8/23/2007

Remedios Varo

162 comments:

Sunil said...

Wow, surrealism... Need to think now. Painter is diversifying.

Idon'tbathe said...

It's necessary to pierce to the core to get at the value of a movement and not be confused by its sensational exterior.

No Rush said...

awesome. what a lovely spooky dream

is she sexually dominated by the male--or not? is that the question? is the answer yes and no?

anthony said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
anthony said...

Whaddaya know! This one IS more Jules Verne-ish than the last one.

Concrete Phone said...

The dark and mystical side [bathe you are on beat with that tongue], which, I guess, has the other as light? 
No painting better paints the picture or illustrates the evening.

Interesting, you can see each and every one of those influences bewitchingly* put together.

Martin said...

painter, you are bringing back memories. i never read it, but i worked in a bookstore when janet kaplan's varo biography came out, and spent many many many hours staring at that book on display across from me at the info counter.

this was the painting on the cover.

(in philadelphia, where the stettheimer painting you posted is)

JpegCritic said...

Stupendous.

"The only purpose of painting today is the recovery of lost secrets" - Andre Derain

poppy said...

fantastically weird painting...

zipthwung said...

http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/EID/vol10no11/images/Vol10No11_400.jpg">During the early 1950s, Varo became involved with the followers of Gurdjieff, and with Tibetan Tantric and Zen Buddhism.

Gurdjieff - he's like Mean Mr. Matrix doing it with a mandalla in the bedroom.

Gurdjieff says we are all sleepwalking (something he jacked or "colonized" form some other esoteric teaching)

I can dig the sleepwalking thing - I saw this show where someone got out of bed, gt ddressed, drove 14 miles, beat his step mom to death and had no recollection of any of it.

Talk about surreal!

I just saw INLAND EMPIRE, which has some crazy reality checking.
Tylenol PM =blue
Matrix =Blue and red pill
Inland Empire+Donnie Darko=rabbits behind the mirror....

Just saying, your mythology doesn't have to be rational to make your mark. Go ahead, hit me with your best shot, I'm 10 feet tall and rising, mama.

Fucking grim. No onder people like this escapist populist surrealist shit.

Old Guy said...

I take it Remedios is not showing in NY either.
I wonder if Painter will end up skipping the jpeg altogether and just posting a favorite url?

The title Exploration of The Source of The Orinoco River (1959) signals the comic side to this one, as with a lot of Ernst and Dali, but I suppose the big attraction is that the intrepid explorer is female, and the definitive source of the great river turns out to be as mystical as the quest. But which is more absurd, the explorer or the terrain?

After Stettheimer’s flapper heaven, it looks like we move on to Remedios’ suffragette sinbin.

It’s just as finicky, but feels less like a dabbler or dilettante. I guess the detail is part of the absurdity here, the meticulous methods of ‘scientific exploration’ – give it that Jules-Verne-Goes-To-The-Source flavor, an antiquity for all its antics. But what does this say about the female explorer? Is it hopelessly feminine or resolutely feminist? Her snug little red boat for one is a metaphor obviously, but I love the little pocket on the side for papers, whatever it is!

Remedios thinks of everything.

zipthwung said...

chop shop

Red Scream Magazine features extreme dark fiction with no regard for popular sensibilities, articles that explore bizarre and controversial subjects, a focus on the odd, morbid and sexually perverse aspects of our culture from a horror/erotica point of view, and hot Goth chicks. Red Scream is Rue Morgue meets Village Voice meets Hunter S. Thompson meets a punk version of Hustler meets radical and subversive literature, with its own psychosexual bent and a machine gun Tarantino style on acid. It is a literary and cultural revolution, shock therapy for cultural blandness, and fresh flesh from Gothic Goddesses, the hottest and sexiest women of the underground, exposed Gothic flesh and girls with fangs, long legs, abundant appendages, black personality, who are at once perverse and promiscuous, like combining Victoria's Secret models with skate punk betties, exposed, with tattooed flesh, facial piercings, scarification, a mouth foaming with blood, and a look that says... Red Scream explores and exposes the bizarre, with artful, unmentionable pictorials, like no other magazine on earth.

get it on man. Otherwise art history is going to be one big white room punctuated by blood splatters. Bug splatters. Whatever.

I do dig the vessel to the fount symbolowhatsis. Im sure it means something specific, but I think its to topical and too esoteric to be decoded by googling or even dusting off my library card, so I mean why not read into it and make your own mythopesis for breakfast? McGuffins!

anthony said...

Yes, escapism...I struggle with that one.
However, The journey/quest/explorer metaphor remains attractive, and works so well here.

Exploring grim reality with the filters removed sometimes results in a newspaper instead of a painting. This is not to say I'm not a fan of Golub, because I am.

Hopelessly or resolutely? I want to say the clipped wings are meant to speak to that.

anthony said...

...Goth culture bugs me! I'm sure you followed a thread leading from your escapism comment.
I mean, I'm glad at least a portion of the population lives at such a distance from the reality of death that it can become eroticized, played with, turned on its ear, but it's just such a juvenile pastime. It's a pre-reality playground.
Erotic violence.
Maybe I'm just jealous.

Idon'tbathe said...

I did what I wanted and I did as I dam well pleased and thats all there is to it.

Idon'tbathe said...

Thats interesting to me. In order to feel satisfied with something you need to do a lot of different things.
So its not just about people who have gone awry. Just basic humanity. You go searching to meet them again but its never the same.

No Rush said...

would you call botecelli finicky? or bosch? I dont think u would. Old Guy your gynophobia has always been apparent, this time is spilling out like water fron a chalice. Anyway, I can't see the drowned forest for the trees

Cross said...

This is a musty attic on a rainy afternoon and I don't want to go there. I hope the next post is an Agnes Martin.

arebours said...

Varos ideas can be haunting,but the technique overwhelms the subject matter,rendering it sedate-lacking..punctuation,or something

webthing said...

interesting...

reminds me a little of the work over at oculart

Martin said...

old guy - last july/august painter took a break from the all-nyc painters and posted some artists living and showing elsewhere... the difference this august is that painter has started to post deceased artists. i think krushenick was the first one.

i'm hoping horace pippin is next... or maybe grandma moses.

you're right about the mutual finickiness, but i don't get what makes stettheimer appear to be more of a dabbler to you.

is it the swishy feathery brushstroke? the subject? the palette?

stettehimer is angel food cake and varo is a shot of tia maria. YUM!

Sunil said...

Surrealism has an almost psychic texture that is hard to replicate in other forms of art. It makes me think. I do not see too much of pure surrealism today although the link that webthing posted is very interesting... Magritte was a master. Varos equally so... I liked this one.

zipthwung said...

What kind of person would write about something that he knows doesn't exist, and how can something that doesn't exist have aspects? But then I realized that I'd been writing about these matters for over twenty-five years. I guess there is a lot of latitude in what you can say when writing about a topic that does not exist.

its all about the hot spot

zipthwung said...

Start at the beginning, In the beginning was the brand and it was good. And the brand said let there be white chocolate cookies with hazelnuts and other assorted goodies. And the brand separated out the cookies and opened up shop. And everyone thought it was good except the anti-brand, who was allergic to nuts.

Theres a kind of opressive solemnity to this painting despite its whimsy. It's drowned world makes me want to drink absynth and smoke a hooka. Anyone with me on that?

Dark as a dungeon way down in the minds eye.

LIke the Moquete - Odilon Redon does the same thing. Chagall Opressive? Yes, indeed. cloying perfume of sentimental cherry scented smoke, hints of cinnamon, basil, thyme, parsley, sage, rosemary and cloves, persimmon, mint, hazelnut, acorn, bourbon, chocolate and tylenol.

Like a bridge over troubled waters, looking for tea for the tillerman, woman with these castle walls you're foolin yourself and I don't believe it.

zipthwung said...

Remedios Varo's father was a hydrologist.

Discuss.

