Inspired by cartography from an early age, Chase Langford’s abstract paintings transform the familiarity of cities and maps into fluid visions, evoking the feeling of the location with carefully selected color and precise shapes. In the 1980’s, after studying cartography at UC Santa Barbara and drawing maps for the UCLA faculty, Langford began exploring ways combine his mastery of map-making with his love of fine art.
In his original map paintings, Langford reinterprets geography by taking selected features from maps and filling in the reconfigured shapes with flurries of color, exploring varied locations such as Essex, England and the Galapagos Islands. In his “Morphic” series, Langford once again finds inspiration in specific geographic regions, abstracting them almost to the point of unrecognition, with colors interweaving and flowing around each other. Almost seeming to mimic the fluid strata of the earth, Langford adds and scrapes away layers of oil paint, building up intricate textures while simultaneously revealing the colors below.
Langford’s highly-collected “Chroma” series began as a happy mistake. One day, displeased with the brushwork of a painting, he decided to obscure the image by painting small rows of vertical brushstrokes, and took note of the beauty of the organic uniformity. After years of refining his technique, Langford created the trance-like paintings that he likes to think of as rows of city blocks on a map. Langford has completed many site-specific commissions, including for Monique Lhuillier, Inc., the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, and Caesar’s Palace. His artwork is in private collections in North America, Europe, Japan, Hong Kong, and Australia including those of Magic Johnson, the Saudi Royal Family, and the Nordstrom’s Private Collection, as well as the Long Beach Museum of Art’s permanent collection.