October 10, 2018

Brooklyn Rail: Tell Me Something Good

Last night, the Brooklyn Rail presented a panel discussion led by Jared Earnest, including Dana Schutz, Rirkrit Tiravanija, Matvey Levenstein and introduced by Phong Bui. They were asked to present images of their works and another artist's work of their selection. Discussion was freewheeling, jumping off this starting point and moving to ideas about utopia, social media, where meaning resides, what they thought of NYC today and what has become of our much enlarged, engorged art world.

Here are my two cents about meaning in art. It has two manifestations. First, in the studio, it has to be acute, driven by the artist's feeling, imagination, experience, awareness of the currents of art history and the coordinates aligning with the materials at hand. Second, after it leaves the studio, art is charged with meaning in terms of its carrying capacity. It matters less as time passes what the intentions of the making of art was than the ability of successive generations to discover their own meaning within it.

I took notes.




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October 6, 2018

Instagram Reviews

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Katherine Bradford First thought: Guston. Legs, shoes, fat brushes not particularly loaded... palettes smaller than canvases. Color? Probably like me, all are eligible, not a selected few. Painting, then a start-over wash, re-attack. Next room: Bonnard! But the color fusions came to mind, not good for KB. 90 degree turn, Guston again! But now I think of PG's neuroticism and how it worked for him. Not so much for KB. She seems more Buddhist, like her shoulder pour in the other room. And then I remembered that that painting made me think of the salt-sprinkled-off-the-elbow restaurant guy on the internet. Not KB's fault, but still...

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Urs Fisher's "Play" @gagosian Chelsea. At first, my interest was to figure out the programming and try to act against it... or at least to get the chairs to respond and follow me around in a herd. Limited success. Then I noticed the room in the corner and the warning flashing at the threshold, a mainframe and lithium charging stations are not eligible for close inspection. Well, society allows magicians to conceal their methods after all. Bonus point: note the list of well over fifty people required to pull this off. I wonder about the budget?

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Not an X-Ray

Above and below, art work in travel frames.

Stray thoughts (September 10, 2018):

Regarding my recent work, three names come to mind...

Robert Ryman
Sol LeWitt
Frank Stella

A Fulfillment of an incomplete project:
Robert Ryman: the totality of a painting is a candidate for plastic expression from the nail attachment in the wall to the licks of paint on the surface of the support.

The Grand Impasse, or the Problem of Successful Culmination:
Sol LeWitt: the terminal phase of art as a set of instructions... the singularity of conceptual means... back away from the event horizon

A Refusal:
Frank Stella.
There are 2 Stellas...
- early rule based execution based on the traditional pattern of drawing first, color infill second
- The shapely Stella, based on his "Working Space" manifesto
The problem with his Working Space agenda is that it first valorizes traditional depiction by making literal (physical) pictorial space. He fulfills painting with sculpture.

Another Reversal:
Georges Bataille: Acephale (the cut in collage leading to dismemberment and beheading), base materialism and indulgence as an antidote to war.

Yet Another Reversal:
1968. "Beneath the beach, the paving stones." Seven years later, my ship was picking up refugees in the South China Sea)

Flipping an Agenda:
Supports / Surfaces
Instead of the "painting undone" (title of the ArtCritical article), consider painting redone... instead of painting deconstructed, consider painting reconstructed.

A Defiant Refusal:
Clement Greenberg: I refute his mandate of flatness. Did he unwittingly set the table for Sol LeWitt's infinitely flat set of art-as-instructions?

The disembodiment if art, of painting. Descartes, and the stubborn mind/body split. Schizoid. Echoes of Duchamp's "...retinal art", merely an eye. Instead, visual processing starts in the retina, the brain is co-extensive in the body, a nervous system in its' entirety, inseparable. Entanglement, a condition to be appreciated.

That Seminal Moment:
On Goya's "Saturn Eating his Children".
What of my first revelation at age thirteen, standing before this painting in the Prado?Call this a dilation, moments when art expanded massively in my attention and the rest of the world fell away... my most impactful dilation since there were several precursors.

I remember the marvel of Goya's visionary spell. Soothsayer. I remember puzzling over why the disturbing subject matter captured my attention. I worried oh so faintly that it could apply to my family (it did indeed). Later, I realized that this mythic theme could also anticipate the closing moments of twentieth century art history.

I remember most of all, the facture. Painting is entanglement and contingency. I think now of the sculpture Laocoön and the entangling serpent/sea monster (the prevention of fore knowledge? WTFBBQ? Doesn't this run interference with the visionary aspect?). Like the Ecstasy of St. Theresa, where pain and ecstasy co-mingle.

(Saturn's headless child at the moment depicted by Goya: the image of Mason & Bataille's Acephale?)


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Galerie Richard

I just shook hands with Jean-Luc Richard, owner of Galerie Richard in LES/NYC and Paris. We are planning shows in both spaces next year. More information coming soon...

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September 18, 2018

A Snorkel to Cap Tossa

I'll have to admit to a bit of self indulgence in posting almost 30 minutes of a snorkeling selfie... but the ostensible-yet-genuine point is the outward POV from the homemade selfie stick that I had fashioned last summer.

Here's what I mean...

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September 17, 2018

A Walk to Cala Codolar

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