Sunday, September 22, 2013

Abstract Painting and Ensuing Contemplation


Anselm Kiefer




Asger Jorn


Cy Twombly






Jackson Pollock




Jean-Paul Riopelle




Pierre Alechinsky


I've only been to the Solomon R. Guggenheim once as it is one of the few museums in New York City that one actually has to pay full price for. I'd rather give a nickel to the attendant at say, the Met or the Brooklyn Museum, get my understanding smile or over-the-top-eye-roll and ticket and explore endless rooms for next to nothing. One day when I am a thousandaire I will return and smugly pay full price and sweep my way up the spiral ramp feeling really proud of myself, but that won't be for a long while so in the mean time I'll satisfy my sudden interest in abstract painting with the online collections.

You must keep in mind that most of what any museum has to offer is stored away in the dark in climate controlled rooms to preserve it for (hopefully) future display, but most museums have all of this documented and available online for any looky-lou such as myself. Once feeling suitably inspired I will imagine breaking out my paints, brushes, etc. and getting to work until I remember that I work in clay and I can never seem to find a sheet of paper to make a note on let alone a decent tube of paint. Glazing is similar, perhaps not in material properties, but in essence and since I am on this new kick of making things as challenging for myself as possible I'm seriously considering doing some 2D work in an effort to wrap my mind around this new style of glazing I'd like to try. I'm finally at the point where I am willing to admit that the reason I don't do any work on paper is not that it has very little to do with my art practice (not longer an applicable reason) or that I don't think easily that way, but really just that I was too stubborn and scared to even attempt to try and rope it in. Being at the Bray makes you do crazy things and it seems high time to challenge myself in a way that seems terrifying and not just a fun new way of working with ceramic materials that I am comfortable with.

That being said, I also managed to get in a bit over my head in way that I am building these new pieces and keep having to remind myself that I am new to hand building and I am going about it in the most difficult way possible what with using plastic instead of plaster and reclaimed materials that are often so short that I can't do anything with them but pinched coils. Being a loving slave to process as part of the concept I refuse to change this and am instead changing the old adage from "work smarter, not harder" to "work smarter and harder" in an effort to overcome myself. It's going fine and I'm learning a lot and while bouts of self and object hatred are to be expected any time one overfills one's plate, this is surely a sign of personal and artistic growth. So keep yer eyeballs peeled.


Browse the Guggenheim Collection to find more images.

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