July 21, 2003


Time to fling the long horizontal strokes.

I'm not into the cluttered studio stylings of artists of old. I'm thinking of Frances Bacon's studio. A rat's nest. Like I used to say to my students (architecture studio): " Your studio is a picture of the contents of your mind". I just wanted to freak them out a bit, make them a little self aware of their surroundings.

Maybe Bacon's mind was like that... but you couldn't tell from his paintings. His work was tight. Tight. I remember seeing a show of his work at LACMA. That was a special moment for me... a special clarity. I could count a discrete number of "moves" that constituted each painting. The architectonic interior lines. The spray. The stamp of a bottle cap. The clot of paint. The blend. The fling. Every one isolated, and yeat all held together in a controlled avalanche towards abstraction.

Sometimes. maybe too many times, I think of the dangerous boundary of LeRoy Nieman's work as a cautionary limit indicating the problems of a facile approach to representation. I should throw that away and hold on to Bacon harder.

Studios. I remember the Pollock show at MOMA. They recreated his studio in the museum. It was tiny but it felt big. I remember pictures of Jackson working there, not tidy, but he had it together... everything was useful and in the right place. Kinda like my dad's garage.

I work horizontally and vertically. Back and forth. Lights on and off. You can see the saw horses to the right against the wall. When the paintings get over eight feet, it's grunt time, a little desperate behind the panel. That's the physical limit without assistants.

I don't know how I could ever have an assistant.

Posted by Dennis at July 21, 2003 1:20 PM

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