Saturday, June 26, 2010

one more reason i love sol lewitt...

sol lewitt paper fold 1973

from a letter printed in a 1973 artforum magazine...


since 1967 i have been doing folded paper drawings and torn paper drawings. i wanted them to be relatively inexpensive so that they would available to many people. the price was $100 each. some dealers, however, have sold them for more. if anyone has paid more than $100 for one of these drawings, please go back to the dealer from whom it was bought and get a refund for the difference.

-sol lewitt
new york city

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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

when paintings are like frosting...







i've been spending a bit of time with a 1969 exhibition catalog of paintings by bram bogart. i can't really speak as to why i keep going back to these images and thumbing through them. part of it is the catalog itself - with its screen printed deco font over acetate cover and yellow spiral binding, not to mention a very strange printing process and some of the paintings pictured outside in garden - but bogart's paintings also seem ripe for the moment. while they wear some of their late 60's pop aesthetic on their sleeves, the paintings would also be right at home in any number of hipster galleries in culver city or chinatown, seeming much more connected to los angeles painting than ny (at least in terms of recent history).

i didn't know bogart's work before i found the catalog, but it seems he's still painting, still painting thickly, and still following his own path. it's always kind of befuddling to discover someone who has been working for so long, showing for so long in well known galleries, and somehow escaping a presence in and amongst the mainstream artworld discourse. while many young artists probably have as little knowledge of bogart's work as i do, these paintings could, and perhaps should, be seen as some sort of precedence.

thumbing through old art magazines, there are always interesting works by artists who had their 15 seconds and disappeared; but there are also artists like bogart who have continued to follow a path over time, that for one reason or another are rarely discussed.

bogart's work from the late 60's reminds me a bit of judd's early paintings, in terms of a rich yet minimal palette, awkward clunky presence, and a hybrid of pop and minimal sensibility. bogart's paintings are less "odd" than judd's, feeling more comfortable than conflicted, and they have much more of a punch-y presence than judd's earliest works, which seem more inclined towards contemplation. the object-ness and surface qualities of bogart's paintings also suggests a bit of early ryman (who i would think would most likely cringe at such a comparison), but the physical landscape of both artist's works are what drives their power. of course, bogart's work seems to reek of a hurried troweled rough-edged skronky process, while ryman's whispers meditation and rigor... but both made (and still make) objects that converse with the possibilities of painting - and both accept and deny certain painting specifics.

bogart's work also has a bit of a cartoon-ish feel; but his formulaic process keeps them from being as experimental as someone like al taylor, and their static qualities keep them from being as animated (and erotic) as someone like john altoon... but there is a tension between pop's immediate slap in the face and the soft lathery surfaces that want to be touched.

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Thursday, June 17, 2010

THIS SUNDAY... sound in architecture...

7" records

on sunday june 20th, i will be participating in 12X12 at country club projects at the buck house - designed by r.m. schindler in 1934. the event runs from 10 am - 10 pm, and will be made up of one hour sets of music by a number of visual artists. rather than performing and/or dj'ing, we were invited to play an hour of music related to what inspires each of us in our studios. i'll be spinning records at 8PM

to be honest i don't listen to music in the studio while i'm painting or drawing (unless working on something like this), but i do listen to music when i'm building...

rather than prepare an hour's music in itunes or on disc, i will be bringing a nice group of 7" records, pulling from a wide variety of music. while i am still gathering "the stack" so far it runs the gamut from italian field recordings of itinerant singers, david jay of bauhaus with surrealist poet rene halkett, loren chasse's project ov, indian film music, sounds of insects, chanting from nepal, some 70s r&b, french singer giles marchal, moondog, and much more... should be a good time.

here's the schedule of artists:
10:00 AM – Steven Bankhead
11:00 AM – Tony MacKenzie
12:00 PM – Hannah Greely & Elana Scherr
1:00 PM – Chris Wilder
2:00 PM – Alex Becerra
3:00 PM – Jason Yates
4:00 PM – Jan Tumlir
5:00 PM – Jonah Freeman & Justin Lowe
6:00 PM – Tom Norris
7:00 PM – T. Kelly Mason
8:00 PM – Steve Roden
9:00 PM – Thaddeus Strode
and i believe on top of great music and beautiful architecture there will be snacks as well...

Thursday, June 10, 2010

when a filmmaker's dreams are like poems...


"i am running down a street.

i am wearing a silvered business suit.

it is not i.

the figure is stopped mid-stride, one arm flung out.

the street vanishes.


the word 'title' is flung at me off five white gloved fingers backed by a vague clown face.


something of dead leaves... a rustling.


a waiting - expectancy.
a sea-scape.
large people with smashed faces bending over.


a paw print - one toe bent in cashew curl... so that it reminds me of a flower petal.


a quarter-turn clockwise of multicolored basket shapes merry-go-rounding - reds, blues, yellows, and more distant blurs of other shades. dusty-yellowed browns for ground, and a pale blue clouded sky. a very few still silhouettes of people shape."


some of stan brakhages 1975 dreams as remembered upon waking, from "i....sleeping (being a dream journal and parenthetical explication)", published 1988 by island cinema resources. image: brakhage's anticipation of the night, 1958.

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Sunday, June 06, 2010

before air shows and sky writing...

"we futurist aviators will give day - and night-time aerial theatre performances... during the day, above an immeasurable expanse of spectators, painted aeroplanes will dance in a colored aerial environment formed by the smoke they diffuse, and at night they will compose mobile constellations and fantastic dances, invested with light projections"
fedele azare, probably 1910

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Tuesday, June 01, 2010

with deer-shy sensitivity...


"our encounter with nature is an encounter with life, with what is. if anyone knew what art was, it would be intolerable, as if we knew what nature was, that might just be as intolerable. what we meet in nature is its mystery, and in approaching it, a measure of what might be called "shyness" is required... one who depicts nature should advance towards what he wishes to describe with deer-shy sensitivity. it won't do to lock the description into heavy, cumbersome facts."

late-born swarms of flying beings
make their way under leafless trees.
they stop suddenly at places in the lee of the wind
and are seen dancing up and down
where the autumn sun can still warm them.
no one can utter their names or their species
before the fall wind thrusts them out of the year
towards homeless seas of air.

if each one could be called a word,
then a life-language blows away there on the wind.
life and death, the two great squanderers,
play a bold game at night.
uncounted, countless, most of what we see whirls
forever away, permanently dispersed.

(a drawing, quote, and poem by harry martinson - the quote and poem from "wild bouquet: nature poems by harry martinson", the drawing is undated and scrawled with an inscription on the endpaper of my copy of utsikt fran en grastuva)

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