Charles Garabedian


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Painter said...


Leaving for the weekend will be back after the 4th. Have a good holiday.

poppy said...

have a good trip,
like the blog,
do you ever get in on these discussions?
What is your gig?
why do you seem to post without fail?
and what is with the paparazzi page? Is it your own personal obsession or quirky hobby or ours? Just curious, and why can't we post? Just wondering ....

albino radio1 said...

it's all really funny! but i am thrown for the treatment of the paint, the style. why so cartoony and unvarying in color? for example, the light in the sky and the river could be more convincing of a time of day, although i like them now. everything seems to take second place in the shadow of a centralized composition.

i think the spine is my fav part.

SisterRye said...

First noticing the big toe, the spine, and the glowing, faint sky. The spine looks like an intestine. A nice variant of the "downward dog" yoga pose. The figure seems to be walking his left foot inward towards a destablizing stance. The landscape looks scatalogical.

zipthwung said...

I really dislike that right should (my right, its left) seems disjointed. Mannered i the manner of art school or picasso or cartoons cartoony. picasoesque in the figurative thick ankle thing, though not specificly thick ankle, just mannered like modigliani or that french dude that made the jungle paintings but, as the story goes was just a working class schlub everyone laughed at.

Arent we all a little tired of hi-lo? Naive?

That all said, i like the choreography of this painting - a little disturbing in a "but in the air" kind of way. Why, I ask, is the figure contorted so? A dancer, but a disturbed dancer, one posessed by an evil spirit - an Exorcism is in order.

A professor of mine would have said this is too self conscious.

I dont know what he meant by that, but I'll say it, because I think its a criticism worth consideration, if only to reject, because in saying so, one becomes even more self conscious, and therein lies paralysis - the sort of paralysis that this figure, limbs locked, suffers from.

zipthwung said...

MOuntain Pose, is my prefered title.

jackadandy said...

I dig it. It makes my body feel good.

curator777 said...

i don't buy the naive art thing, it is rampant and only gets younger artists to justify it for their lack of ability...

it does not surprise me that artists identify with this and find it inspiring...

ok, compositionally... very simple....

Cooky Blaha said...

this artist is quite simply not talented in any formal manner, and conceptually I see very little going on. His forest painting is much worse than this one :


some of his stuff looks like unironic versions of Sean Lander's picasso series...are we ok-ing that?
plus hes old (80 plus) so he cant play the wild card. What are yall smoking?????

ps I defy anyone to tell me this is good:


Cooky Blaha said...

sorry bottom should be


poppy said...

I'm not sure if i would agree with what we can and can't ok. I feel that sounds much like a schooled thought process. But i can't defy you. I am not interested in it on a formal level at all. I often wonder if artists are interested in their paintings on this level. How do people feel about Matthew Collings? I'm not sure if the Matthew is spelled the right way... but i'd be curious to hear some opinions. this convo reminded me of him.

no-where-man said...

Blimey! right on target.

zipthwung said...

Matthew the painter or matthew the commetator?

I think I read Art hurts, but I cant really remember what he said, in the same way i cant really remmeber Air Guitar by Hickey - thought I do remember the idea of Lookey Loos vs doers - probably the most salient point of the book, thought I dont know that its all that profound - Air Guitar is like a self help book in that it makes you feel better about thinking of yourself as an artist rather than just some loser with an uptight hobby or as a businessman making fancy wallpaper.

Art Hurts on the other hand is for fans, and who wants to be a fan?

I heard Shamin Momin and three of her hot young things talk about wanting fans, or rather being mutual fans, which seems unaturally healthy and thank god we have money or even the promise of money to fuck things up.

Shamin Monin has a great hair flip, BTW, I dig that, actually. More people should flip their hair.

But fuck the biennial, it sucks like asswater. I give it the gold plated turd award.

I remember thinking the art award in school would be fair and objective, when in reality it was awarded to the person most likely to give money back to the school - they should have called it the "pump primer" award.

Gotta love development. "Hi I work in biz dev for the arts, how aboout you?" Sounds nice right?

Anyways, not to sound bitter - I dont think I am, but Mathew Collings, what the fuck has he ever done for you, personally?

Oh and also I was just reading about how rejection is not in and of itself a signifier for quality when it comes to art - ill follow that up, but just thought Id throw it out there.

zipthwung said...

Also there is such a thing as sophisticatedly naive - it is sort of a cargo cult thing - where someone imitates sophistication in a sophisticated way, or a naive way, (both facets of the cargo cult which is both sophisticated and naive, just like most people encountering strange phenomena or new cultures)

Examples of this sort of cargo cult or magical thinking are in this painting - an imitation of - and in art students everywhere trying to fit within an existing culture - even as that culture claims to not exist as a defined thing.

This sets up a strange lukewarm bath of fashionable but ultimately shallow infinite reflections, which is sometimes "paradigm shifted" by some newer, hotter, bathwater.

New hot bathwater is created in a "boiler" sometimes in a "boiler room"

no-where-man said...

i got that 'award' in both undergrad and grad... - and, didn't i graduate from the same school as you?, humm.. but then again i am a fan, and do have those books on me shelf - nevermind.

did anyone hit up the groupshowboom fest last night, poured rain right from 6-8 (ended right at 8) with the sun shinning very surreal. all had the same 'look and feel' with Gladstone and Metro as the 'High End' - what is that je nes se quoi. can't put my finger on it. i saw something writen on the side walk i liked - in chalk so it was prob. washed away. "don't hate the player hate the game"

futures so bright i gotta wear shades.

Cross said...

"Moon Over the Mountains"

George said...

Regarding Garabedian
Here are some more examples of his work over the last 40 years

That line in his bio 1942-45 S/Sgt. U.S.A.F. is a pertinent tidbit. Garabedian spent three years of his youth watching his friends get killed and wondering if he was next. After this kind of horrifying experience, a lot of things don't seem so important . He came to painting late and was nearly forty when he graduated from UCLA.

His work is the result of a particular personal vision and a commitment to principle which he pursued for the past 40 years against the grain of the current fashion. I suspect that many of the younger painters here have their noses buried in the latest art magazines, trying to ferret out what the next "inevitable step" will be in the art-fashion world, who's hot, and who's not. It's a road to nowhere, just when you think "I got it" it's gone.

The comment about the "naive art thing" illustrates nothing more than the awareness of another fashion view, what's hot and what's not. Garabedian is not a "naive" painter, his methods of representation are a personal iconoclastic choice shaped by his own experiences and I suspect a desire to make a painting his own way.

It is not that he doesn't know about art history or what was going on around him at any time in the art world over the last 40 years, he does but he has made his own choices about how to make a painting. Some of these choices intentionally push against the grain of convention, they flaunt popular taste, they laugh at academism or theory, and humorously assimilate bits of everything including the cartoon, all in the pursuit of a singular personal vision.

I think it's just fine to dislike Garabedian's paintings, it is knowing what you respond to and what you don't, which can shape a personal vision, or just another grab for the brass ring. While you young painters are all out there looking for what's next, you might consider asking yourself the questions, "Do I have anything to say?" along with "Do I have a personal way of saying it?"

Then in forty years, see if you were right. It's a marathon, not a sprint.

gazinia said...

I just thought Garabedian was after a sort of 20th century American painting thing -- Hartley, Avery, Dove, etc. but in my opinion kind of misses.
From looking at his work on gallery websites though I was shocked to see how large some of his paintings are. Like seeing a large Motherwell for the first time after seeing it reproduced -- too large, what a waste of space and ideas.
Part of the appeal with Hartley, Avery and Dove for me is the easel size which works so well with their subject and painting style. Don't get me wrong, I like a large painting when scaled right.

gazinia said...

Thanks George, that helps a little. Sorry, I posted that last one without having read George's post.
This is less an example of young artists following fashion and more a problem of critiquing from jpegs and only one jpeg. But I personally like the format Painter has chosen -- I didn't like the more than one jpeg that was experimented with.

zipthwung said...

Just saying you can question the objectivity of Matthew Collings as much as anyone - nothing in this world is pure, right? Poetry through mac voice. Justice.

zipthwung said...

I think dude misses, too. I dont care if he was tortured by hermaphrodytic Nazi double agent midgets with truth serum - it seems immitative in a wannabe kind of way - but then again thats what they said about the cargo cultists. Dig? GO natives!

zipthwung said...