Just as psychoanalysis reconstructs the original traumatic situation in order to release the repressed material, so we are now being plunged back into the archaeopsychic past, uncovering the ancient taboos and drives that have been dormant for epochs… Each one of us is as old as the entire biological kingdom, and our bloodstreams are tributaries of the great sea of its total memory.

-JG Ballard

Cooky Blaha said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cooky Blaha said...

if this was on a Celestial Seasonings box what flavor would it be?

zipthwung said...

Goldenseal Mugwort and Slippery Elm. But if it was an energy drink it would be called Cosmic Coolaide

Totally blew my mind up.

My advice is to throw on some Black Sabbath or Kyuss something though that King Crimson is for the birds.

Also do you think it would help New Orleans if we called it New Atlantis and the surrounding area "Mu" and "Lemuria"?

I think the president should do that. He could have some lady come oyut with a sword and he could sink it into an ice sculpture of a fleur de lis, which would release the Donald Trump vodka for the gravity bong.

If this painting were a vodka it would definitely be a good deal.

Concrete Phone said...

Magritte was sure a good'n stood out in that cosmic coolaide. Magritte painted the modern world the world [s]he was in. The image throws you, and still does i think because the painting offers an out not an in. By out i mean we become aware of ourselves of what has happened to us in the picture. I never liked Dali.
When I saw three paintings, one a small magritte, a small Dali and a big clock [Freud].
I felt Dali really knew how to paint though the images they presented were as licorice as they bent -- not ever bending thru rhyme of expectation, but nicely painted, well-painted, as I said.
Magritte painted well, as well, as the image needed to convince, to convince us of the conceit. His small piece was a modern, and in a sense held one of the little ball-bearings-of that , that made it went.
Varo's figure is as og says,' fiddling', over-fussed, and right, right out of time. You could say this adds to the spatial ambiguity, though you'd be just clinging on, clinging on. This is an inside job, deep inside, lovingly loved, love the little boat with the passenger rested roaming the little dark, the dark waters, the little laps, as ship's pod laps upon the atomic sheath.
season's serendipity, indeed.

Idon'tbathe said...

Where's the mesa, the pueblo, and the little crowd of spectators in this?
There could be a Tintoretto connection.

Old Guy said...

To reply to two objections (belatedly):

1) On Stettheimer’s dabbling: I’m persuaded of this by her judgment rather than technique. She was in a position to appreciate the various strands of Modernism first hand, but settles for a diluted mixture, New Yorker cover, bland mannerisms. And it’s not that she couldn’t see that, but that was about as far as she wanted to take it. She could always take it or leave it because she was rich and painting was just a hobby.

2) On Finickiness: Finickiness is not just a matter of detail or precision, it’s in relation to a task or goal. Botticelli’s intensely linear style is not fussy because it happily resigns greater modeling and texture to overall design. Bosch is not finicky because the scale of his vision takes in hordes in atmospheric landscapes. The focus is always on a global extent, achieved through detail.

Remedios is finicky compared to Ernst, Dali or Magritte because she is unwilling to risk the kind of pictorial contradictions to perspective, proportion, scale and technique they exploited. She makes up for it (as do any number of followers, male and female) with elaborate anecdote. This is Surrealism as extreme or esoteric fiction, but stylistically it’s always in the wake of something more exciting.

Idon'tbathe said...

Just what was that dread- what did it relate to? Something way back in the race perhaps? If we only knew-then we could tell.

We don't care about the old folks.
Talkin' bout the old styles too.
All we care about is talkin'.

No Rush said...

I'm Not There Mint

webthing said...

insight, foresight, more sight, the clock on the wall reads a quarter past midnight...

Idon'tbathe said...

Now, is it not possible that she was on her way to a tea party after the apocalypse ?

Never get off the boat.

JpegCritic said...

To choose to only go so far...
But only as far as we want to take it....
Alright, the bar is set, Prof. M.

Nomi said...

Aw, New Yorker cover for Stettheimer? No, she's more than that. Your opinion of her, Old Guy, seems to be declining every time you mention her . . .

And the finicky thing about Varo -- not quite getting that. Not sure why you'd call her less contradictory space finicky.

Cooky Blaha said...

legitimate + well thought out crit, old guy

zipthwung said...

Plenty of people have mentioned Stettheimer in relation specificly and generally to the New Yorker.
Including Roberta Smith, thought I cant seem to google it.

"(Someone should do a show called “New York Charmed Circles,” documenting poetries of sociability from Florine Stettheimer through Andy Warhol to the present day. It would reveal the mysterious gravity of Sullivan’s almost offhanded art as the force of an unacknowledged tradition.)

here

As I mentioned somewhat obliquely, "The New Yorker" is a magazine for a certain class of individual, one which imagines itself to be urbane, informed and casual about its culutral bonifides.

Lets be bone headedly clear; art as played out in galleries is a privileged game that often has pretenses of greater social good.

The current war against pretense is ironicly as pretentious or more pretentious as anything by the most devout surrealist.

there is nothing more or less crappy about this painting as opposed to say, some neo-expressionist nonsense from the latest Columbia grad (64 thousand dollars and thats not even counting the pop corn).

But social climbing is of course an art form. People have been known to climb the golden braid to the hen house, grab the goose and shove a velvet gloved suppository into the death star.

Revolution!

Sit and spin all the flax into gold, tale a tell thats never been told. Kill a giant and never grow.

The thing is, is sitting on the rim of Chaco Canyon, diderot, theatricality, Fried the fourth wall yadda yadda yadda.

Nomi said...

I still say Stettheimer is better than what's found on New Yorker covers. A lot better. Roberta Smith's or anybody else's limited view of her doesn't change mine.

Nomi said...

That sounds like "doesn't change my limited view of her." Ha. Well, I guess some of you'd see it that . . .

Cooky Blaha said...

theres been a bunch of good newyorker covers btw

Nomi said...

Agreed. Don't mean to say there haven't been good New Yorker covers.

zipthwung said...

i liked this one

it has a kind of "whats my hood called" appeal, as werll as the editorial content, which is of course topical.

BUt twhen you go too far afield - to Mars, for example (Ray Bradbury) well some people have trouble making the connection. Too much fantasy involved. Not real enough. Not enough criticality. Too much theatricality.

Philip K Dick is getting pumped hard this season -he's in season so to speak.

The artword has tried to revisit the romantic past - but has all the staying power of pant lines. This rapid oscillation has created a standing wave - a dead spot, a necrotic mirrage of useless information.

Idon'tbathe said...

Critically speaking of course, If you are urbane you will take this as ironic.

I'll hump ya and I'll dump ya and I'll blow your house down. I'll slice into your cake before I leave town. Pick a number-take a seat, with the disease of conceit.

Masterpiece topical theatre, thats my cup of urbane flavored tea.

God help you.

JpegCritic said...

Anyone care to critique the new Kara Walker cover?
I thought it to be a bit too two dimentional.

JpegCritic said...

It's like you know, trying to show at a low slung gallery at the met or thru jpegs or something.

JpegCritic said...

CHUPA

No Rush said...

OG--I can't buy it. First, this Varo posseses a brilliant design, so there's nothing that it's lacking there.

Then--as to global extent. Fine and dandy but not the apex in a hierarchy of values--at least in my mind. Don't miss the point that the astounding degree of detail IS THE VISION in this painting. The intimacy of what she is telling you. The singularity reaching out to your empathy. Preceding all this to come--> The microcosm as macrocosm. Within you without you. The personal as political.

Nice cameltoe, too.

webthing said...

pre tension. before it was taut. to make it taut. ostentatious, aiming to impress. pretension, why are we afraid of it?

because we must cut to the bone, not dress up the wound. oui? non! and what if we are not even bleeding, but healthy, well heeled, oh no! now we're...we're ok! the edges are smooth, beds are soft. but this is not the human condition! art must not float on good fortune. it must tell the real story, of the real majority, of meaningful beggars, and psychological vortexes, misunderstandings, what we have here is a failure to (be able to) communicate, lost in a world of pragmatic economical values. there is no good price for functionless objects, except to those who have already bought everything. deep pockets play cruel games, let them. so what is the human condition? (hint: conditionz)

the game of privilege will always be played. but its a matter of perspective. who has privilege in the private village. is that in a zip code, a state, an earthball.

the flights of fancy played by the wealthy appeal not to the SUFFERING (well not that they would admit anyway) and SUFFERING is DESPERATION is URGENCY is ART. No. Sometimes. All we ever wanted was to be slapped in the face with something immediate, coz it's just too slow! Too wide! Speak for us, or even to us. No. Don't be blatant. Hide it, deep in the layers. Bury the soul in a floating pussycoat, old Remedios. It's beautiful. You may be a fool. No problem.

