October 30, 2017

Ahora: A caballo vamos pa'l monte

The recent canvas is curved with large radii both sides left and right. What you are seeing here is the canvas set vertically so I can get paint to set on the sides.

Por el camino del sitio mío
un carretero alegre pasó
con su canción que es muy sentida
y muy guajira alegre cantó
Ay, by my way
a wagon man happily passes
With his song that is very emotional
and deeply felt, he cheerfully sings.
Me voy al transbordador
a descargar la carreta (bis)
para cumplir con la meta
de mi pequena labor
I'm going to the ferry to unload the wagon
I'm going to the ferry to unload the wagon
To reach the goal of my painful work.
A caballo vamos pa'l monte
a caballo vamos pa'l monte (bis)
On a horse we're going to the mountain
On a horse we're going to the mountain
Yo trabajo sin reposo
para poderme casar (bis)
y si lo llego a lograr
seré un guajiro dichoso
I work without rest to be able to marry
I work without rest to be able to marry
And if I can do so I'll be happy.

A caballo vamos pa'l monte
a caballo vamos pa'l monte (bis)

Soy guajiro y carretero
y en el campo vivo bien (bis)
porque el campo es el edén
más lindo del mundo entero
I am a river man and a wagon man and I live well in the fields
I am a river man and a wagon man and I live well in the fields
Because the camp is the most beautiful earthly paradise in the world
Buena Vista Social Club - El Carretero Lyrics
Posted by Dennis at 11:44 AM | Comments (0)

October 18, 2017

And what is "going bad"?

And what is "going bad"?
27"x35" (to 42" w/ cups)
Oil on Canvas on Wire +Velcro & Paper


Posted by Dennis at 5:33 PM | Comments (0)


(Published on Twitter on October 13, 2017)

1. Submitted for your feedback, 1 of 40 tweets: We are still within the Modernism/Postmodernism MO/POMO envelope...
2. ...and we can't leave it until we tear it wide open.
3. MO/POMO were born as one but diverged in name when they issued forth.
4. I came to this conclusion after reading Shattuck's "The Banquet Years", linking Alfred Jarry to Duchamp.
5. Painting is the sun and it had to be occluded so that we could see -give justice to- the stars -aka the alternate media (other suns).
6. Duchamp's urinal occluded the sun, was the progenitor to POMO, which laid dormant for 50 years until the later emergence of Pop.
7. What crystalized at the high point of NYC AbEx (MO) was the effort to touch G-d (transcendence) via material means.
8. The POMO turn at its flowering was to flip the script: 2 point 2 (not touch) everyday life (not G-d) via conceptual (not material) means.
9. What followed in train was the exposition of POMO.
10. First, Pop pointed to everyday life, but was still ensnarled in the painterly facture of their MO antecedents.
11. Minimalism turned down the dial of materialism in artwork until the conceptual remained in view.
12. Sol LeWitt was the fruit of the POMO tree, he clairvoyantly anticipated the information age, focusing on art as a series of instructions.
13. POMO continued past its prime, elaborating alternative means of pointing to everyday life: Crit Theory, Decon, the personal = political
14. As a river begins as a crisp and cold stream, widens into a slowing dirty course and fans into a stinking silted delta... so too POMO.
15. We are living in the delta phase, we can only hope we are the ones evaporating into clouds that will later form dew in the mountaintops.
16. What must be distilled: the lessons learned, a critique of both MO/POMO, especially POMO since it is implicitly a critique of its twin.
17. We are prevented from doing this since the majority of the artworld refuses to be concise in the definition of POMO.
18. We insist on seeing only trees and no forest, the forest for us as yet does not exist.
19. We whistled past the graveyard when the Berlin Wall fell, clinging to Fukiyama's "End of History" thesis.
20. Evidence that the creed persists: MoMA's "Forever Now".
21. We whistled past the graveyard when the Twin Towers fell...
22. ...deaf to the atavist's reminder that utopia will always be in a future that never arrives.
23. We are told that history is over and new chapters cannot be legitimately written.
24. Recognizable possibilities are restricted to writing endnotes and bibliography.
25. And now the zombies have arisen, hungry to eat brains.
26. Still, we are defenseless, bereft of resources to arm us via the critique of the MO/POMO epoch that brought us to this place.
27. We are 21st century creatures, yet mentally trapped in the framework of the 20th.
28. It will do us well to be reminded that we are not bound by the strictures of the previous era.
29. We should shake it down in critique, cast off what no longer pertains.
30. We should keep what yet pertains and add that which is relevant to our time and of our horizon.
31. Every artist has a responsibility to provide their own answer, to throw the dice and let tomorrow's artists decide who the winner is.
32. My throw: defy the narratives of death and nihilism;
33. ...recognize the intensification that the information age bestows on us and refuse the hamster wheel;
34. ...realize that we must write our own programming code;
35. ...reject the puppet show of combatting MO/POMO;
36. ...celebrate the Janus faced MO/POMO, guardian of doorways and gates looking forward and backward;
37. ...recognize that our hands are on the steering wheel, we are not helpless;
38. ...acknowledge that the world possesses a grain to it and strive for the wisdom to know when to go against it...
39. (Invoking the Tao Te Ching) MO/POMO are the same / But diverge in name as they issue forth...
40. ...Being the same, they are called mysteries / Mystery upon mystery - / Gateway to the manifold secrets.

