Monday, July 28, 2008

i was reading some writing by the artist, christopher rico and he asked where the heroic painting was... good question. the answer is that it's in the studios of inspired artists of strength and vigor, in studios with stains of paint on the floor and slashing brushstrokes across  some walls. there may be drawings scattered about the space, perhaps old coffee cans of brushes and turp, paint spattered newsprint and  masking tape are strewn about... yeah, the heroic paintings... the epic, profound painting, and indeed, art is out there. we just have to look a bit harder to find it. perhaps we just have to make it. as barnett newman admonished us (i paraphrase), sometimes a painter has to paint something to have something to look at-- sometimes he must write so as to have something to read. great art is not easy. it can be difficult to look at and it is for sure difficult, if not nearly impossible to create. fine. we continue... i've been thinking a lot about this lately. there are untold numbers of unknown artists who may have shared beers with the great of their generation, but did their own work in utter obscurity. but the work was done. perhaps they sold a few over the years, perhaps not. you look at joan mitchells work and see it's not much, for the most part. think about how many stronger artists were out there working hard  that never made it. but i digress...

at the action/abastraction show at the jewish museum, i got (once again) what it was all about-- the act; the act and the  values that the artists before pushed forward...  what i'm talking about here is intent and emotional content, perhaps spiritualism and yes, heroism-- the epic utterance of creation. 

late this afternoon i drove out to the brooklyn studio. digging the natural light flooding in, i worked 3 or 4 canvases, went into a large drawing (acrylic and charcoal) and sat back and checked it all out... then i drove down the street to steiner studios and picked up my woman from her tv gig and drove over the bridge to manhattan. after parking, we stopped into an opening at the 2/20 gallery on 16th street, curated by the dealer larry sobribski. it was good work-- late 60's modernism-- works on paper and some sculptural works... some good names in there as well, michel steiner, pozzi and moss. some others that escape me now... but i'll get back to it in the next day or so. and then we kept walking home a few blocks to a hot bath and glass of cold vodka.

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