Appropos of Mathew Collings maybe

burrito brother said...

did this guy have a show at betty cunningham a while back? i remember liking that show a great deal - it seemed more unique than this particular image. the scale does really matter with this work. the mythological reference bounces back and forth between hackneyed and refreshing.

closeuup said...

Remember when you lived back on the island and waited for the drop that never came? You guys are the cargo cultists that went to the cargo.

Garabedian is another beast entirely.

Matthew Collings is cool--love his writing, paintings are nice too. Lenny Kaye.

kalm james said...

Gees George, I’m heartened to hear someone else on this blog that has a historic view longer that the last fifteen minutes (fifteen seconds). Garabedian has been around forever. During the re-discovery of figurative painting, in the early eighties they tried to push his stuff along with the Neo- Expressionists, the Italian 3C’s, and the German “Heftig Maulers” and “Neue Wilden.” I agree with your take on the Naïf Neuveau (Kim Levine’s term also from the early eighties) that it has become the latest academic practice, and was done to death 25 years ago. Still let’s face it, for good or bad, painting is a practice that is harnessed to history. We all have our moms and pops that we take from, and sometimes there’s a family resemblance. But the real questions are: how do we get seen, what is the network of connections that help establish your membership in the tribe, and how do you know when society is capable of seeing what you’re doing?

Snotty twenty-something painters are going to become pretty bitter when they see that by the time their forty ninety percent of their fellow “artists” have given up and decided to join the “real world,” have kids or take up a teaching job out in Palukaville.

So when I see some painter who keeps getting into the studio after fifty years and making paintings that get people pissed off, or bummed out, good for them. It’s not whether the painting is “good” but whether it sticks in your mind that ultimately counts.

What’s up with this California medley of painters? Can we look at some Germans?

zipthwung said...

"how do we get seen, what is the network of connections that help establish your membership in the tribe, and how do you know when society is capable of seeing what you’re doing?"

nature or nurture

Scroll down tot he part about The Fog of War and Shibboleths.

Palooka said...

I think he's great, especially the stuff from the nineties, his best decade me thinks (thanks so much George for including a link to his work - makes the discussion a whole lot broader, yes).

Does anyone else see a Amy Sillman in his work? I would guarantee he's an influence.

And on the subject of links can people PLEASE learn to paste links into their posts instead of just the address. I just spent 5 minutes trying to copy one of the damn addresses from above. So much easier just to *click*.

no-where-man said...

humm kalm james that seems like a small picture view - y should Artists not be in the real world - where would Warhol have been with out Interview or Jasper with out Macys and so forth,


Cooky Blaha said...

ok the link George gave was much better than what I found. However, I thought his work from 2000 on was far more inferior in quality, and those were what I critiqued at first. That being said, I still don't regard him as that great a painter.
In regards to points made:firstly, I think biography is completely irrelevant in discussing the validity of one's work(unless the narrative or political bent somehow requires it).
Secondly I think its absurd to say these flaunt convention in any way, when throughout art schools in over the last 50 years there have been thousands of people painting in a similar manner, albeit perhaps at a lesser skill level. I'm sure we could go to the art students league right now and find a few similar examples. That being said thanks for the link, I kinda see a scott grodesky vibe in those 90s joints which I kinda like.

on the subject of narrow minded young painters, I went through Chelsea on Weds., the best thing I saw was the Soutine show at Cheim and Reade. Had some amazing Soutines, and a sick Pollock from '34 I think. Check em out....

George said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Cooky Blaha said...

fair enough.nice blog

Cooky Blaha said...

another painter I think Garabedian's 90s works(and this) bear relation to is bendix harms, though I find him a much better artist.

George said...

Like I said, it's not a problem whether someone here likes or dislikes Garabedian's paintings, it's a matter of taste and tastes vary rather widely.

My point about "flaunting convention" was loosely worded, what I meant was "flaunting the current convention", the string of "isms" from the 1960's to the present. If you look deep enough, I would acknowledge that any style of painting has roots somewhere, it's not an issue.

My point about the biography can be taken as you seem to have read it, or it can illuminate the kind of process an artist goes through in a lifetime. Viewed this way, I think it can help put the practice into perspective. Over a lifetime, a lot of things happen, some good, some bad. I would suggest that life experience has a profound affect on an artists work (duh). In terms of responding to the work itself, I agree that knowing the biographical background is irrelevant, the work has to stand up for itself. However as an artist, at the very least one might find this kind of knowledge interesting or possibly even helpful to know.

Whatever, for the moment, painting is dead.

(correctes a typo in the 5:39 comment)

poppy said...

how about paintings biographical background?

I'm curious to know if anyone can define naive painting? I'd like to know what we are talking about. I'm also curious to see the opposition to the definition presented. There will be alot I'm sure.

poppy said...

ps about the first question,..
is it possible to remove the person from the context?

painterdog said...

Sure Poppy,
Naive painting is the opposite of say academic painting.
Grandma Moses is a very good example of naive painting. Rembrandt or Manet is good example of "high art" that is work produced by trained artist who also have a good base in craft.

In naive painting there is no sense of linear perspecitve.hence naive(innocent or child like view of the world).

painterdog said...

painting is not dead... that's such a post-modern cliche used by people who are to lazy to paint or want to dismiss it.

George said...

um, how about Picasso? What's he?

poppy said...

this sounds like naive painting in a historical context somewhat...
picasso wasn't naive, how about ad reinhart, jasper johns. there is no linear perspective required for these 2 artists... bring us to today, when did the requirement for proper linear perspective return to painting? At what point in the last century? How about Impressionism? In Many cases you can say there is no linear perspective, yet these painters are not considered naive. There intentions were to give a more accurate description of reality. with this logic for definition, perhaps anyone using linear perspective is considered a naive painter.. Perhaps any renaissance painter can be labled naive since this is not an accurate depiction of reality. It is an interesting naive attempt perhaps... the impressionists say things are not outlined in reality, i tend to agree.

George said...


The only reality in a painting is of itself.

Nothing else. Everything else is a fiction.

no-where-man said...

"Naive painting is the opposite of say academic painting."

i beg to differ the major mfa programs privy a form of acedemic Naive painting - just take a tour of the new summer group shows.

George said...

Just as an aside.

You'll note Garabedian graduated from UCLA in 1961.
UCLA is a University, not an art school, which means in addition to being trained in the classical studio skills of painting and (life) drawing, he also had at least 3 semesters of Art History.

He is anything but a naive painter. The jpeg painterNYC posted is classically composed, not arbitrarily pieced together. Considering what was occuring in art during his formative years, Picasso was still at the top of the heap along with the Abstract Expressionists. The drawing in the jpeg, isn't naive, it takes its cue from Picasso.

poppy said...

I find this still a confusing issue.
what is the "genius" of daVinci with regards to painting., wasn't a large part of it his discoveries in color theory? couldn't you learn all of this and then some and exploit it to a maximum potential and never learn to draw?
since i will say that you can, then is the product of such investigations naive?
just to note, I understand the naive/academic defenition but have an obvious problem with it. Naive is thrown loosely around. Cezannes pictures could have been described as naive at the time, since there were many tilted and twisted planes in a composition that was really only depicting one point of view. Who was to know at the time that this was a compositional strategy and painting was about to move forward by leaps and bounds?
i think naive may mean no attention payed to any of the following:
color, line, perspective, compostition, basically a stick man on ruled paper..........unless the concept is wicked then hes a genius.
whatever man!

poppy said...

i don't know if anyone will still be visiting this post or not but lets argue about something different for a bit:

who was the godfather of modernism?

George said...

Poppy said

i think naive may mean no attention paid to any of the following: color, line, perspective, composition, basically a stick man on ruled paper...

This is an interesting point. I think true naive painting does pay attention to the qualities you mentioned, at least in part, but they way they are expressed is less rigidly memetic. I think it's a moot point.

A broad view of paintings history reveals that an artworks greatness is not just tied to a recent western stylistic idea of "reality" but can use accepted conventions of its own era and culture.

I think one the difficulties with trying to deal with contemporary painting is that so frequently the focus is on the "look" of the painting, its relative appearance in the current moment. On the other side of the coin is the notion that "knowing" about color, line, perspective, composition, etc will lead to a great painting. It may help but in general it's not true. What makes a great painting is the ability to recognize "greatness" when you do it and I can't say how to do that.

