July 28, 2005

Admin/MailCall/Brent Hallard

(While my comment engine is in the shop for repairs, I'll have to blogpost the correspondence that has the kind of content that should be shared with you all. I'm sure the broken comment buttons will be fixed soon enough.)

Brent Hallard posted a few thoughts about my recent painting in his blog.

Hi Ya Dennis,

You may not miss your comments but some do... understanding what a release it but be not to have to go spam hunting allthetime.

I popped this up since you've switched off:
Yep, Dennis, I like these new-type ones. They are sort of sub-atmospheric, luminescent and sulfuric--colored and organic 'clouds' that have landed on a mind's windscreen. You kind of expect that you could see the work from both sides. Skins: Looks like a drier heavier weight is put down first and then removed (as you mentioned on your blog before, I think), and then over is a wetter less dense level. The utmost recent layers bear signs of swollen life, a swizzle, and even a muzzy swirl. You can drive these paintings on the open, but also on the close, as they are very solid.

Actually, what is most prominent about this new body of work it the weight of gravity on the manufacturing end, who's the dude that uses the skins of dried paint and then plops it on, actually there's two; an older french guy and an American (?), totally skipped my mind. But anyhow yours in nothing like them except for the element of natural weights and forces at play, and the played with.

And BTW you fit a lot in to your days..cool..


I've already sent a response, here it is:

Thanks Brent!

It was nice to see the pics in your blog, nice to be clicking around there. It's interesting to get a mental picture of so many places around the world, so many artists bubbling out their lives.

Good stuff, I like the "You kind of expect that you could see the work from both sides."... it's a good alternate to standard-representational-space, implications that provoke an imagined space or spatiality: an-other side.

And just who are the skin painter guys? I'd like to know more.

All the best,


Chris Ashley answers the question:

And just who are the skin painter guys?

Bernard Frize (French) and possibly, "Linda Besemer, a
Los Angeles painter, whose brilliant chromatic works
are created by painting on one side of a plastic
sheet, removing the plastic, and painting on the other
side. The resulting objects are hung over towel bars
and look both like textiles and like paint."

Ah so.

I was thinking tooo literally, as in the skin of a dried mass of paint.



Chris has a treasure chest of a mind:

I've seen Reiter's work- what I saw he poured. At the
moment I can't think of anyone else, though I know
there are others.

Wait! You're not thinking of these guys- back in the
late 70's, early 80's there were these painters called
Abstract Illusionists. James Havard was the big name.
A guy named Joe Doyle who lived in the Bay Area- I
think he would paint on Mylar of plexi and the pull
off these strokes of paint, arrange them on the
canvas, adhere them with acrylic, airbrush shadows,

Remember Ron Davis?

Does David Reed ever paint strokes on other surfaces
to be peeled up and moved to a canvas?

Ed Moses poured huge sections of rhoplex onto floors
and pried them off- maybe that spawned a whole bunch
of process painters.

There is some other LA painter who worked kind of like
this- Craig Kaufmann? Not Billy Al Bengston. Can't
think who it is.


Thanks, Chris. I know Jimmy Hayward, a great guy, a real painter. When I get back to LA, I hope to blog a studio visit with him someday.



Chris catches my mis-take! I think my brain has formed a dried skin over its' surface too:

Hi Dennis,

The Abstract Illusionist I named is James Havard, not
Hayward. I know James Hayward's work quite well- I've
seen his work for probably 25 years, including several
shows at Moderism in SF; I don't know him as "Jimmy,"
though I know that's what he's called. BTW, I saw the
group show he organized 2-3 years ago with him, you,
Morris, Reafsnyder, and Tchakalian at the same

For one of Havard's somewhat "classic" AbIll works
http://tinyurl.com/bjmzs - note the painted shadows.
His work always seemed to have Native American-related
content to it.

Another AbIll example is Joe Doyle-
http://tinyurl.com/aavvg. I belive he takes some
credit for "inventing" Ab Ill, whatever that means,
and if someone could really invent it anyway.

Giving this work a name like "Abstract Illusionism,"
as if it's a school of work, was sure to kill it. The
idea of giving abstraction legitimacy by using
illusionism- meaning "skill"- seemed funny at the
time, and even funnier in retrospect, except a whole
bunch of painters are sort of doing that anyway- never
really far from, for example, Richter, Reed, Karin
Davies, just to name a few.


Chris Ashley is a machine!

Thanks again, Chris.

Posted by Dennis at July 28, 2005 6:10 PM

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