But MEDITATION is another practice altogether and is not reliant on circumstance, not at all!

Discussing the subliminal and psychological dreamlike nature of art is inherently ridiculous and that, comrades, is probably why we do it.

because, apparently there is absolutely no known origin for the word 'puzzle'.

i heart f'art.

zipthwung said...

idb your poem is asolutely brilliant. Whats a 3rd year lit major writing bad rapz for? I wish I'd gone to DJ school.

Specializing in poetry. Purely poetry. All poetry all the time. Turns of phrase. Tropes (reading paintings like a bon bon nofell, I dont need neuticles, im a dangerous bed fella.) echoes, in your head like the dying winds of summer. Calm calm clams, this beach tonight like a giant tarnished silver aluminum foil packet, the remains of a Meal Ready to Eat, on the shores of Vietnam. scale and transience is cool - going from the local to the macro form meal time to Mai Lai time. Blurry colors obscuring and disolving into the next scene.

I'm talking here of course about Walker, Texas Ranger, who's artistic montages are exquisite. Could be me though. Thats fine too.

Lets calll these scalar effects. That sounds important. Scalar effects in broadcast communications.

Thats a better career choice, if not a lot more impressive sounding than "poet" or "nut job".

What's your definition of a masterpiece? What is your idea of fun?

Finally let em call attention to
Steampunk, a populist and magical realist sensibility.

Steampunk is a subgenre of fantasy and speculative fiction which came into prominence in the 1980s and early 1990s. The term denotes works set in an era or world where steam power is still widely used—usually the 19th century, and often set in Victorian era England—but with prominent elements of either science fiction or fantasy, such as fictional technological inventions like those found in the works of H. G. Wells, or real technological developments like the computer occurring at an earlier date. Other examples of steampunk contain alternate history–style presentations of "the path not taken" of such technology as dirigibles or analog computers; these frequently are presented in an idealized light, or a presumption of functionality. It is often associated with cyberpunk and shares a similar fanbase and theme of rebellion, but developed as a separate movement (though both have considerable influence on each other). Apart from time period and level of technological development, the main difference between cyberpunk and steampunk is that steampunk settings tend to be less obviously dystopian.

Reminds me of Lynch's Dune.

zipthwung said...

No war but the class war!
Gotta teach the kids how to work these machines -after that you give em a sense of what they could be doing if they were rich. Its called motivation.

Events

In 1842, a law was passed to ban women and children working in mines.

In 1849, 2,000 people a week died in a cholera epidemic.

In 1851, The Great Exhibition (the first World's Fair) was held in The Crystal Palace, with great success and international attention.

In 1859, Charles Darwin published "The Origin of Species", which led to great religious doubt and insecurity.

In 1861, Prince Albert died; Queen Victoria refused to go out in public for many years, and when she did she wore a widow's bonnet instead of the crown.

In 1888, the serial killer known as Jack the Ripper murdered and mutilated five (and possibly more) prostitutes on the streets of London, leading to world-wide press coverage and hysteria. Newspapers used the deaths to bring greater focus on the plight of the unemployed and to attack police and political leaders. The killer was never caught, and the affair contributed to Sir Charles Warren's resignation.

In 1891, education became free for every child.

Idon'tbathe said...

I don't know....lets see....oh ok I know and I should probably say that this is ironic.

Disease of conceit
words and music by
Robert Allen Zimmerman.

Will Varo become another femenist icon like Kahlo or O'keefe ? Probably not her work is too complex and often to topical blah de blah de blah blah blah blah.

zipthwung said...

avoid the noid

Bob Dylan said...

The answer my friend, is blowing in the wind.

Idon'tbathe said...

Know anyhting about these societies of very few-little cliques which form sympathy and believe in and sustain the independance of their members and live by the variety of individualities expressed ?

Charlie don't surf and we think he should
Charlie don't surf and you know that it aint no good.

webthing said...

keep limping. set your alarm clock. the office is waiting, erm, my artist, friend.

ya! sure...

No Rush said...

What do you know about being a beggar unless you are a beggar? You can put on a mans hat and a military jacket, tie on some mechanical wings (or maybe someone forced you to). You paint what you know and believe that those ripples under your boat--like concentric circles or the rings of a tree--connect with other realities.

It's not like she's any more pretentious or protected than we are.

zipthwung said...

The father of a British soldier killed by US "friendly fire" in Afghanistan has said he cannot understand how somebody "got it so wrong".

In an exclusive BBC interview, John Foster demanded a full investigation into the death of his 19-year-old son.

He said he was very angry and said there should be "no cover-up".

Private Robert Foster, of the 1st Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment, and two other soldiers died when a US plane bombed their position.

No Rush said...

be strong, be wrong

webthing said...

:)

Some prefer the term fratricide over friendly fire, because they deem the latter to be an unfitting euphemism exemplified by the aphorism "there's nothing friendly about getting shot by your own side."[1] However, the origin and purpose of the term is as a simple distinction to enemy fire. Both terms serve only to identify the source of an attack as coming from enemy (hostile) or friendly forces and not the nature of an attack.

The term amicicide (killing of a friend) has also been used in the same manner as fratricide (Shrader 1982).

Peace in the Middle Yeast.

No Rush said...

The superstitious and sometimes harmful credulity of religious tradition can certainly be considered a poison. But for many of us moderns, hurtling towards a chilly posthumanism, a draught of the poetic and cosmic imagination that feeds religious credulity can wipe away the pain. And even, potentially, heal it. For though skepticism and empirical reason have cleared away many cobwebs of theological error, we are all swimming in the toxic sludge these cultural solvents have left in their wake. The alchemist can envision the gold growing in the sludge; the realist only marvels at the mess we've made, and turns up the collar of his coat.

zipthwung said...

Sleep of reason dreams monsters?

You know i had a part in a play written by a teacher in which I was Theophrastus Bombastus von Hoenheim.
I think my parents re-wrote the script, citing egregious lack of style and substance. That's my recollection, anyways.

Whos idea was it to have a ren-fair in school? Liberal bullshit.

Midway through the speech I forgot a line. I buried my head in my hand dramaticly until I remembered and went on with the monologue.

There's something of Artaud's Theater of Cruelty in school plays.

And maybe this Carnival of Resistance yields more than corn dogs.

Hey, teachers, give those kids some cones.

Festivus!

zipthwung said...

"ARTAUD THE LANGUAGE OF CRUELTY
Writing from the experience that masterpieces are accomplices of power. Thought at the end of the Enlightenment, which began with the death of God; the Enlightenment is the coffin in which he is buried, rotting with the corpse. Life is locked up in this coffin. THOUGHT IS AMONG THE GREATEST PLEASURES OF THE HUMAN RACE Brecht has Galilei say, before he is shown the instruments. The lightning that split Artaud's consciousness was Nietzsche's experience, it could be the last. The emergency is Artaud. He tore literature away from the police, theater away from medicine. Under the sun of torture, which shines equally on all the continents of this planet, his texts blossom. Read on the ruins of Europe, they will be classics."[3]


ANyone want to weigh n on that? I guess its translated form German. To me it contains some great buzzwords like Enlightnetnment and Materpiece, as in "THe way I am going to paint my masterpiece is to point out the flaws in Enlightenment thinking as it relates to the postmodern condition."

SOmething like that anyways.

No Rush said...

I have a hard time telling the difference between thought and feeling.