George said...

who was the godfather of modernism?


poppy said...

to george
thanks for insightful responses,
the reason i brought it up was to know if anyone could define it for right now.
many people seemed to have conflicting ideas of what was considered naive or naive for now..

part 2, how about cezanne for Godfather?

no-where-man said...

my first painting teacher made us paint "replicas" of Cezanne - brush for brush stroke.

i won.

George said...


I wouldn't disagree over choosing Cezanne, he did come to mind first.
Recently though, I looked at some Manet paintings (jpegs) along with some other painters who were his contemporaries. Manet was a huge breakout from the classical academic style, they seem truly modern.

my first painting teacher made us paint "replicas" of Cezanne - brush for brush stroke.
Gee, that's almost child abuse :-)

Cooky Blaha said...

this question is really silly buuut
Manet is the established choice
One could argue for Courbet
If you want to get really sneaky you could say Monticelli

no-where-man said...

we grow though Opposition.

George said...

Monticelli is a curious one, I don't think I'd say he was particularily modern but a crusty old painter. Interesting stuff though.

no-where-man said...

i think more to light and form then Mon.

poppy said...

it is silly but this came up once before
with me
thought it was funny.
One could argue for Courbet and Manet, true enough, i think less for style more for subject matter... but i'm putting my money on Cezanne for breaking apart the picture plane and flattening of space..and yes the light coming through all over thing. That's the lingo!!!
precursor to lots o stuff. What is funny is we learned about alot of influential artists etc,.. but cezanne never came up this way in any history class i ever took. Is anything written about this?
I had to do a cezanne repro too, boy in red vest, wasn't a competition and i defenitely wouldn't have won any badges at the time.

poppy said...

thats a lie,
it came up in an LAs class, kinda one time deal class by this cool teacher.
i still don't think there is a consensus out there.

George said...

The remarks on copying the Cezanne are interesting. If you were working from a reproduction, you get one kind of experience, but if you were working from life, that's another matter totally.

It's interesting you are even thinking about it, as the whole period was fertile and primarily visual. (Cezanne up to Cubism) I still love visiting the big Monet at MOMA, liked it was displayed better in the old museum, the new one feels like MACYs. The large water lily paintings Monet made approach abstraction and are unequaled by anyone else with the exception of Pollock.

I'm always amazed by how transparent the Cezannes look.

wade said...

On the daddy of modernism question... it seems modernism is seen as breaking with a tradition of creating illusionistic space that itself was only a 400 yr old practice in western painting. In this case, cave painting modern, pre-columbian painting of south america, japanese painting or prints, etc. are modern. The influence of japanese prints in late 19th c. art is well known, so were Westernerns becoming "modern" by taking cues from 100 yr. old prints? The Alfred Barr diagram of Modernism, (from cezanne to picasso, etc.)is neat but seems more a way of drawing a lineage, delimiting an area (what paintings for Moma to show, etc.) (btw there is a good essay in the book on Monet in the 20th cetnury on the influence of his late work on mid 20th century artists-- a good example of the older paintings- Monet's-being seen in the light of the new and vice-versa)

In other words, modernism represented a break within a specific high art culture of europe/west, even though the formal means used were much older(modern doesn't=new).
Anyway, at this point we can survey the history of art and pick and choose from anywhere, or join a dialogue within a specific tradition, genre, or mix n' match or whatever. Even though some folks will still think drawing a cartoon or graffiti is more "modern" than drawing naturalistic portrait.

um...On naive art-- doesn't that usually refer to painters who lacked schooling, both in formal art technique and art history. The MFA stuff is faux naive, or refers or evokes naive styles, say that adolescent cartooning etc., but does so self-consciously, rather than unwittingly or spontaneously. (main point is the conscious control of both the materials and formal/pictorial stuff).
Twombly is a very good self-conscioulsy "naive" painter.

painterdog said...

who was the godfather of modernism?


painterdog said...


I was just using those examples as very basic ways of defining naive.

Cezanne, Manet, Monet,Picasso,Van Gough
Are very good examples of trained painters coming out of the academic tradition. They had a complete understanding of the rule of perspective,(linear,aerial)color theory,composition, in short they where trained in through some kind of system, the academy, ateliers.

What these artist have in common is that they all broke the rules, cast off their training so to speak and created what was in their time considered avant garde work.

The abstract painters who cam after where still trained in this mannor in one way or another. De Kooning came out an academic tradition. Helen Frankenthaler,Joan Mitchell, etc.

So all the artist Poppy mentioned,ad reinhart, jasper johns are still connected to some form of schooling.

In most art programs since the mid 1960's the whole idea of drawing or learning anything about it or anything for that matter was thrown out the window and replaced by the theory based methodologies.

DuChamp, Joseph Beuys.

This is still academic based work as they use theory to create and justifiy the work.

The naive artist, by definition would not base their work on theory.
(modernism, post-modernism, etc.)

painterdog said...

"um...On naive art-- doesn't that usually refer to painters who lacked schooling, both in formal art technique and art history. The MFA stuff is faux naive, or refers or evokes naive styles, say that adolescent cartooning etc., but does so self-consciously, rather than unwittingly or spontaneously. (main point is the conscious control of both the materials and formal/pictorial stuff).
Twombly is a very good self-conscioulsy "naive" painter."

Wade's comments are exactly what I was trying to say. Thank you Wade.

no-where-man said...

um.. that comment had a hint of glib - and was a nod to the fact that most painting programs do not privy a 'classic' set of skills.

on the painting is not dead question - i don't think it referes to people physically being able to paint or having the motivation to do so - but rather paintings ability as an Art medium (not saying i feel this way) to move beyond the 'decorative', as a 'trade' or making second/third generation/tier versions and furthering the concept of Art itself - being truly relevant beyond a craft. of course anyone can learn to copy a brush stroke. So painterdog with this notion how do you feel that your work is not adding to the physical detris but rather taking us to that next level?

painterdog said...

Glib? God forbid people should come out of an art program with a set of skills.
Go figure.

Maybe they other 97% who come out of art progams who don't get teaching jobs or "make it" can find some way to make a living after spending 4 or more years and a whole lot of cash instead of working in Starbucks.

"adding to the physical detris but rather taking us to that next level"

I don't care about the next level, how can one be so pretentious?.
And what is this next level?
I never though of painting as a computer game...

I'm not trying to change the art world or make up some new manifesto.

I like to paint because it pleases me.
If other people like it, so be it, if not that's ok as well.

Everything has been done for the most part.

The painting is dead argument suggest that we just sit around and talk theory. What does that get us?

painterdog said...

There was an article in the NY times about people who have small fabrication business's that make the objects ofr artist like Jeff Koons.

They are staffed by people who went to art programs that emphisized skill and craft as well as art. Now some of the people in this article did say they were unprepaired for the NY art world(spent a few years trying to get shows) but at least they found work in their field.

Is this bad?

Cooky Blaha said...

@ George:Monticelli jus because he was Van Gogh's and Cezanne's fav artist. He did a hell of a lot of mediocre paintings but if you look hard enough, you find some that are completely over the top camp expressionistic spectacles (Cezanne copied these in his early woman worshipping series, such as the Modern Olympia paintings)

When artists have a team of people working for them, the concept can be a bit disheartening, and in the case of artists like Barney, it seems that there comes a definite point when the Art stops and the product begins....that being said I don't think there is a huge difference between that and an example like Rubens and his school of painters.

painterdog said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
painterdog said...

Except that Rubins's team was Frans Synders, Jacob Jordens, Jan Brueghel, Van Dyke...
pretty good painters in their day.

There is a difference between a team of artisians making a huge polished chrome dog and Jan Brueghel painting the landscape for you.

The article from the ny times:
Looks Brilliant on Paper. But Who, Exactly, Is Going to Make It?
by Mia Fineman points to some of thie ways some people end up being production artist.

not sure this link will work...


painterdog said...

the link wont work, sorry.
Google the title and you can find it.

Cooky Blaha said...

I agree...but I'm sure there were some artists in Ruben's team,(or any other Master with such a workshop) that never really went on to greatness

George said...

cooky: Yeh, I knew that about Monticelli, Van Gogh bought one of his paintings, but I still don't think he would quite qualify as the "godfather".

The artery from Cezanne goes right into analytic cubism (Picasso-Braque) which was visually revolutionary. AC's evolution into synthetic cubism set the stage for geometric abstraction. It was all in the air in Paris at the time and once started, spread out in all directions.

