Tag Archives: Linsley

Characterless

I don’t know much about Gaitonde‘s career, the dating of his work, significance of his titles and so on. However, with time it grows on me, so I have to talk about it. He makes me realize that abstractionists often … Continue reading

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Private Showing

This week I brought a few works to Toronto for a small showing. Also had a great conversation with my friend Jan Tumlir about biomorphic blobs, abstract expressionism, naivety, large forms, music and other topics. Jan brings the news from … Continue reading

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A Surprise

I might be unusual in having a very mobile taste—I’m always surprised by something. A good example is Rothko’s early work. I still have no affection for his characteristic brushy blocks, but the work of the early 40s seems to … Continue reading

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Allover the Same

Jerry Saltz says some amusing things. Here’s an example: “Nowadays we see endless arrays of decorous, medium-size, handsome, harmless painting. It’s rendered mainly in black, white, gray, or, more recently, violet or blue. Much of it entails transfer techniques, silkscreening, … Continue reading

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Developing Variation

Thinking back to an earlier post in which I described using a finished piece as the “score” for another one, I realize now that the reason the effort didn’t work was because I was burdened by the idea—a rare moment … Continue reading

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Basic Unit

I could describe my watercolors as formal/narrative, post-Klee, introspective abstract inventions. This one is based on repetition rather than form, so it might be a little more conceptual than usual, but what makes it interesting now are some recent thoughts … Continue reading

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The Score

Any artwork worthy of the name will give more over time. One experience of it can hardly be enough. In music there are recordings, but the best way to listen to music is to play it from the score, that … Continue reading

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Disunity

I need to nuance the discussion about unity a bit more. If we think that an artwork is one whole, integrated, single thing, that’s a purely human assessment, and doesn’t really have a material basis. Take any two things and … Continue reading

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Another Way

Recently came across these words of Beethoven, relevant to my work because I’ve been listening to a lot of classical music as a kind of research into form: “The working out in breadth, length, height and depth begins in my … Continue reading

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Single Shapes

I’ve been pondering the work of Jeff Tutt, and its difference from mine. Familiarity with his work makes me notice this very small piece that was lying in a corner of the studio. I can’t remember why I did it … Continue reading

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Good Ideas, Bad Ideas

It seems to be some sort of law that the best ideas in art are kind of dumb. For a good example, what could be more sophomoric than Richter’s blur? If you have an idea and your better intelligence tells … Continue reading

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New Music

Following from the previous post, to quote critics and philosophers, which I occasionally do on this blog, has some use, namely to confirm the best part of oneself. In this it’s similar to the young artist’s imitation of work that … Continue reading

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Total Structure

Still harping on Ehrenzweig, I choose these words as the core insight of use to any artist: “In a work of art any element however paltry has to be firmly related to the total structure in a complex web of … Continue reading

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Large Forms

Following from the previous post, some thoughts from Ehrenzweig suggest what might be interesting about an abstract book: “…integration [of the artwork] can only be controlled by the empty stare of unconscious scanning which alone is capable of overcoming the … Continue reading

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Spherical Paintings

I made spherical paintings a number of years ago, and there is a page of them on my web site. The story is that I showed them for the first time in a group show in Vancouver. The morning after … Continue reading

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How Long Has This Been Going On?

The words of the song come to mind as I get swept up in Anton Ehrenzweig’s brilliant book. Apparently it’s quite popular, so I guess that means everyone knows these things, and I’m the only one out of the secret. … Continue reading

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Four-Sided Painting

Following from the previous post, a four sided painting, on two interlocking panels.

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Two-Sided Painting

Judging from the site statistics, there has been a lot of interest in my posts on Vedova. The idea of the many sided picture may have arrived, forty five odd years after Vedova’s Plurimi. I think it’s worth pursuing. This … Continue reading

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Evolutionary Adventures

Still mulling over the mistaken understanding of the concept Anthropocene, mentioned in an earlier post. Hand wringing over the disappearance of species is very human I’m sure, but unnecessary. My children, like all children, are fascinated by dinosaurs. Why, I … Continue reading

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Economics of Blogging

Jaron Lanier’s new book makes a strong case that the digital economy is a rip-off, particularly of creators. This is something I’ve long thought, though my experience of it has been limited—until now. The previous post has a link back … Continue reading

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Homage to Gego

This drawing from a couple of years ago is an homage to Gego. Also dedicated to my good friends and inspiring artists Leah James and Alexis Harding.

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Improvisation 2

Stella quotes driver Mario Andretti in words that apply well to improvisation in the arts: “If everything’s in control you’re not going fast enough.” Piling on the possibilities is a good technique for an artist who tends to reflect. Feeling … Continue reading

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Politics of Blogging

John Kelsey’s article in last September’s Artforum, with its criticisms of digital networking, combined with some comments from my friend Scott Lyall, provoked me to take a step back and ask what it is I’m doing here. This post is … Continue reading

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The Price of Greatness

Readers of this blog will know that I am a great admirer of the work of Frank Stella. It seems I’m in a minority. I was talking to a friend who calls him the Leroy Neiman of contemporary art, and … Continue reading

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Figures in a Landscape

Many of my works are figures, and many are landscapes. Since the overall rubric is “Islands,” I guess they are really all figures in a landscape. The figure might be found in the negative space or ocean, so figure and … Continue reading

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Approximating Nature

Despite my not so high opinion of the memoirs of Tapies, I continue to find interesting bits. This is his description of an early experimental phase of his work: “I was searching for images without knowing whether they were amorphous … Continue reading

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How to continue

I’ve found that my smaller works tend to have more parts, and more detail. They are more intensive, you might say. The beauty of the larger works is in their ease and simplicity, but just today I looked at some … Continue reading

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The Facts

This blog has given a fair amount of time to Frank Stella, and my attention was moving to other things—there are a few posts coming up on the topic of time. However, my interest in Stella has just been revived … Continue reading

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The Series

In my view, Richter’s important contributions to abstraction have been the color charts and something that I call “the edition of unique works.” The latter might be the most important, and I have talked about it on this blog. But … Continue reading

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Infinity of Images

Reading Groys can also be encouraging. In my case it confirms the avant-gardist qualifications of my work—surprising to me as much as anyone. One of the strongest pieces in his book Art Power is the opener, “The Logic of Equal … Continue reading

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