But, I can see a big difference between individual power (masterpiece, technique) and organized (state, church, patriarchy) power. All artists don't let their art be used by power. Sometimes that's why they hide the meaning.

zipthwung said...

Katie, a sixteen-year-old from Lexington, Kentucky, has advice for anyone hoping to get a letter published in the Times: “In such a small space, your letter has to convey a lot of passion. You really have to care about what you’re saying.” “They get a lot of letters that are really formal,” Riaz, sixteen, of Alpharetta, Georgia, says. “When they hear letters that are frank and in a common voice, they like that.” “But you have to sound intelligent,” Chris, sixteen, from Lansing, Kansas, notes. “You can’t write it on a third-grade level, because the New York Times isn’t a third-grade-level paper. It’s for a more sophisticated kind of person—at least, that’s what I believe.”

zipthwung said...

Speaking of somatic alchemy:

We talked about the color of the piece. “Mouthwash!” he said.” It’s all about frozen water. I used to surf. The pieces are all about that stillness. One of the wonderful things about surfing is when you’re sitting on your board and waiting for a wave and you look down and the water is still, and so seductive.”

Alexander and his cohort are known as the “finish fetish” artists because of the sleek, reflective surfaces of their work. “There’s no touch to the surface,” he explained. “It’s all massaged. That was car culture, but it was also a response to Abstract Expressionism, which was all about touch. The obsession, when I was making these things, was that the surface had to be like glass. There was perfection to it, in its own simple way.”

I asked Alexander if he had a pet name for his untitled piece. He said, “The blue wedge.”

zipthwung said...

"oh no, they know"

No Rush said...

hey I'm purposefully eschewing technique--what r u--dumb or something?

Idon'tbathe said...

If our brains were simple enough to be understood , we would be too simple to understand them.

Do you crinkle or fold ?

Never did like teachers not even as a little child. So for fun I shot spit balls at them... some things never change.

If there are any other pressing matters that need to be discussed I am at my studio daily between the hours of 6 and 3 and 3 and 6.

zipthwung said...

whats your art about?

oh you know, the decisive moment.

what's that?

You wouldn't get it.

Try me.

In Italy, for thirty years under the Borgias, they had warfare, terror, murder, bloodshed — they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and the Renaissance. In Switzerland, they had brotherly love, they had five hundred years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock.

The Germans invented the cuckoo clock.

The swiss army knife doesnt sound as good.

So the decisive moment is about inventing something?

Yes, doesn't even have to be true. Lots of people make shit up every day. You can tell time by the ebb and flow of it.

How do you make art out of fashion?

You shape fashion by using moments.

What are moments?

Happenings, you know events, books, paintings, a gunshot.

Who are the actors?

Anyone.

No Rush said...

thats from my dinner with andre right?

Idon'tbathe said...

What did they have for dinner ?

Corndogs?

Discuss.

Idon'tbathe said...

Owen Wilson tried to commit suicide today, he slashed his wrists.

Discuss.

Idon'tbathe said...

I've been trying you.

Discuss.

Idon'tbathe said...

The lower eastside is the new chelsea.

Anyone ?

zipthwung said...

Its Orson Welles improvising at the top of a ferris wheel in "The Third Man" and then yeah some Breakfast Club type stuff.

Wilson - Maybe its a publicity stunt.

The movie "The Long Goodbye" has a song by Johnny Mercer - its one of only two songs in the movie. Aside from the title track the other one is "Hollywood" - very upbeat, and it rolls over the titles at the end.

linky

Have you found the esoteric side of Los Angeles? What do you think of that scene?
"Those fingers in my hair.
That sly
come hither stare
that strips my conscience bare.
It's witchcraft.
And I've got no defense for it.
The heat is too intense for it.
What good would commonsense for it do?"


The lower east side is the new chelsea.

Im going to go get a corn dog.

Idon'tbathe said...

You fold.

zipthwung said...

you crumple

zipthwung said...

Johnny Carson was doing his typical NBC Tonight Show monologue on December 19, 1973.
His writers decided to include a joke based on Wisconsin congressman Harold Froelich's quote, they had heard earlier that day. Froelich claimed that the federal government was falling behind in getting bids to supply toilet paper and "The United States may face a serious shortage of toilet tissue within a few months".
· Johnny Carson's quote: "You know what's disappearing from the supermarket shelves? Toilet paper. There's an acute shortage of toilet paper in the United States."
· The next morning, many of the 20 million television viewers ran to the supermarket and bought all of the toilet paper they could find. By noon, most of the stores were out of stock!
· Carson later apologized for scaring the public, and retracted his quote. (NY Useless Information)

Old Guy said...

This is my 472nd tour of duty and I know the warning signs. We called in air support to flush out Terror and this old biddy in a red egg shows up, points out the source is strictly metaphysical and that we are in one hell of a backwater.

Wham bam!

She’s the new, retrospective approach, apparently. The new strategy calls for extended recall and reactivation, rapid response and angelic discretion. The media are right behind it. There’ll be a movie – Those Magnificent Women in Their Flying Machines – Sally Kellermann has been lined up. The hardware looks flimsily, tricky to service. On the side they write things like “I’m Bimbo – Fly Me!” but inside it’s all death rays and disco-ordnance.

Anyway they know the fundamentals. They camouflage it with some Low Renaissance shit, but after the reconnaissance and the recalcitrance, the reactionary righteousness, it all comes down to a confusion over label and contents, a bottle and transparency. It’s the old dream of Genie that got away with the damp brown hair down there in the generics and genetics and the motor pool monopoly. They stop that when they’re told.

No wonder discipline is slack. Friendly fire – yeah – draws even friendlier fire, as they say. We’re all friends here and when we’re not there’s friendly ‘renditions’ and even friendlier ‘renditions’ to unfriendlier places and practices. We can render you invisible, untraceable, mythic and unadored. They call that ‘friendly ire’ in inner circles. I thought it was short for irony but the chaplain tells me it’s really divine retribution.

Christa said...

it's called the warhol economy.

look it up. discuss.

zipthwung said...

15 minutes

McCaine quoting Mao:

"Things seem darkest just before it goes entirely black"

Ok, but memes are kind of interesting - why is everyone saying 'cointelpro' nowadays?

zipthwung said...

ok i looked it up. Looks like a puff piece with a heart of gold.

Probably sponsored by a gallery - Bright lights big brand names.

zipthwung said...

Russian dolls.

Discuss.

Old Guy said...

Quit calling me Discuss!

Shotput.

anthony said...

Nicely put, Old Guy.

zipthwung said...

Hopefully this is not too far afield to track, nor beyond the pale. Has nice footnote too.

On the sub-main floor of the hotel, which the management directed bathers to use, a woman with zinc salve on her nose got into the elevator with the young man.

"I see you're looking at my feet," he said to her when the car was in motion.

"I beg your pardon?" said the woman.

"I said I see you're looking at my feet."

"I beg your pardon. I happened to be looking at the floor," said the woman, and faced the doors of the car.

"If you want to look at my feet, say so," said the young man. "But don't be a God-damned sneak about it."

"Let me out here, please," the woman said quickly to the girl operating the car.

The car doors opened and the woman got out without looking back.

"I have two normal feet and I can't see the slightest God-damned reason why anybody should stare at them," said the young man. "Five, please." He took his room key out of his robe pocket.

He got off at the fifth floor, walked down the hall, and let himself into 507. The room smelled of new calfskin luggage and nail-lacquer remover.

He glanced at the girl lying asleep on one of the twin beds. Then he went over to one of the pieces of luggage, opened it, and from under a pile of shorts and undershirts he took out an Ortgies calibre 7.65 automatic. He released the magazine, looked at it, then reinserted it. He cocked the piece. Then he went over and sat down on the unoccupied twin bed, looked at the girl, aimed the pistol, and fired a bullet through his right temple.

zipthwung said...

bunker mentality

Now I'm going to sing the Perry Mason theme

Concrete Phone said...

When zip starts posting to himself it's usually apparent a good time has been had by all.

webthing said...