I mentioned Manet earlier, his paintings really are modern, the color is often laid down in a unmodulated planer way and I suspect they must have been quite surprising at the time.
Manet: The Execution of the Emperor Maximilian of Mexico. 1867-1868
Manet: Portrait of Victorine Meurent. 1862
Manet: Women at the Races. 1864-1865
main Manet page

Someone else mentioned Goya, he did a cycle of frescos at the San Antonio de la Florida chapel in Spain which are incredible. See here about middle of the list for a few pictures. This was an "out of the way" commission so Goya took a lot of liberties, the frescos are not as "finished" looking as many other paintings of the period. They are quite amazing (I have an out of print book from 1955, which has details of the entire ceiling rotunda)

George said...

Here, This will link to the NY Times article

painterdog said...

Frans Synders, Jacob Jordens, Jan Brueghel, Van Dyke:

They all went on to achive greatness, Van Dyke rivaled his master Rubins and became a court painter for Charles I of England.

Synders, Jordens, and Brueghel all had very successful careers in there own time and are comanding healthy sums when there work comes to auction in todays market.

I mentioned Goya as he was one of the first painters to work with the self, the id.(Although Rembrandt was realy doing a lot interesting work with his later self portraits).

That is he did work in his later life, the black paintings, that reflected deep personal emotions,dream states, psychosis. All of which we don't really start to see in art until after around the end of 19 century and rally come to the fore after WW1.

Also his Disasters of War print series is a considered one of the first pieces of what can only be described as realistic acount of events he witnesed and in some ways hes one of the first real war artist.(Jacques Callot in 1621: had done graphic work on the thirty years war of France).

Otto Dix's Der Krieg prints are amazing in this vain as well.

painterdog said...

sorry for the typo: rally should be really.

kalm james said...

Folks, All these definitions and flow charts of influences are the old academic way of looking at painting (though still interesting). Naïve painting has changed from its original position of an “unschooled” artist to become a fashionable style that could be picked up by anyone. Modernism has become just another station stop on this trip to who knows where. Post-Modernism has flattened out history so that you can pick and choose what era or period you can select your inspiration from. Robert Motherwell said that “every artist carries the entire history of art within themselves” sort of like the DNA codes that form your genetic codes. Things are moving too fast and are too mixed up for any one major movement to dominate the culture like cubism or Abstract Expressionism did in the past. As for “critical thinking” hey this is New York. If the criteria for recognition were based on some demonstrable list of rules or thesis, ninety percent of the painters praised on this site would be out of the running. Painting seems to live in a world where the rules of taste and logic don’t function in the “normal” way. No simple answers, but lots of interesting questions.

painterdog said...

Well it started because someone asked what the definition of naive painting was.

So while I agree that anything goes and I think this is a vast improvement on the bad ol' days of Clement Greenberg, I for one used the academic approach as a way of framing the differences.

However a "fashionable style" is anything but naive in concept. Its an educated decision(device) made by someone who most likley went to college or art school. In NY they probably went to Colombia, Yale, Hunter, SVA. Hardley the bastons of naive thinking.

So I would argue that that there is a difference.

Look at what is being coined as "outsider art" which is naive.

Cooky Blaha said...

@pdog, there were more people in his workshop than those you mentioned, thats what I was referring to; the artists you mentioned are all heavy hitters.

I said the question of Modernism's godfather was silly for the same reasons kalm gave: that dialogue is now pretty defunct...one could chose tons of pre20th cent artists who could fit as precursors of modernism

still an interesting conversation none the less

painterdog said...

True, there are a lot of artist one could add to the list.

The godfather thing was silly, but one can find links and there were strong links between artist in the 19 century simply from the way they studied and with whom.

But its interesting no one mentioned Degas, or Monet, or any of the German Expressionaist, or the Dadaist who are more influential than most want to admit.

The pre20th century artist list would be pretty heavy in leaning towards the French as that was the center of art in those days.

So I'm curious who would be in your list?

George said...

... you can pick and choose what era or period you can select your inspiration from. Given the limits of any cultural moment this was always true. It's always easier to go with the flow and do "what's going on". Regardless of the choices one makes for their personal inspiration, it doesn't make it any easier to make a good painting. It is precisely because of paintings vast history that it is such a difficult practice.

Ultimately our temporally local "isms" (what's hot and what's not) fade into history. At some point someone will look at an artist like Alex Katz next to someone like Manet. Katz can't cut it, his work will mark a point in time, Late 20th century, ho hum. (PainterNYC in 2050)

Things are moving too fast whoosh! missed it…

Painting seems to live in a world where the rules of taste and logic don’t function in the "normal" way.

I'm not sure what you are implying here. I don't think painting succumbs very well to logic. One of the difficulties of the current moment is the idea that somehow one can "understand" a painting. To some extent this is true, one might understand the image but this in itself is no guarantee the painting is any good. Ultimately a painting must be resonant within itself. By this I mean that regardless of anything you might laundry list as a characteristic of a painting whatever choices occur must resonate with one another.

painterdog said...

Alex Katz??? can't stand his work.
I think Chuck Close will be a in the history book 100 years from now.

Painting seems to live in a world where the rules of taste and logic don’t function in the "normal" way.

sorry I didn't say that...

George said...

Painterdog, I know, kalm james said it in an earlier comment

I like the idea about who who would be on your list, abridged to mean who are you looking at.

In no particular order…
Van Gogh
Japanese prints

painterdog said...

you see, I thought of Caravaggio, and Velasquez,(big influence on Manet)but in the moment of doing this online writing one does not give one enough time to contemplate...

I would pick De Koonig over Pollock, but hey that's me.

kalm james said...

Pdog, technically you’re right regarding the naïve, but a tour through the last Greater New York show did expose an “academy of the naïve,” no doubt a reaction to the wonderful documentary film on the life of Henery Darger. Only no one wants to spend the fifty years of psycho-drudgery and depravation to make it real. Running through 15 openings in Chelsea lastThursday I could see there’s still a strong attraction to the pseudo-naïve-adolescent look for many young artists. Peter Caine, not a painter, but one wacky dude at Derek Eller was a hoot. Other common devices observed: tiny writing, gives me a head ache (please provide a magnifying glass), money, seems every one is cutting up, blowing up, or walking on dollar bills, finally teen idols from the early sixties like Johnny Crawford, or Bobby Darin.

George, like your desert island top ten. Picaso would have to be up there on any list.

painterdog said...

I would also add Joan Mitchell,

Elaine De Kooning

Frans Hals

Katie Kollwitz

Otto Dix

Robert Crumb

George said...

painterdog, yes, I'd add De Kooning, his painting at the Met (the one next ot the Jasper Johns white flag) is a killer.

Pollock is an interesting case, the paintings I look at are the earlier ones from the 40's before the drip fields.

The Pollock drip paintings are usless to see in reproduction, you have to stand in front of them. It's painting at the edge of possibility and chaos, reduced down to the most minimal means. The're something to think about when I'm feeling to "fussy"

George said...


Joan Mitchell, yes. I saaw an incredible exhibition of hers, a year or so ago in one of the Chelsea galleries. There is a painting of hers at the Met, one or two to the right of the DeKooning, it's tough, damn good.

poppy said...

Someone said this convo was a bit defunct, but goerge, one of your previous posts asks the quesiton, I guess a painting must resonate within itself? this brings me to Matthew Collings once again. These are some of the questions or conversations being had, and believe it or not, People still try to figure out what it means to make a painting now and where should the focus be.. this conversation always leads to the present, and the questions are still present, albeit not by everyone.

Cooky Blaha said...

are you guys just listing people you're looking at now? I not getting the lists...

in reference to pre 20th cent artists who could pass as modernists (perhaps with a little tweaking)

all the renaissance dudes the surrealists loved:
some piero di cosimo
some pisanello
some ucello
lesser known dudes like lorenzo leonbruno

and some of these guys can relate to postmodernist trends as well--think of all the ecstasy and resurrection paintings that use psychadelic rainbow colors

also for pre-modernists
some fuselli
some blake
some casper d frederich can fit in anywhere
all the ukiyo-e greats of course(hiroshige,hokusai,kuniyoshi,
you also have to include all the african and native american artists the cubists took from

personally I cant stand chuck close, think hes been beating a dead horse for half a century. Katz I appreciate more and more though you have to be in the mood..he can be a fascinating talker as well.

no-where-man said...

read that article acually i know some people who are in that article. anyhow Jan Brueghel had a stable of assistants and WAY less then 3% "make it"

kalm james said...

