This is a collection of 46 watercolor paintings, all different, made in sequence on the days of December 16th and 17th, 2018, as an exploration of some ideas about both serial art and the authority and reliability of an artist's description of their own work and working processes.
Each painting makes claims about its own content and nature, most of which are probably true, some which are arguably (?) false. The truthfulness of those claims depend on the perception of the viewer, the context in which the painting is taken, and the inclination of the viewer to pursue a generous interpretation of the claims.
I have taken an interest in the use of seriality in art; in particular, Sol LeWitt's use of closed, bounded logical premises to dictate a finite series of related drawing or objects the construction of which constitutes the whole work has given me a great deal of inspiration the last couple years. To say, here's a set of finite possibilities, let's permute them until we've created (or even just quietly concieved of) all the combinations: that's a satisfying way to work.
These paintings aren't doing that.
Instead I'm playing with an intentionally unbounded premise, where there is no specific, obvious limit to how these paintings could differ from one another. Each of these is a variation on a theme, but the project of enumerating those variations, of mapping out the possibility space, doesn't have a clear stopping point.
"How can this painting be made a little different, how can its claims about itself, written on itself, vary?" is not a question that can be answered conclusively or exhaustively.
These 46 paintings illustrate in series my process of chasing down obvious ideas, and then less obvious ones, as they come to me, while trying not to repeat myself in the kind of variation in each painting. I didn't go until I exhausted the possibilities; I went until I stopped. I may take it up again. Other people could take it up. That is also a satisfying way to work!
—Josh Millard, 12/18/18