(mundance + masserpeace

mas = male + ter = scholar

code = neuron + zeit

hypothesis = self aggrandizing

blatant / layered

shiny old sir face

appropriate at will

when communication is fractured into more and more channels, unanimous meaning is taken with it. in the iAge, it's every bum for themself.

Unless by some alchemical accident, like old goodyear spilling rubber on the stovetop, we end up finding that the remix sample mash sludge crap gestalt can actuate an unseen composite. While this happens, keep painting.

Google universe is coming...

No Rush said...

Jackie "Moms" Mabley (19 March 1894–23 May 1975) was an African American comedian.

Born Loretta Mary Aiken in Brevard, North Carolina, Mabley was one of the most successful entertainers of the black vaudeville stage ("Chitlin' Circuit"), earning $10,000 a week at Harlem's Apollo Theater at the height of her career. In the 1960s, she become known to a wider white audience, playing Carnegie Hall in 1962, and making a number of mainstream TV appearances in the 1960s.

She was billed as "The Funniest Woman in the World," and she tackled topics too edgy for many other comics of the time, including racism. She got away with it courtesy of her persona: onstage she appeared to be a small, bedraggled woman in a housedress and a funny hat, a 1950's version of a "bag-lady" persona. She added the occasional satirical song to her jokes, and had a minor song hit in the 1960s with a serious plea for peace, "Everything's Gonna Be Alright."

One of her regular themes was her romantic preference for handsome young men rather than old, "washed-up geezers" (as witness one of her album titles: Young Men, Sí - Old Men, No). Her aged and bedraggled appearance, including performing with no teeth, made her stated aspirations all the funnier. (In fact, her lack of many apparent feminine characteristics—plus her cackling, scratchy voice—led to assorted rumors that she was actually a man.)

She took her stage name, Jackie Mabley, from an early boyfriend, commenting to Ebony magazine in a 1970s interview that he'd taken so much from her, it was the least she could do to take his name. Later she became known as "Moms" because she was indeed "Mom" to many other comedians on the circuit in the 1950s and 60s. She was one of the top women doing standup in her heyday, and recorded more than 20 albums of comedy routines. She appeared in movies, on television, and in clubs.

She is buried in Ferncliff Cemetery, Westchester County, NY.

Ryan said...

So, she grew up, built a little egg-boat, and spends her time running a trotline for bananfish? Is that what you're getting at Zip?

zipthwung said...

Your body is your temple.

Your Cup Runneth Over.

Grab a Glass.

Salinger was assigned to Counter-Intelligence, in which he put his proficiency in French and German to use interrogating prisoners of war.[13] He was also among the first soldiers to enter a liberated concentration camp.[13]

Build it, and they will come.

zipthwung said...

steam punk!!!!

webthing said...

i met a surrealist painter last night who said 'it's not about dreams or fantasy, it's just another way to show something"

Concrete Phone said...

We=bth-ing the surreal you spoke to last night, let me tell you, that was a shonky one. That was not a real one. A real one would tell you Surrealism is a string of space spoofs lined up in the sky headed straight for mother earth. Don't let the shonky one trick you, you gotta remember that. Trick you every time. 


∆˙ Shonky = dubious

Old Guy said...

A Surrealist painter is one who joined Breton's little club.

Incidentally, can anyone who has actually seen this painting, confirm whether or not the color in this jpeg is accurate?

There are other versions on the web with very different color schemes.

Concrete Phone said...

 

webthing said...

concrete phone?

zipthwung said...

meet the Mirvs

They take a wide stance.

Old Guy said...

We keep coming back to this Surrealism/Science Fiction interface.

Were Vonnegut or Philip K Dick Surrealists?

webthing said...

i think what i've been trying to say for some time, when mentioning convergence, mutation (don't think marcaccio), cross pollination and all that shit, in relation to painting, is what if art, and painting, may now need to discuss (to maintain relevance), is it's place among a broader 'image making' but not so much, as zip has mentioned, through the inbuilt redundancy of tech subjects or more importantly modernist 'medium' differentiations? can painting and the future actually get along, or should they remain diametrically opposed and in ongoing states of friction and displacement. answer on canvas please.

possibly works that come through the friction and displacement are presently the most resonant. don't paint computers, snide remarks will abound (even though to be honest about life is to admit the role of the computer). To be honest about painting deny the role of the digital and provide a further carriage for the further investigationmade by the cosmic imagination no rush posts...

(if you must spew, please use a bucket)

zipthwung said...

Its not what you got.
Its how you lose it.

Idon'tbathe said...

'Cuz you know what they say about honey bears
when you shave off all their baby hair
you have a hairy minded pink bare bear.

peel

me

a

kurant

Old Guy said...

I think painting always has ‘discussed’ or demonstrated its place amongst other pictures and reference. I don’t see why it should stop any time soon. Painting shifts its ambit accordingly, redirects others by so doing. Technology or progress needs painting, as much as painting needs them.

To say that ‘Modernism’ for instance is about differentiation of mediums, comes back to our old friend Formalism and the need to establish intrinsic properties for each class of work/ material. I know this idea has still got a lot of currency amongst academics and experts, but it presents real problems when we run up against Dada and Surrealism, for one thing (are they part of Modernism? - if so, how?), and for another it entails untenable commitments to ‘history’ and ‘essence’. It doesn’t make for a particularly convincing or useful history because it’s a bad idea.

As I keep urging – history is never complete – must occasionally be re-written – by picture or post.

Don’t fear the reaper
Baby take my hand
We can be like they are!

(Sorry Zip, I know that’s so 70s)

JpegCritic said...

A Mutation From Newark New Jersey: The market needs painting as much as painting needs the market.

Krauss posited Surrealism as an alternate lineage to modernism, OG. Dada being the crossroads.

Old Guy said...

What does an alternate lineage or history actually mean though?
Modernism then equates with what? Abstraction? - perhaps ‘full abstraction’, as they used to say. But then a lot of biomorphic abstraction is happily included in Surrealism - which leaves geometric abstraction as Modernism?
Unhappily for Modernism, geometry does not remain exclusively two dimensional, restricted to straight lines, 90 degree angles. Geometry won’t quite do for Modernism either.
Looked at closer, Surrealism doesn’t look like much of an alternative to abstraction or geometry, much less Modernism.

But then Krauss always seems a little too ready to buy the Greenberg line on abstraction and Modernism, so it’s not surprising she then struggles to accommodate Surrealism with a flawed view of Modernism (Modernism here, as a period style, rather than modernism, some vague intellectual doctrine) although I think she is certainly right (and it makes more sense to say) that Surrealism and Dada should be accorded equal status with abstraction.

jimbo said...

but it presents real problems when we run up against Dada and Surrealism, for one thing (are they part of Modernism? - if so, how?)

--old guy

hey old guy,
i actually just took an intro to art class this past summer so maybe i can help you out a bit.

i'll just quote you some things from one of the books we were assigned.

1. Nietzsche, like some other German philosophers of the nineteenth century, including Arthur Schopenhauer and Eduard von Hartmann, emphasized the unconscious motives that contribute to our moral view of the world. The founder of psychoanalysis, Freud, tried to erect a science on the notion of the unconscious.

2. Forms of free association were taken up by many modernists, notably the surrealists. Even more influentially, however, Freud's insistence that the manifest meaning of a dream needed to be decoded by the psychoanalyst provided a model for the interpretation of literary texts. Perhaps they, too, hid latent meanings, unconsciously placed there by the author. Some authors tried to preempt such interpretation by consciously including in their narratives the unconscious motives of their characters.

3. The masters of suspicion taught the twentieth century to look for hidden meanings behind the apparent surface of a text, especially a literary text; the great scientific revolution of the early twentieth century taught people to be suspicious of the appearances of the physical world.

4. As Einstein put it, "It appears therefore more natural to think of physical reality as a four-dimensional existence, instead of, as hitherto, the evolution of a three-dimensional existence." Thus time no longer appeared to progress forward in a homogeneous fashion, and the theory of relativity seemed to discredit nineteenth-century notions of progress as well as Enlightenment conceptions of time and space.