Picabia's got to be the "Godfather" of Post-Modernism.

Woooffffaaa-Woooffffaaa- Woooofffffaaa-Ssssssmmmmmuuushshshsh. (Oil paint being Smushed on linen!!!)

George said...

Polke made Picabia

kalm james said...

Sigmar Polke (1941...) Francis Picabia (1879-1953) No wonder the German painters get such respect, they are capable of time travel too. I guess a talented 12 year old could influence a master, especialy one he's never met. Could make for an interesting painting.

George said...


What I meant by that is that before Polke, Picabia had a lower status than he does today.

Polke in an interesting artist, started initially working in a European variation of the Pop style. The European Pop artists were somewhat overshadowed by American Pop Art initially. Polke took Pop Art in another direction which was picked up by David Salle and the other neo-expressionists in the early 80's. Polke still looks good, so does Basquiat, the others...

zipthwung said...

"Does anyone else see a Amy Sillman in his work? I would guarantee he's an influence."

Thats funny because I was going to say Dana Schutz.
Anxiety of Influence. Gotta love it.

Affluenza. Awesome.

"second/third generation/tier versions and furthering the concept of Art itself"

-with the Cargo cult thing is the hirerarchical (modern) top down or center outward model of culture, vs a more systemic (postmodern) diaspora thing where stuff is in the air. I think culture is becoming more like a slushie, as people are increasingly networked. Look at cell phones now vs 10 years ago. Infugginsane.

There is a sense that something is ersatz in both cases hierarchic or systemic - which is generally an idealistic mirage, but in both cases the "real" meaning "ideal" gets turned into things like plastic castles when you could have your own, if you were willing to commit to a place and time. Lots of time. Or money for someone elses time.
"no one wants to spend the fifty years of psycho-drudgery and depravation to make it real,"
but people do.
Dale Carnegie, for example, built libraries on the backs of steel workers. Thank you Dale.
Naive art - what about self reflexivity? Isnt self reflexivvity the hallmark of modernism? Or is that just the conceptual side? If this is true, then arent some "mdernist" painters mislabeled simply because of their peer group or affiliation?
Aside from style - which I totally agree with modernisms back of tricks (refined or no) predating what came before it formally...and I would ad that the ancients werent all stupid, nor unironic, nor naive. Thats a fallacy of the notion of modernist linear progress. Like saying the Germans were savage Huns, or that the Japanese were conformist and suicidally fanatical. Differentiation is a weird deal - it is usefull and yet creates mirages.
Irony as a mass phenomenon IS new? - its as if the masses have become innoculated against irrational beliefs and pointless wars. Its amazing.
But seriously why arent the University degrees making everything better? Shouldnt there be more altruism based on pragmatic utilitarianisms?

Oh and this particular painting reminds me of some of Susan rothenbergs horse people in a way. Bad painting indeed.

Also read the Harpers article on Nathaniel West. Guy died because he wasnt paying attention. Just like that greek dude who was killed by a roman soldier who didnt realize who he was - a real space cadet. Got SCREWED.

poppy said...

this conversation has moved to godfather of postmodernism?
thats simple
Marcel Duchamp

zipthwung said...


kalm james said...

I was funnin ya. Phil Pearlstein wrote his masters disitation on Picabia in the late 50's, got it published in Art News. Some folks were awear of him before he was re-packaged by the Neo-Exers. Poppy's right Duchamp is the Dada of Po-Mo. He helped out the "bad boy rich kid" Picabia from time to time. They had a mutual admeration society going. Duchamp"s okay cept he ain't no painter

poppy said...

you're right, but the brains behind..
hey zip - ha ha , sorry man. but i gotta say it.
how many times has large glass been repeated with less going on i wonder.
jasper john's and his painters pallette painting? anyone? anyone?

George said...

All, Suppose...

Instead of looking backward at past "isms"

Supose we look forward.

What would the characteristics be for a future "ism"

What would you like to see?

Just for fun, no ones ass is on the line.

Let's confine it to painting.

poppy said...

ill have to think about that one for a minute, ill get back

painterdog said...

my head hurts now...

painterdog said...

Dana Schutz, very over rated, its all hype.
Heard her talk about her work...
shes a nice person but, man that line about her and this ape guy as the last people on earth is just plan...ok I'll say it,lame. The patter is just grad school art speak.

She's alright but its mostly hype, you see those paintings in the flesh and you go what the hell is all the fuss about.

zipthwung said...

vivre le retardaire!
no more isms, just brands - what are brands but mini-myths.
The Froth.

Bunko Boy said...

I love reading your shit Zipthwung. Nothing like a nice slice of bitterness to make me laugh my ass off. Keep it coming.

George said...

A brand is nothing more than staking an identity.
That's been going on for centuries, it's nothing new.

kalm james said...

Art can only be painted looking forwards, and can only be understood looking backwards. My vote is we start going backwards and re-invent everything untill we end up passing ourselves in the space time continuum.

poppy said...

kalm james

kalm james said...

I going to the loo, anybody want a beer or a shot when I get back?

wade said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
George said...

way cool

poppy said...

i'm half cut

zipthwung said...

I just saw wild at heart again. Great movie. I do get a kick out of the Yojimbo-dogoreferenceyou shouldknow.

Ever notice people copy stuff they like?
I jsut pointed ou t an instance, which points to another interesting phenomena tha people like pointout things they like.

wade said...

I'll try it again... I meant THIS is cool.

zipthwung said...

this would be good at Guantanamo with some LSD.

no-where-man said...

the wiggley toe is rendered so well.

JpegCritic said...

Nice. I just remembered how much i ike balthus and picasso and picking up shit after walking my neighbors dog. And of course balthus glowing out of a medieval orifice at the met... in an updated configuration... An intimate and updated picture for sure. Fetish Version 2.006.

JpegCritic said...

Or is this an ode to courbet(?)

JpegCritic said...

Lastly, I think its a nice painting.

brian edmonds said...

I am somewhat tired of all of this "smartass", right out of grad school crap. There is room for this kind of stuff but it just seems like we are overrun with it nowadays. I agree with the whole Dana Schutz thing. I saw one of her earlier works, the one with the girl blowing her nose, at a venue in Chicago this last spring and thought it was fair at best. Like the painting of the surgery of Michael Jackson and stuff like that.
Elizabeth Peyton is another one I dont get. For the most part, her paintings look nothing like the person she is painting. A good example of this is the painting of Kurt Cobain, he looks like a girl.
I dont know who would be considered among the best today. Cecily Brown and Saville are good but its still kind of built around schtick. Its like grad school has taught them their work must be layered 10 times over with some deep, overthoughtout meaning thats not even there. What happened to the days of Picasso,(whose work is sometimes smartassy),Diebenkorn(who is extremely underrated), De Kooning, Freud, Bacon, etc. Those artist had real punch to them. They seemed to paint and not really worry about the deep meaning bs that is prevalent today. I know artist of this magnitude only come along so often but still. Koons and Salle are considered A level artist. Any talent they have or did have gets lost in the so so work that is made for only monetary means.
For those that read this rant, who do you think is truly at the top or deserves to be at the top? What do you think of the artists I listed? What do you think of the artists I criticized?

painterdog said...

Balthus? Courbet?
Sorry to disagree but this painter is just not in their league.
This is a subjective summation of course.

kalm james said...

Brian, Dana Schutz, Elizabeth Payton, Amy Sillman, Cecily Brown, Jenny Saville, notice anything? There all women. This should be celebrated, some form of equality is finally being approached. It used to be that there were only over-ratted male artists. Some of these artists’ stuff I like, some I don’t, but at least I’m aware of it.

Regarding who’s making or has made interesting painting. Elizabeth Murray is great. The Schnabel’s mini-retrospective at L & M last spring reinforced the importance of some of his early work (up to about 1986-87). Basquiat’s retrospective at the Brooklyn Museum was fine. Alfred Jensen has to be one of the most unrecognized geniuses in the NYC universe. Thomas Trosch makes some horribly good paintings, just wish he’d get more of them to New York for our perusal. Elizabeth Huey’s been hot, hope she isn’t over exposed. I could go on but this is a beginning.

poppy said...