Posted by Dennis at 5:30 PM | Comments (0)

de novo

de novo
25"x17" (26" to cups)
Oil on Canvas on Wire +Velcro & Paper

ptg 547-853x856.jpg

Posted by Dennis at 5:20 PM | Comments (0)

October 17, 2017

Lil' Baldachin

I keep thinking about Gaudi's Baldachin, which I have seen in Barcelona's Sagrada Familia and Palma de Mallorca's cathedral. Rather than make/build a baldachin approaching the scale of those which I had seen, I decided to make something smaller, something in the order of a maquette. My thoughts are driven by intuition, and the hazard is the caprice of post rationalization. All I should do at the moment is to dump out a few elemental thoughts and try to assemble them later.

- The baldachin had its beginning as a cloth placed aloft that sanctified a demarcated place of worship.
- Gaudi's feral imagination drove him towards a ringed truss that supported painted canvas, wrought iron wheat atop, and pendants of lights. How wonderful.
- This is a primitive architecture. Shelter.
- Canvas projected into space conflates the 2D of painting and the 3D of sculpture. If sculpture is the thing you back into when you step back to see a painting, this could be a series of ringed station points.
- The formalism of my painting has been pointed towards proliferating and enfolding the variety of form that comes naturally to paint. What are the varieties of form that can come from a support?
- Somehow, I hear the call of Buckminster Fuller. Tensegrity, anyone?
- Supports/Surfaces was famously motivated by political revolt and concurrently a desire to push back against the widespread perception that painting had come to a dead end. For me (and I project, for my generation), the political problem of our time as it intersects with the concerns of the art world is the question of how to rise above the stalemate of current binary political opposition... of how to revolt against the ideas of an epoch that made a fetish of revolt... how to see clearly a new world that is operating by new rules few understand. I too wanted to resist the narrative of the death of painting, so I looked for the life of paint itself and have tried to show it to others. Supports/Surfaces pulled the canvas apart from its support, and I wonder what could be done by finding new ways to pull it together?

Posted by Dennis at 8:50 PM | Comments (0)

New Canvas

Over the summer, I was thinking about Gaudi's Baldachin (the stretched panels ringing the structure), the cups I was employing to catch the weeping paint on a few older canvases in my possession, the possibilities of a lighter weight support and the legacy of artists who considered the entirety of a painting as a vehicle of expression. I'm thinking of early Robert Ryman, the precedent of Fontana, and the multitude of artists in recent generations who seek to expose the presence of the stretcher bars in various ways. I thought, what if the support was wrought as plastically as the paint?

Before I left Spain, I made a ring of stiff wire and hot glued canvas along the perimeter. Once I returned to NYC, I bought some wire and went to work...

Posted by Dennis at 8:40 PM | Comments (0)

October 11, 2017

Review Panel

ArtCritical's Review Panel convened last night at the Dweck auditorium in the Brooklyn Public Library, to a packed house treated with the presence of Roberta Smith, Dennis Kardon, Lee Ann Norman and moderated by David Cohen.

They reviewed:
Joanne Carson's "Dream Catchers" at Black & White Gallery at 56 Bogart Street in Brooklyn.
Chris Ofili's "Paradise Lost" at David Zwirner Gallery at 19th Street, Chelsea.
Peter Saul's "Fake News" at Mary Boone, 24th Street Chelsea.

I took notes...




Posted by Dennis at 11:24 PM | Comments (0)

October 7, 2017

Autumnal Notes


Posted by Dennis at 8:11 PM | Comments (0)