5. As the historian Stephen Kern has shown, modernist experiments with organizing time in narrative and space on the canvas exploited the new imaginative possibilities opened up by the demise of the Newtonian system.

i hope this helps. the quotes are from the cambridge introduction to modernism, which i recommend very highly for anyone looking for a brief but solid guide to the subject, even though it is more about literature than it is about art.

JpegCritic said...

OG, doesn't her work Optical Uncounscious adequately map 'biomorphic abstraction' as
it relates to both trajectories -- that of
surrealism's path, and that of abstraction's
path -- as the latter [ultiimately] crystalized into greenbergian doctrine? Where does the Krauss's
view falter in this respect?

JpegCritic said...

but then perhaps terms like 'map' and 'trajectories' aren't appropriate to krauss anyway. As with Jimbo, as well as Krauss, and perhaps with you...
maps are fabrics with many perforations,
and folds.

But still, I don't see how krauss ignored the intricate
relationship of abstraction and surrealism.

Old Guy said...

Jimbo –

Thanks for the treasured snippets.

1) I think even Shakespeare recognized that the heart has reasons we scarcely know (a.k.a. our unfathomed unconscious).
2) Da Vinci’s much recommended stains on a wall are surely a ‘free association’. Many others since and before the 20th century stressed this uncanny, sublime - if not subliminal - aspect to pictures.

See Herbert Read, Surrealism and The Romantic Principle - Read, a known associate of Breton.

3) Religious hermeneutics precede Freud in asserting the primacy of interpretation (of text or picture). It certainly did not take the 20th century to teach people to be suspicious of appearances in the natural world! See Galileo and Newton, for starters.
4) If it therefore ‘appears’ more ‘natural’ – to Einstein – to think of time and space as four dimensions rather than unrelated entities, why did it take so long to notice it? Did the world grow more natural in this time?
5) Experiments in pictorial narrative are not unique to Modernism or the 20th century either. See Chinese, Persian or medieval illustration, for example. The Newtonian theory of physics is actually included in Einstein’s, does not strictly expire.

So it didn’t really help, Jimbo. And I would recommend any reader of this introduction to think carefully about any number of reckless assumptions lazily thrown in here.

Jpeg –

The Optical Unconscious does many needed things, none I find especially well. I don’t find its treatment of biomorphic abstraction very clear because I don’t find Krauss’s view of abstraction very clear.

Nor do I think abstraction ‘crystallized’ into Greenbergian doctrine – except for perhaps a few favored painters.

Krausss is bold enough to look outside of that, but then struggles to reconcile what she finds with Greenberg’s view of abstraction – you can’t really just add them together as parallel streams.

Better off dumping Greenberg altogether.
Try going back to Seuphor.
He’s more fun as well as diligent.

Nomi said...

I think jimbo's Introduction to Modernism quotes are somewhat helpful. Of course you can nothing-new-under-the-sun them to death if you want, but they point to an emphasis in modern thinking which is at the core of Surrealism.

nat said...

Hey webthing... your last post was a real painters post.

The teleological modernist narratives are kaput. They do have an historical importance but what we have most in common with the modernist era are the market forces that influenced that narrative-(novelty, marketable story-line, etc.) So much of the Chinese art that has hit the market so big lately sees to be some theatrical re-enactment of various modernist tropes(2 teaspoons of warhol, mix in 1/2 cup Duchamp).
This is also what gives us the Disneyland-for-the-sophsticate art festivals.

Anyway, where does that leave the painter. I dunno. Richter is still interesting(and yes, he will be canonical) because of the divide between the photographic paintings and the abstracts. This may seem tangential, but is something I was thinking about lately so... A number of the abstracts were based on photographs, some photographs of small sketches or photographs of paint swirls(not unlike what-his-name, poster earlier), others paint over photographs. Like the "photo-realist" paintings the abstract pictures can be seen as "photo-realist" paintings after blown up details, but mediated by the process of painting(I.e., task was to paint after a photo of a splotch of paint but to reproduce the image on a large scale, exact reproduction (like the "photo-realist" images) was forsaken for a process that would retain aspects of the "photo-like" qualities at a larger scale without excessive technical fiddling. The abstracts retain a sortof macro/microcosm feel to them.

This is supposed to relate, by-the-by, to your, webthing, juxtaposition of the future/digital with painting. Our vision is informed by the photographic, and now the digital and Richter was reforming parts of this vocabulary in painterly(in a rough sense) terms, and playing off the viewers own understanding which is similarly informed by photographic effects.

This probably has nothing to do with Varo. But could contrast with Zahn's rather lame quotations.

zipthwung said...

what about real estate?

I thought modernism was an invention used to crate away Art from Europe?

Or is that just a shift of emphasis?

zipthwung said...

I mean grouping character traits into a concept is fine and all, but what happens when parallel armies of one claim ownership? Can you colonize ants without a nit-pick? Does it matter? Why do movements have to have leaders? Names? Or even numbers?

Old Guy said...

Nomi - I’m not saying there’s nothing new under the sun. I’m saying that even if we accept these traits of modernism (although I am skeptical of even that) they are necessary but not sufficient conditions. Some further distinction needs to be then made between previous versions of the unconscious, free association, science, narrative, etc and those of modernism.

It is misleading to introduce the topic without acknowledging this.

It’s not enough for art history to throw these over-generalizations at a spirit of the times or attitude of culture. I doubt it’s even necessary. Although it may satisfy the grand designs of culture theory or comparative literature, in some academic la la land where the distinction between theory and topic has effectively evaporated.

Old Guy said...

Zip it's true, you never sleep do you? You just hang upside down there, waiting....

zipthwung said...

Sleep is for humans and monsters.

zipthwung said...

what is the use value of modernism?

Mostly to capital - oligarchy - keep em in their cages kind of synergy between the bomb and TV - you gotta show something. I like that idea - like google for people who don't know what to google.
Technology is ubiquitous and invisible - basicly magic. Thats modernism right? You have been assimilated. Except no one I know feels that way. Or if they do they keep it to themselves. I know I dont want to hear how happy people are. I'm into the apocalypse - and the author of the City of Quartz thinks so too -
thats modernism to me. I mean those ancient academic debates aren't dogshit (I'm a modernist I guess) but still, they are arguing against stuff four layers down - its turned to coal allready. Burn it f451 or 300,000K doesnt matter. History will repeat itself and I;d rather not go out thinking I'm Roberta Smith.

First published in Canada in 1987, this book explores the technological and ideological foundations of corporate and governmental control of television. The author draws a parallel between the development of nuclear power and of the television industry, maintaining that nearly the same companies are responsible for the black box and the bomb. A host of issues are introduced, including propaganda, news, the Manhattan Project, and TV and nuclear colonialism (for which the global village is renamed "global pillage"). Patriarchal capitalism is analyzed in Jungian terms that call for a rethinking of society as we know it. To characterize this book as "interesting" would do it a disservice: it is thought-provoking in the fullest sense of the word. For most media collections.
- Carolyn M. Mulac, Chicago P.L.

webthing said...

i understand that painting has always been discussed in relationship to other image processes, but find that because there are now many more ways to produce an image that almost have no traditional process (ie. they can be metaphysical, easily undone, distributed and replicated), which then leads us back to a structural approach to the general differences between old and new, hence the digital opposition analogous in contemporary and recent painting, which winds up with over emphasis on characterization of these differentiations in medium..... i'm only suggesting somehow that if painting were perhaps absorbed into the production of images, images as a process unto themselves, obviously varied, we might move past the tired structural cul de sac, as exemplified by a few recent posts here (lozano, zahn etc) on to a more immediate requisite from the capability of images - that they speak to us more vividly, and what are they saying subjectively? And not what they are saying about their structural tropes and conditions, or their particular allocated enclosure in the ism zoo. I'm saying keep painting relevant by letting it be absolved into the greater image, in a manner not unlike the general entropic leanings of all other things, so that we can move past all this dead, alive, dead, alive tail chasing and come back with some really relevant and powerful works which might address 'life', like old 'images' used to. To throw in a subjective turdcake of my own - i like painting firstly because i don't always want to see such a detailed picture of life as a photograph (ie. proportion, resolution), but i still want to see a picture, as such, and secondly because for reasons of posterity, until it becoes apparent that anything can age as well as a well prepared painting, it still seems one the best ways to record history.

