Though the pictorial under-structure of the piece might have been fully used up, when it was complete the painterly and pictorial came back in the most surprising and ecstatic way, as light—momentarily of course, and only seeable from particular locations at certain times. Painting in the west is, and has been, all about light, and much modernist advance came out of the inadequacy of painting with respect to the same. That the piece has two aspects, back and front, or inside and out, connects in an interesting way with Shep Steiner’s recent piece. He observes that Olitski worked both the front and back of the canvas, with both the visible and non-visible. He also stresses Olitski’s interest in light, and light coming from the back of the picture.
Here is a good place to reaffirm what this blog is about. I want to trace how the expressive possibilities historically accumulated in painting spill out into the world, even when that’s not what the artist intends, or how creative energies can transform life. Along the way, categories such as painting, conceptualism, sculpture etc. will have to break down, but the goal is to renew painting itself, and to situate my own. Maybe better to say that the analysis on this blog proves how diverse the life in painting is, and how much future it contains. But I fear that a large part of that future can only be reached without brushes and paint.