I'll comment on what i think i can brian,
cecily brown looks at some of the older artists such as dekooning, but i think you are right that they aren't as punchy. saville looks at the older artists as well (dekooning and others)as says she tries to stay removed from the influence of seeing too much contemporary work. I still think the guts are missing from her paintings. She even paints gut like subject matter but it seems too slick. her process is one of mixing all the colors before hand and each move is thought out. maybe this is why the punch is missing. all these layers don't add meaning, i'll agree, if anything they might dilute it. the older artists you mentioned, whatever the "style", seemed to have a common goal of making a great painting. I usually think that they had similar ideas about what this meant. painters today (alot that i know) feel they need to distinguish themselves stylistically from everyone else, or have a really good concept to justify painting in a certain manner. I think some of us hold our brushes with hesitance and without a clear idea of what a painting today should be.

painterdog said...

Cecily Brown and Jenny Saville never went to grad school. And they are British, so its safe to say their schooling different than ours.

Saville got picked up by Sattchi right out of art school(Glasgow). It does seem to me that she merited the attention, she can paint. I don't like all of her work but she is a very good painter.

As is Brown, who while she came into the NYC art world through some hype, Vanity Fair was it, she too can paint very well.

From what I have seen of Schutz's work she can't paint as well Brown or Saville. Yes she works hard, and she has a clever command of color theory but I find the work uninteresting and forgettable after you have seen it. Saville's work on the other hand leaves me thinking about it days after I have seen her show, which was years ago.

Its like grad school has taught them their work must be layered 10 times over with some deep, overthoughtout meaning thats not even there.

I think you are referring to Peyton and Schutz's work with this comment.
I don't think Saville's work is this pretentious.

Peyton is a total fraud in my book, every time I see the work I just can't figure out why someone who's work is on the level of art done by a mediocre high school student is getting all this attention.

Diebenkorn is very under rated but he's from the west so this may be why.

The others are icons, whats to say about De Kooning, Freud, Bacon they are all great painters.

Interesting to note that some of Saville's favorite painters are De Kooning and Bacon.

There is also a Freud influence in the early work.

JpegCritic said...

painterdog, you can disagree.

The courbet mention was made because
I can see this particular image as a sendup
of courbet's Origin (L 'Origine du monde)
-- but perhaps that was the Miller talkin.
Wasn't really thinking stylistically. And C.
sucked as a painter. whatever league he's
in, I'd seriously downgrade it.

brian edmonds said...

If you think about art school today compared to the traditional ways artist were taught, do you all feel that art school is beneficial today? Do you need to go to art school to be considered credible? I know some schools still follow the rigors of the past but most offer something totally radical in comparison. I know a guy that is getting his mfa and he said that when he spoke to the faculty about his senior project and what his body of work was about, they expected explanation that was at least an hour and 40 pages long. Im not kidding. He was kind of disheartened by the whole process. He felt like they were more concerned about why you made the art instead of what it looked like. I mentioned older artist , i.e. De Kooning, Picasso, earlier but even artist like Clemente, Schnabel, Baselitz, Auerbach, Kossoff, etc. paint from the hip. They paint as they want with a somewhat blatant disregard to the rules. Basquiat did this but of course he is no longer with us.

painterdog said...

You mean Courbet sucked as a painter?
Well I am not into his work that much.
His life is more interesting than his work.

I think Whistler, Manet, Monet, Degas,
Berth Morisot, Mary Cassatt(a little to sweet for me but she was an important link in getting the impressionist work appreciated in this country, and she remained a very helpful connection for some ex-pats during her life time)are far better painters.

And while we are at it lets not forget Rodin, and Camille Claudel.

JpegCritic said...

Yeah, I do mean Courbet sucked and I agree
his celebrity was more interesting. There are
Not many courbet's I like, but of the one's I
do, there's Origin.

I miss the three C's (Clemente, Chia, Cucchi).
The 80's rocked.

poppy said...

mfa thing, disheartening to say the least, some reason alot of schools need or want you to prove you know something about art past to present, often wanting you to connect your work to this is some way and understand where it fits in. Undergrad is like this but to lesser degree, actually dependant on the teachers, some don't give a shit either way, you can really get out of it without knowing anything, some don't really prepare well for masters in this way. Personally i think the background is more beneficial than not... its like the arguement that you need to understand the language in order to change the language.. and its damn interesting don't you think? tell your friend to look up every artist that seems similar in anyway to his own work and then talk about how he is or isn't trying to be like them. 1 hour in no time and he looks sharper then the cats ass

no-where-man said...

i think your spending WAY to much time trying to approach this as a didactic or academic problem, there is alot more "id" , type stuff in operation!

Art needs to throw away its goody goody notebooks and return to its dirty underworld.

no-where-man said...

do you all feel that art school is beneficial today?

- yes like anything there is a hazeing period, and i agree language, the problem is that Art programs are not harsh enough .

Anonymous said...

The question may be what is graduate school beneficial for...I believe graduate school is beneficial. The pissing contest is important. The pissing contest begins in which school to go to, and carries on through out ones attendance of that school. Granted being full of piss doesn't mean good art, it help's, nothing's worse than a weak stream. The weak stream pays the bills and extends the tradition of the academic.

JpegCritic said...

Or, to continue on the scatological path...
You output what you eat.

Anonymous said...

yeah to a certain degree. I think one generally hopes (believes) ones intestines will act well, it's not solely the choice of meal. That being said one knows good shit when they see it.

painterdog said...

the MFA is beneficial if you go to the right school. Yale, Colombia, Hunter.

I went to a state school. waste of time, and the program was filled with hacks for faculity.

They picked there favorites and if you were not in the "in crowd" you were fucked.

For what its worth, Clemente has a degree in classical languages and literature.

kalm james said...

Used to be that if you went to art school for four years, it took four years of solitary work to unlearn the mannerisms you’d assimilated from your teacher. Also dealers wouldn’t even look at your slides unless you’d been making art on your own for ten years and were over thirty-five. Gees, now you can have a museum retrospective while you’re still in the nursery, burn out before your ten, and be rediscovered by sweet sixteen.

At my school they'd scratched over the toilet-paper dispencer: Art Degrees, take as many as it takes to do the job. Living in the painting tribe of New York is the best way to learn to be a painter.

kalm james said...

Art school benefits: Making connections with other driven ambitious artists. Starting a network. Hanging out at wild parties.

poppy said...

i agree with your last comments completely, ive been saying that on blogs for god knows how long,
but this is the type of crap you have to deal with in alot of grad schools,
it can also be the type of stuff jammed into your ear canal. Some just want your work to appear contemporary so it reflects well on them too, In larger centers or schools this may not be the case or it may not be happening, but i think it is unfortunate that it does at all.

poppy said...

this conversation reminds me of a friend of mine who was doing big kieffer like paintings - landscapes. he was given a talk at his
show and an art writer critic kept asking him how he could justify painting with such huge "man strokes". It really made him want to masturbate.

closeuup said...

Problem with painting is that it is too insular and has become irrelevant. That's why living in your tribe doesn't always cut it, though it is comforting.

If you confront the questions "Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going?" in paint, you'll be a great painter. Doesn't matter your style.

painterdog said...

Just for the sake argument, Damian Loeb is a high school drop out and never went to art school.

no-where-man said...

well i didn't graduate from "Yale, Colombia, or Hunter" but going to school in Detroit and NYC teaches you street lessons, on top of giving you the ability to crash whatever you want, school gives you a time to develop where no one is judging you for real, i guess i am not bitter because as my Dad told me when he came to visit, he is not sure how he feels about my "lifestyle" but it looks like i never "choose to leave collage mentality, and i seem to be having a good time so it must be all right",

JpegCritic said...

if your friend couldn't justify what he was doing,
he probably *was* masturbating. Something we
all do. But it's probably slick when one can justify
being caught throwing one's bucket to the sea.

JpegCritic said...

Damian Loeb is a Chippendale.
In Las Vegas.
With money.

Anonymous said...

my belief is that the cream rises...inevitabily. Pristine CV's are sucessful as are filthy original men-women. It's somehow about being touched. The person that did not understand why Elizabeth Peyton is a good painter misses the boat completely...it's established. The criticism needs to account for that. She has clearly, concisely, carved out her territory, suceeded and is part of the culture that dares be discussed. Is that not what we all hope for to some degree.

wade said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
painterdog said...

Because I don't think she can paint or draw at all means I'm wrong. Just because a bunch of critics from NY and her gallery say shes the best thing since swiss cheese? Give me a break.
I don't like her work and that's my subjective opinion.