(will i be eaten?)

webthing said...

for these reasons, i can find a way to enjoy this work by varo.

webthing said...

but it isn't my favourite

webthing said...

what i meant by entropic

Concrete Phone said...

I think painting has been surreal for a quite some time, pulling things from the known world to fit another one -- a painting and its ideas. One of the complaints leveled at this surreal is that things we know, or that can be fathomed, have been merely rearranged to form the new context. Things form a picturescape, names and their address appropriately atired. but the party is on the next block. And, get this, you can't whistle and say, hey the next block. It's true! You have to be content to live with it, and because it's not like there is a reality show going on, nor is it candid camera, nah. Painting just in not that kind of feelie.
The things with labels and wrong addresses, I have been told, are there to help. Right! Well, la-di-da, big help!

A couple of weeks ago in the NYT weekend, I think in the science section, there was a link to a fun little video with people doing their gig in two different colored T-shirts, right? And while this was going on another gig was happening, a gorilla kind a mixed into the groove. People watching this vid were told to concentrate on how many times one of the colored teams passed the ball. It's a job, and while all that concreting was going on, even though we are talking simple addition here, nobody saw the big monkey dressed in the gorilla's suit, who right in the middle, waving, saying, hey, look at me guys, I'm in the middle of the gig, it's me, Ralph, waldo, take a look!

It seems to me that when you are busy concentrating on what you meant to be concentrating on -- all that content -- you must be missing out on a huge slice of the gig.
When you have a painting with all these different, and often little, labels telling us 'lookie here, read me my label boot, this is what I'm doing, this is where i am, maybe doing not what I should, where I'm not meant to be, but come on get a google on. And sure it's all new. it's new, new, context.
But it's like baby food, right? It's baby food. I mean baby food is not meant to make you think. But we grow!?

In that little flash I linked to it had Calder talking about notes and the thing that supports them and talks that way for a while.

Well, what's your perception think?
Context with a wink?

Old Guy said...

I actually think the digital turn in imagery has made painting a lot more acceptable and attractive. As we get used to all the ways pictures, especially photography, can be manipulated with software, I think painting then figures as the next step – a further way of manipulating pictures (and objects). We make more sense of painting, for these other ‘intermediate’ stages to pictures.

Once people can see that photography has all these other applications, they appreciate that painting pretty much has these as well (when it wants) - and more! Painting is not tied to a fixed array of pixels, a fixed range of color and intensities for each one. Painting is analog! And one thing digital can’t do is analog.

Digital can make any number of filters in any number of sequences and layers, but this second best. Painting has actual 3D ‘filters’ – impasto (or not), a tactile support, a fixed scale from which to measure surroundings, new and improvised or old and worn tools and failures. Painting is not just the look of pictures, but the size, weight, location and even smells or sound. And these are as much suggested by installation, movies, and sculpture as digital versions.

And it’s not that painting has always used them quite as it does now, but that the co-existence with the digital and greatly extended print world only throws new light on them, suggests other avenues. Yeah it’s important to simplify pictures sometimes – to filter out extraneous matters, in order to detect more important ones, Try doing medical illustration for an object lesson in the mutability of ‘facts’! And painting’s filters get made only in the using - are pretty much exhausted by the time a software engineer digitalizes them.

The most recent ‘death’ of painting strikes me more as a concern over the course of abstraction in painting, and here too I think new doors open for closing old ones. But that’s another post.

Concrete Phone said...

Most people I know don't use the word abstraction, they use non-objective, which i guess means subjective, which means the thing is the thing which triggers the subjective. Why then paint the subjunctive's subject. That would be like painting the thing's thing seen and painted from a subjective point of view and reason, or without reason because it's all subjective anyhow, or left open because we can agree. And in the case of agreeing then the thing that has this subjective address is said and read and trod upon whether it reechoes or not. I liken this little epesode to the granny post box that never gets any mail. The post box is labeled meaningfully subjection, granny box, though deceased, and the mail seems happy and flies round that box but never gets there, never gets read, because the subjective can't have a destination, because, well, how can it, Granny is dead! There is a delivery of sorts, ok, it's just not getting anyway deep. I mean there is no real home, no sense of it, there is only a return address.
A few might take the time to think outside the box and a few may take the patience the look inside of it. Who knows, the circling, spiraling, up and down unable to find the address might be hiding something, or protecting the addressed
T

zipthwung said...

When continuity mistakes have been made, explanations are often proposed by either writers or fans to smooth over discrepancies. Fans sometimes make up explanations for such errors that may or may not be integrated into canon; this has come to be colloquially known as fanwanking. Often when a fan does not agree with one of the events in a story (such as the death of a favorite character) they will choose to ignore the event in question so that their enjoyment of the franchise is not diminished. When the holder of the intellectual property discards all existing continuity and starts from scratch it is known as rebooting. Fans call a less extreme literary technique that erases one episode the reset button.

Discrepancies in past continuity are sometimes made deliberately; this is known as retconning. Retcons are also sometimes used to either correct or cover up a perceived error. These changes may be made either by the same writer who made it, or more commonly by an author that has taken the creative lead of a corporate owned IP.

webthing said...

Perhaps through unification, the plight of art, and chiefly, in relation to this painters discussion, of painting, can rejuvinate itself via a function of adverse non-specificity (as opposed to often paradoxical medium distinctions) and be released from the gnarled hand of alienation/irrelevance to the majority of life (which plunders forth unfettered by the 'artworld' as we all know), restoring the discussion of creative and reflective pursuit to its place among the primary role of images as the signifier through signified of this life, or this ongoing stage of the plight of life.

The entry for 'image' on wikipedia is decidedly small. And brevity is nice in the age of saturation, so here it is in entirety.... (perhaps it deserves a wikiscan for the commendation of author)...

-----

In common usage, an image (from Latin imago) or picture is an artifact, usually two-dimensional, that has a similar appearance to some subject—usually a physical object or a person.

Images may be two-dimensional, such as a photograph or screen display, or three-dimensional such as a statue. They may be produced by optical devices—such as a cameras, mirrors, lenses, telescopes, microscopes, etc. and natural objects and phenomena, such as the human eye or water surfaces.

The word image is also used in the broader sense of any two-dimensional figure such as a map, a graph, a pie chart, or an abstract painting. In this wider sense, images can also be produced manually, such as by drawing, painting, carving, by computer graphics technology, or a combination of the two, especially in a pseudo-photograph.

A volatile image is one that exists only for a short period of time. This may be a reflection of an object by a mirror, a projection of a camera obscura, or a scene displayed on a cathode ray tube. A fixed image, also called a hardcopy, is one that has been recorded on a material object, such as paper or textile.

A mental image exists in an individual's mind: something one remembers or imagines. The subject of an image need not be real; it may be an abstract concept, such as a graph, function, or "imaginary" entity. For example, Sigmund Freud claimed to have dreamt purely in aural-images of dialogues. The development of synthetic acoustic technologies and the creation of sound art have led to a consideration of the possibilities of a sound-image comprised of irreducible phonic substance beyond linguistic or musicological analysis.

------

The next step as far as i'm concerned, is to release each entity from its confine and let the entire gamut of sight based expression proliferate broadly as images. Thereby allowing us to draw distinctions in refreshed, or as zip mentions, reset modes, that are unhindered by perpetually renascent discussions based around objective material structure, or lineage. In that way art production can be such that the idea dictates its best image, which could be anything from our abilities so far, rather than the idea being limited to the this historical confines of its means.

I'm playing both sincere advocate and apprentice fool on this one.

Einstein's unified field theory or some shit.

Images.

zipthwung said...

