July 26, 2004


Mark M?ller sent me an image of the invitation card. There's nothing like seeing your name in print to get your blood flowing faster. He asked me to select the color for the card (a convention of his, every announcement is a color monochrome representation of the show, which I like) and I was a bit too scattered to make the best choice. I chose a salmon-orange color, one that I was using recently in the computer... luckily, Mark gracefully took on the task of selecting it, this (cerulean) blue. And this is indeed a perfect pick, so much of it is in the paintings and it reinforces the title.

Here's a snippet from my email to him, where I was sorting my thoughts for the first time:

Titles... As the one aspect of making art that does not flow but instead emerges as if from the depths*3... we have no time to do what I am wont to do: let the clock sun out let the ideas emerge... indeed, as-if-from-the-depths.

Sitting still for a moment and here- typing and thinking on the run, I have been troubled by titling because of my troubled relation to representation. The loaded subject for me always loses against the tide of triviality*1... (a thought intrudes)

"new country"

-literally, the first recourse is to go to the popular signifier. Yes of course we have moved recently. And yet, this biographical detail is not insignificant. This new country in which we now live has been very impressive.

-But it points to a difference from what I have recently done, paintings in the States, a difference of character in the paintings themselves.

-"New Country" also refers to landscape, an ancient member of a limited set of figuration*2. Another schema, such as I have done for a time now.

-Also with landscape, there is my history as an architect. Architects see topography in landscape. The picture plane thickens with low altitude formal dynamics. The horizon shifts ninety degrees. Indeed, the relation to the world as skindivers have is not much different. Hmmm... skin diving?

-I wouldn't disavow the biographical connection to my work, but I would prefer that it not be reduced simplistically. Some look for the hand and mind of the architect. There has to be some fruit from the intellectual wanderlust I call my education, and I hope a biographical interpretation entangles itself with the rest of my biography (AmerAsian- Cold War spawn- Sailor-etc.).

*1 I was going to say that since art is not solely a singular idea but an entanglement of ideas and phenomena

*2 (portrait, landscape, still life, figure...)

*3 The image should be: laboriously hauling a huge angry squid in some thick-roped net from the depths... (mental image of some '40 black and white film with Kirk Douglas as a salty fisherman, fresh from his role as Van Gough0

Posted by Dennis at July 26, 2004 9:17 AM

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