Tag Archives: knowledge

Watching Landscape

Another one of Pollock’s remarks is a real eye opener for me, a lesson: “I don’t look at the view, I watch it. The land is alive, tells you things when you let it.” Very interesting, and inspiring.

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The Factory

Continuing on with thoughts about Jeff Koons provoked by Barry Schwabsky’s recent review, I can understand why he was struck by the giant Play-Doh piece. It looks like an early Lynda Benglis, but Schwabsky is surely right to stress the … Continue reading

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Uncritical and Affirmative

Barry Schwabsky has a surprisingly hard hitting piece in The Nation on the Koons retrospective, the more so as he affirms the general feeling, held by many artists for sure, myself included, that Koons is a significant figure. It’s hard … Continue reading

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No Need to Read

I just came across a book that collects all of Jackson Pollock’s sayings, at least as they have been recorded. Unlike some artists, he wrote very little. One remark caught my eye: “You don’t got to read all the time … Continue reading

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Images Without Words

While in Vancouver for my recent show I took in Peter Culley’s excellent show at the Charles Scott Gallery. A giant montage of small to medium ink jet prints wrapped around three walls, thankfully without any explanatory wall text or … Continue reading

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Criticizing the Critics

One thing I like about Alfredo Triff’s blog miami bourbaki, is that though he is very critical of the contemporary art scene, he also criticizes its critics. No simple minded moralism, but a genuine interest in art, two traits that … Continue reading

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A Small Group

Speaking about coteries, a recent article in the NYT points out that there are world wide an estimated 200,000 or thereabouts of individuals with more than $30 million in assets, yet the total bidders at Christie’s spring 2014 auctions of … Continue reading

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By their taste you will know them

By chance Picasso bumps into Robert Delaunay, and he gives the password—“Cézanne.” Delaunay responds and now they are on the same wavelength, co-conspirators of art. But then Picasso offers the secret handshake—“the late bathers”—and Delaunay doesn’t get it. He prefers … Continue reading

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Caminero and Ai

The tale of the broken vase has come to an end, and in an August 14th. article in the NYT we can read “Mr. Caminero’s lawyer…said: ‘My client has learned what is appropriate behavior for an artist to participate in.’” … Continue reading

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Invisible

Earlier remarks about the invisible greater part of an artwork used only classical, canonical paintings for examples. Actually, the point applies to abstraction more than anything, and the drive to eliminate the superfluous, which in some cases takes the form … Continue reading

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Entropy

Reading a book by Leonard Susskind, which gives me further perspective on the topic of abstraction and information loss—something I’ve written about but never fully understood. Or rather, I have trouble following the scientists when they say that nature is … Continue reading

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No Pop

It’s obvious that the realm of the mass media has increased hugely over the last sixty years, and continues to grow. It’s also clear that more people spend more of their valuable time paying attention to it. Those developments are … Continue reading

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Scientific or Social Origins

I have finally got around to Lee Smolin’s new book, about time. As sympathetic as I am to his ideas, I can’t help but look toward the blind spots. Here’s one quote: “In the past, great conceptual steps in physical … Continue reading

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Tucker’s Stance

William Tucker’s favorite sculptors, according to his book, are Brancusi, Matisse and Degas. If one looks at his own work with this in mind, it’s clear that he is not rooted in construction, but in ideas of organic form, and … Continue reading

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A Man of Sensibility and Taste

The fact is, there is no avoiding Mr. Simchowitz, however much I disagree with his choices. He knows how to talk. This is what he says about Oscar Murillo: “…with Oscar, there is no collusion—his collectors are an evenly distributed … Continue reading

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The Invisible Greater Part

In ordinary life one doesn’t have to see or know exactly how things relate in order to do something useful with them. For one obvious example, a cook doesn’t have to understand what is going on chemically in the oven … Continue reading

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Parts and Wholes Again (As Always)

I’m going to include an unusually long quotation in this post, from scientist and philosopher Abner Shimony.“…collective behavior in macro physical systems and in biological cells can often be explained in great detail in terms of the properties and interactions … Continue reading

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Old Matisse a Master

My reservations about T.J.Clark have been expressed on this blog, but I still like to read him, because he’s a rare art historian who actually gets it, who can feel art from the inside, not just shuffle it between theoretical … Continue reading

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Frankenthaler’s Forms

  Just picked up a catalog of Frankenthaler from the late eighties, a big stretch for my taste. Recently there were conflicting assessments of her work on abstract critical. Her admirers are very enthusiastic. Presumably the expressiveness of her works … Continue reading

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Chin P’ing Mei

Chin P’ing Mei is an incredibly rich and detailed account of all the details of life in historical China, from food to clothes to architecture, and all the goings on between people, the ways they fill the passing time. It … Continue reading

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The Sky and The World

A quote from Adorno“A man gazing peacefully at the sky may at times be closer to truth than another who accurately follows the ‘Eroica.’”How could someone who would say this ever be called an elitist? Maybe because the advocates of … Continue reading

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The Feeling of a Moment

Robert Musil‘s novel The Man Without Qualities should be required reading – for somebody. I read it years ago in the first English translation, and kept turning down pages to mark the mind expanding moments I wanted to return to. … Continue reading

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Island Thought

The pieces discussed in an earlier post are part of an effort going on since I started the Island pictures – to have more than one level, as in Arp’s reliefs, but not as sculpture. This piece was very early, and I loved … Continue reading

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Rorshach Fail

Stella, at least before Moby Dick, was pretty committed to non-representational art, and kept coming up with new ways to see what that meant. Here’s another quote from the catalog mentioned earlier:“The way I see it, an abstract painting should … Continue reading

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Had Gadya

Still on the topic of Stella’s prints, my new catalog documents three of the Had Gadya pieces from original collage to an interim state. In all of them the first version seems, to my eyes, to have a clearer structure, … Continue reading

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Stella’s Prints

I just got hold of a very interesting Stella catalog, called Fourteen Prints with Drawings, Collages and Working Proofs. The interview is hilarious and brilliant. Here’s a few choice remarks: When the Black prints came out, many people dismissed them: … Continue reading

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A Stratified Market

The art market has a few peculiarities. For one it’s stratified, meaning that there are top level galleries, various kinds of middle level galleries and bottom level galleries. This division corresponds to the fact that collectors are also dividable into … Continue reading

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Consensus

Today the avant-garde – which wanted to release all the creative energies bound up in specialized art and let them loose into everyday life – is a huge institution, with prizes for young artists, awards, museum shows everywhere, catalogs, books … Continue reading

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Hopeless but Realistic

A number of years ago I saw the great Penelope Spheeris documentary The Decline of Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years. Someone was going on about how he had no education, couldn’t finish high school, no skills, no talents, … Continue reading

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David Harvey

David Harvey is a pretty great thinker, in fact I might say necessary for anyone who wants to understand what’s really going on in the world today. Is it important for an abstract artist to care about that? If they … Continue reading

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