Tuesday, October 11, 2011

relevant quotes

"... I would like to ask a question about the exact involvement in a work of art. What kind of love or grief is there in it? I don't understand, in a painting, the love of anything except the love of painting itself. If there is agony, other than the agony of painting, I don't know exactly what kind of agony that would be. I am sure external agony does not enter very importantly into the agony of our painting." - Ad Reinhardt statement: Artist's Session at Studio 35 (1950) taken from p. 298,

_New York School Abstract Expressionit: Artists by Choice_ by Marika Herskovic

"[Pat] Steir exemplifies the old rule that the best painters are always engaged in a learning process, at which they almost always get better." - Stephen Mueller, "Pat Steir: Cheim & Read" (Review), _Art in America_, June/July 2011, p. 186

Cheim & Read - Pat Steir Artist's Page

Sunday, June 26, 2011

practicing ...

It is a practice. It is all a practice. Each day is filled with subtle adjustments edging infinitesimally toward the goal of a project destined for failure. It is ever this striving that moves us … and I mean us … the collective … forward.

I have thought for a long time on the meaning of “goodness.” What can it possibly mean? In some limited way it is a measuring against some criteria. People say over and over again, all meaning many different things … “Is it a ‘good’ painting?” is he or she “a ‘good’ painter.” You would think, used in this context that “good” would have no real ethical content, that it would simply refer to some quality … some ascertainable quality.

I have known for some time that art is so much religion and that the conceptions of it inspires as much passion as any religious belief. There are attached to our definitions a vigor that spills over into the world with righteousness. With that “good” represents clearly a passing of judgment on something other than the quality of a work – or in addition. The appellation of “good painter”, “good artist” transcends these limits and extends to the quality of humanity … to be revered … or conversely … “a poor painter, a bad painter” … to be reviled.

I am as fervent in these opinions as all my associates.

A good painter:

• A commitment to the practice – a love and a longing to take up the challenges of that history and that material.
• A dwelling on a goal … ever moving forward … a program within the work – (for me it has been the goal of making manifest in material ideas in the same kind of why that the Gothic Cathedrals embody the ideas of Plotinus, Pseudo-Dionysius, and Abbot Suger. So that my work is not an illustration but a body.)
• For the work to be driven by an internal dialogue, which incorporates and responds to the external but which has a subject of its own.