Tag Archives: painted reliefs

Space of Collage

A while back I mentioned Briony Fer’s book on abstraction and the special place she gives to collage at the origins of the practice. I picked it up again to refresh my memory and one of the points has to … Continue reading

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Abstract Order

Following on from the previous post, Stella’s manner in the late prints especially, but also in many of his reliefs, is to be vivid, crazy, overloaded and loud. That’s what puts a lot of viewers off. It’s a style and … Continue reading

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Color and Mark

I used to think that Stella’s Exotic Birds were not his best works. I could appreciate them as a necessary breakthrough, but bad works nevertheless. I never liked the template approach, that the forms were ready-made and just decorated with … Continue reading

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Colour in Sculpture

Stella’s Town-Ho’s Story is made of cast and poured aluminum, steel, and some ready-made bits and pieces. It’s not all scrap, in fact mostly fabricated. However, the colour of the piece leans heavily on the untreated color of the different … Continue reading

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Stories in Stories

Stella’s large sculpture, The Town-Ho’s Story, is, among other things, a collection of smaller pieces. I’ve mentioned this before, but as I suggested in the previous post, parts of the main body of the work could also be seen separately, … Continue reading

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A Story

In Moby-Dick the chapter is called “The Town-Ho’s Story,” and the story is of an encounter with the white whale. In Stella’s piece the ship is heeling over, and from the side it looks like it’s taken a hit. Jammed … Continue reading

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A Heap of Scrap Metal

On a train passing a scrap yard the piles of twisted shiny metal pieces remind me of Stella’s sculpture in Chicago. You might call the pile a piece of abstract art, in the “all over” mode, but Stella’s work is … Continue reading

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Domes and Circles

In general you could say that Stella’s prints are where he keeps touch with the normative form of art—two dimensional and bounded by a rectangle. The relief paintings and sculpture break right out of the frame, and the prints are … Continue reading

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Lifeline

In tough times go back to the work that helps you know yourself. The supportive aspect of authority, even though that authority is not indwelling, but granted by you..

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Return

The world it turns, and will continue to do so.

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Complete

There’s many ways to simulate wholeness, completeness, whatever one wants to call it. As many as there are ways to simulate an excess.

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Other Reliefs

Blog reader Kizi Spielmann Rose kindly sent me some shots of Stella’s recent work. He seems himself to respond to energy in art, and has taken up the relief painting method accordingly, with gusto, as evidenced in this image. Some … Continue reading

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John Bunker

Some collages by the British artist John Bunker are very good. I can’t help but think of Stella, as usual, but this piece is pretty compelling, and stands any comparison.

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Why Abstract?

In what lies the abstraction?

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Planar Spaces

From Susskind’s book comes another important formulation, also mentioned in my articles of a few years ago, now revisited: “The maximum amount of information that can be stuffed into a region of space is equal to the area of the … Continue reading

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Planar Construction

William Tucker’s book contains the following very apposite remarks on cubist construction:“Painting gives way to physical making, and survives only to key or differentiate existing parts. The picture surface has been replaced by the frontal planes of real volumes, although … Continue reading

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New Show

Here’s a couple of images of my just opened show at CSA Space in Vancouver.

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Gouk on Steel

To all my blog readers I would like to recommend the two articles by Alan Gouk on sculpture in steel recently featured on abstract critical—especially the first one, though part 2 has its interest. Thanks to Gouk I have discovered … 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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Circuit Lines

The complexity of Stella’s Circuit series is diabolical. Interesting is that there are relationships that no one could be expected to see, or that, because of the crowdedness of the work, are close to impossible to see, and that the … Continue reading

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Circuits

Recently had a chance to see two of Stella’s Indian Birds and a Circuit, and I can hardly believe that I ever thought the color in these works was arbitrary or slapdash. Stella must have said to himself that the … Continue reading

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Kandinsky and Stella

The following comparison may or may not be a good one; what caught my eye is the plane sticking forward in the Kandinsky, which could be seen as punctured, and its resemblance to the brown curved and cut plate in … Continue reading

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Old and New

Stella’s work always offers the same experience—each new series looks awful at first, and then time reveals its beauties. How much more revealing of quality is a good strong dislike than the bland suspension of judgment most appropriate today. I … Continue reading

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Peering over the Edge

British artist Tess Jaray just curated a show of paintings that don’t use paint and the other paraphenalia of the painter’s studio. Readers of this blog may or may not know that I’ve been going on about this phenomenon for … Continue reading

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Yet Another Precursor

My interest in Stella causes me to see many things differently, but there is also a long history of painted reliefs that I was not aware of. All I knew of John Chamberlain was free-standing sculpture, but in the early … Continue reading

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Complex Process

It takes an effort of imagination for an ordinary viewer to recapture the enormous difficulty of Stella’s methods in the reliefs—time consuming, and requiring the coordination of many different activities and people. First he has to plan the work with … Continue reading

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Animation

Looking once again at Stella’s Moby Dick works, I’m struck by how intensely animate they are. Animals, figures, whatever you want to see—and it’s evident again how the obvious is so hard to notice, and always the most important thing, … 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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Another Precursor

Lately I have a tendency to compare everything to Stella—I guess that’s a measure of how highly I regard his contribution. But comparison is valid when the artist is working in a similar way, or with comparable goals. Turns out … Continue reading

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