Oh I miised the boat.. yeah my opinion is not worth anything because I disagree with people like you?

Have you ever thought that people decide things to make money, that critics and dealers are in each others paints, and the artist are as well.

What the hell do think goes on in NY...

JpegCritic said...

Cream rises. The quality depends upon who's
doing the churning. imho, I'm simply glad that
gravity is doing it's job. Whether it be market-driven,
fashion-driven, intellectually-driven -- I'm glad
that as painters some of us are getting what we
hope for and deserve. And at the end of the day,
there's still the matter of grading the cream,
according to the tastes of the day. Example:
Picabia was a shit-painter 20 years ago. He
tastes great now. What's the shelf-life of cream,

painterdog said...

Yeah shes touched...you are funny.
millerhuggins your so wise and full of knowledge on the art world.

Her work does nothing for me.

I don't care about her resume.
Cream rises indeed.

painterdog said...

So you guys like her work i gather.

painterdog said...

Why because the critics tell you shes meaningful?

JpegCritic said...

I don't like Peyton's work. I don't
bestow any attention to it.
But she's a painter making a buck.
So cheers!

painterdog said...

Ahh so money is the criteria.

painterdog said...

If money is the judge of what is meaningful? or worthy of our attention than Thomas Kinkade should be in that list, no? Or what's his name Mark Kostabi.

JpegCritic said...

The market, of which you are a part,
is not the criteria, but the environment.

painterdog said...

I'm not in the art market.
It seems to me that just because someone is doing well financially does not mean they are good. It is that they are just succsesful in the environment

Anonymous said...

Her work may do nothing for you...fair enough. I have no belief that her resume should render you a believer...who cares. She is good at what she does in my opinion. The Picabia reference is spot on in my opinion, it all changes, context shifts...He does look good now don't he. Who does the churning is exactly right...to think that one creates without an awareness of the churner is silly. I love ambition..the ambitious are hyper aware of the churner. In my opinion...the mediocre give the churner a big smooch...the really good give the churner a smooch and a pat on the back.

JpegCritic said...

I agree with you painterdog.
Welcome to NYC.

painterdog said...

this cream reference does not work for me.
By the way mr.higgins your contradicting yourself.
in one sentence you say

The Picabia reference is spot on in my opinion, it all changes, context shifts

then you say:
I love ambition..the ambitious are hyper aware of the churner. In my opinion...the mediocre give the churner a big smooch...the really good give the churner a smooch and a pat on the back.

So when Picabia or Van Gogh for that matter were doing there thing and nobody really liked it they were mediocre?

It can't be both ways. How many artist from the 80's who had "made it" can you remember?

I can't think of to many.
And there where a lot of artist around both good and bad.

Anonymous said...

Real quickly...Peytons small paintings knock me out sometimes, she nails that one shot virtuosity, wasted on girligirlness, that was unheard of in the pantheon of mid 1990's academia post-structuralism. She made painting about adoration, obsession, sexiness, I like that. It seemed to me that it needed to be made for her...not for an untapped market. Her larger works, well I'm not so sure.

painterdog said...

Is Damian Loebb a good painter because he is ambitious and churns the cream so to speak?

Is Mark Kosatbi a good painter as he is very ambitious, claims to make 2 million a year.
An 80's artist.

painterdog said...


JpegCritic said...

Picabia enjoyed celebrity.
A cultural currency in itself.
Europe was a small world back then,
when a euro went a long way.

A lot of artists from the 80's made it.

JpegCritic said...

Loeb and Kostabi aren't really phenomenons for us tu judge. So I think they're shit and I say so now. But this whole milk analogy is way beyond us.

Just trust in the milk.

Anonymous said...

No, No, No....Both Van Gogh and Picabia were aware and tremendously ambitious in my opinion...Ones reception well that's a whole other story. I do believe that we would not be typing their names if they in fact did not establish themselves culturally. Attempting to make work is inevitably personal...the personal may be aware, may be ambitious, may be influenced...it does not mean it's as good as Van Gogh's or Picabia's...and more importantly in my opinion for the forgotten...it's still fun to paint.

JpegCritic said...

And put trust in the milk.

Anonymous said...

The eighties for me stunk of paint...small scale and stinky...Bill Jensen, Thomas Nozkowski, Jake Berthot, John Walker, Francis Bacon, Howard Hodgkin....the heart wrenching stab of pigments authority...a last gasp................did I hear a heart beat...Is that a pulse? Breathe in...Breathe out.

JpegCritic said...

Fair enough.
But it stinks much like the stuff oozing
into Chelsea as we speak. Good enough
for a frying pan.

Anonymous said...

I really liked those eighties painters...Jensen et al....a different ambition, an ambition for one's chosen neighborhood...for Joan Mitchell, Milton Resnick, Albert Pinkham Ryder, Ad Reinhardt, and Velasquez.

Anonymous said...

Damien Loeb is not that great a painter in my opinion...Mark Kostabi is quite dredful...obviously. The fact that he tips his hand at how awful they are alleviates the burden...still, I'm not sure the damage his work does hung on a wall underweighs the benefit his personality does in entertaining the sheetrock consumer.

JpegCritic said...

Aware of their terroire.

brian edmonds said...

A site that some people may like to look at. San Francisco scene.


painterdog said...

I'm not a big fan of Loeb, he copied some photographers work and gets suied for it and it made him famous.

Francis Bacon, 1909 -1992, by the mid eighties that would make him 76. already well known by the sixties.

John Walker, Howard Hodgkin(b.1932) are not really eightites painters. They were all in their 40's or older in the eighties and pretty well astablished.

Walker is in his mid sixites now.

Bill Jenkins was born in 1945 which puts him in this generation.

Not sure why you mentioned these painters in relation to the 80's.

no-where-man said...

painter dog, when earlier i mentioned "this notion how do you feel that your work is not adding to the physical detris but rather taking us to that next level" applies to elizabeth peyton where the work goes beyond decoration and carves a niche as mentioned above, in intellectual arena and functions in society.
i lost my interest in the physicality of painting a long time ago for my self personally - a bit of everything that functions in painting, - does so in the environments they create in the live action role playing market.

kalm james said...

Happy firecracker Day. If you stay in the “art world” long enough you’ll get the chance to see all these artists that you think are over-rated fade back into obscurity. Rodney Ripps, Donald, Combas, Salomé, Neal Jenny, Susan Rothenberg, hell just get an old Whitney Biennale catalog (10 years or more) and see how many of those people you recognize, 90% are gone! On the other hand there are some painters who just keep putzing along like Nozkowsky, or Chris Martin and eventually they make themselves present and un-ignorable.

There are many aspects to being a “professional” artist. Making great paintings is only part of it. There’s the business side, the social side, the publicity side, the critical side etc. Even when you get those duck in a line that doesn’t mean society of our culture is going to be able to “see” what you’re trying to do.

If you think the life of an artist is non-stop glamour and fun, baby you’d better go into another line of work. Mostly it’s a lonely desperate struggle, interspersed with moments of paranoia, and very occasionally a tiny bit of luke-warm reassurance.

painterdog said...

"this notion how do you feel that your work is not adding to the physical detris but rather taking us to that next level"

I did say that I don't care about this kind stuff. I am not concerned if my work interest you or anyone else for that matter. If you like it fine if you find it
physical detris so be it.

Physical detris? So why don't you just stop making art and sell real estate or something.

elizabeth peyton where the work goes beyond decoration and carves a niche

Peyton is beyond decoration and carves a niche?

I don't agree its just not very well done.

That is my opinion and we can agree to disagree.

zipthwung said...

Who moved my cheese?

painterdog said...

hehe very funny.

closeuup said...


no-where-man said...

painterdog, - never commented on the qualities of "your work", but rather the idea that an Artist like peyton, loeb or kastobi for that matter may work into a fabric of the context and history of Art, where over all relevancy may not be something that can be gleaned from simply looking at the canvas.

apelles said...

