating the essence of geographic forms rather than the definition of a place.
The intuitive language that Langford employs is the result of decades of play, of understanding the fundamentals of the abstract language of cartography, of spending a lifetime examining the borders and intersections of a place, of a landscape, of tracing he history of our world through an abstract series of geometrical forms. The result is a series of paintings that are beautifully balanced, the colours layered to create a deep texture, a sense of time past, history moving, the world about us forever shifting to make new surfaces on which we can map our lives. Here’s what Langford has to say about his work:
The interplay of a lifetime of maps and my fine art painting became most apparent in the late 1980’s when I started to create map paintings. Their purpose was not to explain the geography of a place but rather to use the essence geographic forms to re-express them in an entirely new way. Today my paintings still echo their geographic foundation. Whether is it translating the essence of the sand patterns made by the waves on Baker Beach or the dusty Kalahari as seen from a plane.