Thursday, May 27, 2010
Attempts at unifying the objects with the two dimensional medium.
Formal paring-channels, compounds, corrals, windows.
Serra Verb List.
Propping, Pinning, Drapping, Wrapping-both steel & fabric materials.
Distortion & Malleability exhibited.
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Inexplicable moments are upon us. If we have not had one, the time will arise. These are sensory moments that have the ability to paralyze. The experience presents itself disguised in beauty and when we least expecting it, the veil is dropped. The experience is fleeting, usually leaving us desiring for more or we are so overcome by the magnitude of the experience that we are left in a depressive state with the knowledge that we will never be able to recapture or translate that experience. As creative individuals, these are the moments we strive to relay and though it may be futile/unattainable, it is what fuels our creative capacity.
This is one moment that the architect/sculptor Tony Smith tries to relate.
Tony Smith: When I was teaching at Cooper Union in the first year or two of the fifties, someone told me how I could get onto the unfinished New Jersey Turnpike. I took three students and drove from somewhere in the Meadows to New Brunswick. It was a dark night and there were no lights or shoulder markers, lines, railings, or anything at all except the dark pavement moving through the landscape of the flats, rimmed by hills in the distance, but punctuated by stacks, towers, fumes, and colored lights. This drive was a revealing experience. The road and much of the landscape was artificial, and yet it couldn’t be called a work of art. On the other hand, it did something for me that art had never done. At first, I didn’t know what it was, but its effect was to liberate me from many views I had had about art. It seemed that there had been a reality there that had not had any expression in art.
Thursday, May 20, 2010
In an interview with Claes Oldenburg conducted by David Sylvester, Oldenburg is asked a question concerning the playful invention in his work in relation to artists such as Arp, Klee, and the Surrealists. Oldenburg’s answer: “I have the feeling that my work is more concerned simply with the appearances of things rather than the meaning attached to things. If I found a resemblance between things, I wouldn’t make very much of it. I would only be concerned with the form…I have the feeling that nature is very simple and I have the feeling that everything really looks like everything else. If we could get our eyes adjusted we’d find that the whole world was very simple, whereas it appears very complicated. I always look for an extremely simple form in whatever I see and try to find another simple form that looks like it. And it’s to cope with the environment, I suppose, to get it down to a workable condition…”
Above is a sculpture from last year, “Marquee”. It is basically two objects that have been conjoined to make one. The fence post has the appearance of being solid and rooted to its particular plot while the metal ladder form juts out parallel. The ladder form however does not suspend in space but is rather propped by a wisp of wire to counterbalance the weight. The mass of the fence post wavers as much as the economy of the wire. This object appears to have been logically engineered but yields to a make-shift solution.
Monday, May 17, 2010
It would seem to me that many painters struggle with the question of “what to paint?”. Abstraction is usually the fall-back answer but even in abstraction the question persists when confronted with the history of Abstraction; particularly in the West. In an article on the Abstract painter Jack Tworkov, published by Fairfield Porter (Art News 1953), Porter quotes the painter stating that, “If I knew what I wanted to paint, I surely would love to paint that.” Porter goes on to say, “…he (Tworkov) does paint what he wants to paint, but he is not conscious of the desire in advance. Though there are periods when the painting proceeds without a thought, mostly it is correct to say that he is always thinking about painting while he is painting. The act is conscious.”
This is, in my mind, Abstraction in a nutshell-unconscious desire paired with conscious action; the constant awareness of the properties and limitations of the material and the cavernous passages of intention and the subject. I believe that the desire must be unconscious in order for one to become a servant to the painting. The painter comes to the surface with a notion, a system, or a method but within the painting process (the action) must surrender to the materials and the spirit. If one approaches the painting with one too many ideas, the intuitive spirit will collapse and the painting will fall into a muddy state. Potential success for any painting is not what to include but what to deduce.
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
These are a few small 12x12 inch oil on raw linen paintings I made in 2009. They set the groundwork for the more recent paintings that have since become looser with the materials. They appear tight and specific but were in fact rather intuitive-in that I did not enter the work with a predetermined composition or color scheme. The paintings are also worked pretty heavily-lots of scrapped color choices below the chosen layer. I developed the paintings with Mondrian in the back of my mind-Philip Guston was at the same table. Myron Stout also entered the room. Stout is often forgotten about. A tremendous painter whose patience with the medium is explicit on the surface.
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
The origins for the sculptures are at times really specific to a particular moment or other object; and at other times completely lost to the act of being "in" the work at the time of the fabrication process. Two works express this translation:
"Off The Cuff" was a piece inspired by a set of particulars-it began with my recollection of the statement, '...off the cuff' that people have the tendency to flippantly throw around(oxymoron). The pairing of those words, and if we are to think about them in an illustrative light, are ambiguous by nature. The origin for that piece began with a train of abstract words and the challenge became how to translate that statement into a three dimensional form that held equivalent ambiguity.
"Carver's Crux" was a piece determined through the working process. I happened to have been reading alot of Raymond Carver's stories(for which the title of this blog originates from) when fiddling with the materials that made up the sculpture. It simply became apparent to me while contemplating the shape that the object was taking on that I was paying a small homage to the life of the author-and so I attached the words to the completed object.
In the end, regardless of the objects origins, the work is purely from listening to the inspiration and then in the most direct and unfettered means possible, executing the work with the materials I have around me.
Collage has always been integral to my practice. It engages in sculptural tendencies. Cutting bits of paper and holding them in your hand, the application of those bits to a surface-for myself it is all an additive process; very little is subtracted. Over time, collage has merged with the painting. The results in the image is often of a piecemealed effect. The picture is flat-forms shuffle on the same plane. Forms overlap but there is no sense of extended space.
Monday, May 10, 2010
After a hiatus with painting, I have picked it back up and have been investing in some works since Spring of 2009. Not all of the investigations have been successful and have been trying to get the paintings to follow suite with the sculpture-a great challenge. The painting medium is so slippery and unpridictable compared to the fabrication processes involved with the sculpture materials.
If one cuts a piece of material at a right angle the result will be a right angled form; but if one pushes a paint stroke or chalk stick through another paint stroke or chalk mark-well, the outcome is murky. I am beginning to relinquish my control and assertions with the mediums and this has opened the work up to an intuitive and quixotic path.
When working in an abstract vein the definitions bring some words and clarity to an utterly speechless practice.
Channel-(canal):the bed where a natural stream of water runs: the deeper part of a river, harbor, or strait: a strait or narrow sea between two close land masses: a means of communication or expression: a way or course of thought or action: a tubular enclosed passage (conduit): a long gutter, groove, or furrow: a metal bar of flattened U-shaped section.
Compound-(more at position):to put together (parts) to form a whole: combine: to form by combining parts: to settle amicably: compromise: to increase by geometric progression or by an increment that itself increases: to add to: a large fenced or walled-in area.