"Saville got picked up by Sattchi right out of art school(Glasgow). It does seem to me that she merited the attention, she can paint. I don't like all of her work but she is a very good painter."

i don't think that saville is a good painter at all.

when you as a painter, decide to gesturally scrawl feminist text in the background of a painting of a female figure, it is a clear sign that you can't make a good painting.

that is being a little too forceful. it is using a gimmick to try to pass off a painting as meaningful.

even technically she is poor. she's too photographic and relies on the camera like a crutch. and recently, somebody has obviously told her that, because now she uses big, thick gestural brushstrokes to cover that up. being gestural doesn't make you a good painter.

her subject matter is the worst part of it. she paints fat women, or self-portraits and it's meant to shock you out and disturb you, like she's desperately trying to force some meaning into it. i don't know if she's ever painted anything else.

all of her moves and the way she thinks is pretty transparent to me. she has no finesse and only knows how to overstate things to get your attention. after her paintings get your attention, they have nothing else to offer.

painterdog said...

this is a subjective veiw point.

So because Saville at the age of 21 or 22 was interested in feminist theory and tried to incororate it into her work makes her a bad painter?

I am not a fan of the early work, but in my opinion she can paint well.

being gestural doesn't make you a good painter

well I guess by that statement De Kooning, Pollock, Mitchell and all those pesky gestural painters will have to be reevaluated.

It clear that you don't like the work.
That's ok by me. Some people like scallops cooked with butter and lemon and some can't stand shellfish.

I have to ask are you a male or female?

well it seemed to you did ask me a question that related to what I do.
sorry for the misinterpreting the question.

I assume you mean relevancy to art history. How can we know this now.

Payton's work is relevent because its done now and here we are talking about it.

Does the work retain relevance in 50 years? that's a good question.

Someone suggested to look at old Whitney Biennial catalogs and see how is still relevent, or around. Not sure what this proves other than people who are lucky enough to have carers in art have ups and downs, peeks and valleys.

triple diesel said...

So based on that, what is the difference between a "good" painter and a relevant painter?

painterdog said...

It seems to me from all the post here that its very subjective.

kalm james said...

pdog, I think it’s less a question of relevance than a question of fashion. Since Warhol and the Popsters, fashion has become relevant. Many artists are making relevant work but because it’s not “fashionable” people can’t see it. To distinguish between the fashionable and the “really relevant” a certain amount of time is required. Even the attitudes towards different periods of fashion are being used to signify relevance, i.e. the current influence of 60s and 70’s graphics. Will the pajama pants and flip-flops of today become classics like the white tee-shirt and jeans? Happily the fastest way to fall out of fashion is to be in fashion. Maybe this is relevant because it mirrors society’s reactions.

Good or bad is less important that whether it sticks in your memory.

painterdog said...

I don't live in NY so what I see is a art world driven by "fashion" and who's hot and who is not.

The age thing, so wil we soon se the galerist and collectors trolling High schools for the next big artist?

I would say Warhole was bad infulence on the art world.

Interesting thing is his foundation gives a lot of support to the The New York Academy of Art.

apelles said...

"So because Saville at the age of 21 or 22 was interested in feminist theory and tried to incororate it into her work makes her a bad painter?"

no, it's because she failed to incorporate feminist theory into her work well enough.

"I am not a fan of the early work, but in my opinion she can paint well."

she's not terrible by any means, i would say she can paint well if you compare her to other people on the scene right now that are trying to do a similar type of realism.

"well I guess by that statement De Kooning, Pollock, Mitchell and all those pesky gestural painters will have to be reevaluated."

i'm just saying that you can't rely solely on gesture to catapault your work into a higher realm of meaning. there has to be some kind of integration there. you can't take something that's not yours by way of working through it, and stuff it into your work.

"Some people like scallops cooked with butter and lemon and some can't stand shellfish."

i see it differently. some people might like shakespeare, and others might like james patterson.

I have to ask are you a male or female?

i am a male

triple diesel said...

"In words as fashions the same rule will hold,
Alike fantastic if too new or old;
Be not the first by whom the new are tried,
Nor yet the last to lay the old aside."
-Alexander Pope quote on this SVA poster we saw one time

So don't be the first cubist, or the last.

epilepticadam said...

there are so many artists we recognize today in ALL fields historically of the arts who were considered unfashionable in their time and did not sell or were appreciated. I do not understand why an artist today cares what others think! (rachmanonov, van gogh and his brother who funded him, chardin,etc,,, etc,, so many exist in all fields!) why do you act so mainstream? YOU have NO control over this! Therefore ignore it!

why do you people watch eachother SO (too) much?

be aware of what is out there, but you should not care, DO what you want ...History ALWAYs re-evaluates itself and in our era certain artists are in high esteem who were not historically in their own time!... you may or not be included, ... just paint, produce! wrestle with your mind!

aurgh... perhaps you do not know how to produce...
that is your own fault...

epilepticadam said...

that is:produce work that you want and not care what others think;...although i know so many who have a good talk and cannot produce...

Anonymous said...

One of the feelings I have is that in today's cultural environment...it's quite difficult to be ambitious and serious, not to be confused with seriously ambitious. The serious are relegated to indie labels and jazz clubs...with painting it becomes more and more difficult...much of what painting offers is slowness, consideration, mindful appreciation... frozen this to thatness. Paintings strength is it's relatively unchanging appearance....the viewer works the painting, the viewer changes. Painting today seems to be an alternative to cultures desparate attempt to mold one's viewpoint immediately... this needs to be accentuated from my point of view. The ability to paint for oneself as the audience, and the willingness to possibly accept the reaction beyond one's control is scary...sometimes the truth slips out, when one's half asleep and exhausted, and no impression is being attempted. Others should lead with their ambition...ambition as art. Art is good when it's not settling, it needs to be made and it's apparent.

closeuup said...

Painting can express spontaneous immediacy or slow consideration.

Painting reflects the mind of the maker of the painting.

epilepticadam said...

the audience for All of art changes- not just painting. history changes and who writes
History changes... therefore ALL artists should not care!

if you cannot think beyond it's 'unchanging appearance' I will not expand,,,! life is scary, deal with it...

this blog makes me sad...

George said...


epilepticadam said...

o.k.; to clarify: it does not make me too sad...
i just think that so many 'artists' cannot think for themselves and that is sad. but it is not just artists it is so many people who are to afraid to offend, to afraid to stand out because standing out could mean being a failure as well...

so many people do the talk but cannot come through with their vision for so many reasons...

George said...

Do you feel you might be projecting your own fears?

What difference does it make what anyone else does?

no-where-man said...

i agree with epilepticadam a most young Artists are thinking harder about being professional then letting them selves go and making Art and who can blame them with the price of Art-school these days.

epilepticadam said...

dear george,

i do not give care what society says; frankly it is a projection of yourself to suggest something i was not thinking.

i wish for all artists to succeed and follow their drive and vision.

i sadly witness so many 'artists' who get confused and try to please without being reflective of who they are and what they want...
while actually paying for it via the business of art schools/student loans and debt.

i wish the best for all, truly.

epilepticadam said...

i am a very empathetic person...

George said...


I didn't mean my remarks in a negative way, I was just probing to see how you would respond... and I thought you were empathetic.

You are right about the need to be self reflective but I suspect it takes a bit of time to understand oneself and what's possible. So the "confused" would probably be in the same state in some other career, maybe it's manifested differently but it amounts to the same thing. At the age of most of the readers here, everything seems possible, that's a wonderful thought and potentially it's true. How to make it happen and how to dodge the traps along the way, is what I feel most people here are trying to do. There isn't any one answer, no one way to make it happen, and in that respect your notion of self reflection makes sense as long as one is honest with oneself.

Anonymous said...

The ability to not care properly is the problem. Keith Richards circa 1972 cares differently then the Richards of 1967 or 1987 for that matter. Why is Undergraduate work more visually interesting than Graduate work generally...the struggle with the material is a better drama then the stuggle with one's works placement in culture. This is only the case with the broadest beast of art makers...not many of us are any good. I agree with the epilaticam... of course everything changes...art, art writing and the context surrounding it and to a certain degree... you say who cares...I simply like the work that somehow seems knowing and personal at the same time...how to court being dismissed and win out... seems to be the prescription. The folks that paint in the manner of the successful artist three, four, five years after the intial splash makes me sad. Every point that can be made...can be wrong...except the fact that a small dot of red improves every single work of art.

poppy said...

miller huggins
don't be so easily fooled my friend
a thick dab of white 3 quarters down the painting, a little off center, will improve any painting 10 times over

poppy said...

stop thinking is right
start making what you want to see on canvas or anywhere for that matter
stop applying for shows for a while
stop worring about how to get your crap in a gallery
forget about your stupid debt to society

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