Sounds like some walter benjamin stuff. his brand's been rehabilitated with a reprint his Arcades dealio - havent read maybe I should. Anyone who commits righteous hara kiri at the border between collective psychosis and freedom might have something to say about totalizing systems of control.

In a commentary on the Edelman doctrine, blogging consultant Suw Charman warns that bloggers who are "evangelists" for your brand may be trickier to handle than critics. Supplying them with corporate communications or freebies, she says, may make them feel they're losing their independence.

For corporate brands, the challenge with blogs is, as Charman says, more cultural than technological or financial. It is to understand that PR, and branding, is about holding a conversation.

artgirl said...

blah blah blah same old same old

Nomi said...

Old Guy said: It’s not enough for art history to throw these over-generalizations at a spirit of the times or attitude of culture.

This is certainly true. But generalizations can be a useful place to start, and for some, a useful reminder. One can become so esoteric or elliptical trying to define these ideas that it isn't very helpful either.

I see that happening on here sometimes.

Also, Old Guy, Jimbo's contributions were earnest, so I felt a sting when I read your "Thanks for the treasured snippets."

zipthwung said...

Anyone read "signs of the times" by david lehamn?

I like that book. I'd quote some treasured snippets but you know, blah blah blah.

No Rush said...

Isnt it best for a painter not to separate the ideas that come from their life, the ideas that come from images, and the ideas that come from working with their materials? Not to separate, but to always be conflating and re-conflating them. Isn't that the sucessful process? Like what I said before, not being able to tell the difference between thought and feeling.

waste said...

Do you think it important for artists to read writers like Krauss?

zipthwung said...

BUT just how much verbal content can be allowed? In ''Re-ordering the Universe,'' Patricia Leighten suggested that we should actually read the news in these clips -- the announcement of an armistice, the description of cholera victims piled high. Krauss thinks this is too much. Picasso was not trying to shoehorn political content into his collages. But the idea that he might be playing with language -- representing talk itself and the shifty character of words -- is perfectly fine. ''Each of these fragments is just enough to produce the motion of conversation, the play of relations, the sociability of the group,'' Krauss writes.

No Rush said...

PKD's house in Berkeley

Concrete Phone said...

Artists, writers, poets, musicians, hairdressers, collectors, gallerists, republicans, even democrats, light-bulbs that blink, krausians, some from Lubbock, the French like to do in, the spanish dance, the Germans hug, Brazilians think we do too much of it, Polish are cool, but it's true painters like to talk, and will talk to anyone who is willing to listen, and talk, and argue out of the rule.
what's PKD ? a c.d.?

webthing said...

probably shouldn't have spouted all that crap. but i would like to see a return to subjective analysis. the structural way comtemporary art is discussed is becoming very convoluted, at least, to me it is, almost constipated of its means. get over it, and resonate. and bla bla bla, over zealous webthing wipes up the poo he smudged across the screen.

(can you still smell it? i'm trying my darnedest to get it off...)

Mercury 20 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
No Rush said...

oh PKD is Phillip K Dick, the man of the hour

House is a little overpriced for the neighborhood, but he lived there, wonder if that's why the price

Concrete Phone said...

thanks no rush, cute house, overpriced? Here that's way cheap. Kinda interested to read that book now, too.

Meticulous and fine detail, order and control, hmmm.. it's very weird stuff... it's kind of like a threshold, it can go either way... you can become more attuned to things, see the detail in the whole, and the whole in the detail, or...
when we are unable to skip back and forth this need to control takes absolute priority. Another way would be to relinquish control altogether, but the whole idea of control, you know, control over your legs, your tongue, all that stuff becomes spontaneous and natural, right, and then what seems right, and natural, and orderly doesn't always need to be followed, because spontaneity would always suggest another alternative, taken or not.
I know you like this painting, but for me, despite the care and clips from the greatest hits, it lacks that sense of spontaneity. It also lacks that shift in sense. It's a dream but one of those which doesn't come up good in color, and you know, when you have it, as a repeater, each nite, semi-half conscious, it seems that the dream is always focusing on the wrong bits. And the wrong bits are sucking the life out of the dream. And it goes on, little by little, bit by bit, night after night, until one night, in the middle of the dream you wake up and realize 'This dream is not real, this dream is full of bits. And the search each night, the dreaming was indeed a need to find the big bit. Awake, aware, you know. The big bit is what lay outside the dream, the biggest lice of pizza you have ever seen in your life. And that is it. The doorbell rings, it's the pizza guy with the whole tray. Way after dinner, but hey, skip the routine, just once in a while and again...

webthing, say what you want to say, it's not like you have to book time. Also If you want to read some good art criticism there are other pages. seems here artists, generally painters, and zip, post here. A different array, which is good. and elliptical is good nomi you should try it some day, gets rid of the cobwebs.

Old Guy said...

Webthing - To respectfully take up your initial (and not so foolish really) suggestion � concerning the gamut of �sight based� expression proliferating � I�d firstly draw your attention to the fact that performance and literature (which are also arts) are also sight based. Sight based I think is too wide to properly define image beyond perhaps representation, yet if image is to include audio reference as Wikipedia currently allows, much less �mental image� � a hotly disputed philosophical topic! � then sight based is not wide enough either.

Much as I like Wikipedia, I think the entry on Image still needs work.

But skipping the finicky detail, what of the suggestion that imagery of whatever kind might be re-classed or reset in other ways, ignoring material base, tradition or precedent? On what basis might these links be made? Presumably something like iconography or shared content, and I think this actually tends to happen in those big international surveys that proliferate these days (I think of them as the equivalent of stadium rock). There the curator(s) establish a �theme� and collect across the board, sometimes vigorously declaring their anti-formalism along the way.

This may even be a mindset for �our times�!

But as anyone who has ever trudged across whole cities following these extravaganzas quickly comes to realize, the work mostly loses something by this generosity of policy. I can see why there is this reaction against painting as painting as painting etc � and it avoids having to think about installation as installation as installation etc � but it seems equally unsatisfactory. We free ourselves from a stifling history only to expire in a desert of bureaucracy or official art.

zipthwung said...

The world needs art criticism now more than ever, urgently, and it should take a wider stance.

I paint on commission. Its just not cost effective otherwise.

I had the worst diarrhea in my life - the stuff you hear from travelers to third world countries. It issued forth in a pure burning stream.

On satelite radio, high above Spokane Washington, they were discussing Colin Wilson.

A lady called up, her son had died six years ago in a horrific car crash. Aren't they all? Her pain was palpable. I feel like I know that movie, but I cant be sure. What kind of sick person would call up and pretend to be suffering from PTSD?

I took another sip of my gin and tonic. Six different medications, she said. And no sense of humor.

Comedy and tragedy go hand in hand they said. That's why comedians are funny. Its a coping mechanism, they said.

On the way down Winona Rider was being berated for being a robot. Thats just what they program you to do, mom says, you're just a robot like the rest of them. Don't you have any feelings? Winona doesn't remind mom mom is now a clone - instead she's looking uncomfortably aside wishing mom would just hug her.

We all watch in horrified fascination as the half alien half human child of rape fantasy gets juiced by a sucking hole the size of a donut.

The feed is interrupted an replaced by mariachi music.

Ted Nugent is on tour. He's telling Barak Obama to suck it as part of his stage act. Is this wise? O'reilly, for one, doesn't want this kind of divisive demagogery. rein it in, he says.

Like hell the Nuge says, this is the LOVE GRENADE tour, and I will not. I take terminally ill kids hunting. Im not a robot. I have feelings. Its only rock and roll - go to the show, you wont get it all - it will be going by fast. You wont understand all the words, and besides I'm going to be doing a bunch of PG13 sets anyways - I play to the audience, I have Fans man.its just showbiz.
Ok Nuge, says O'Riley. Rein it in, he says.

The plane lands in no mans land. The terminal is empty. People die waiting for their luggage. Spiders spin broadcast bumpers and interstitials in their dessicated remains.

Where is everybody ody dy...I yell into the void.

Outside a single black arrow hisses through the air and embeds itself in my gut. We have stuff for you to microwave they say.

I pour a drink and try to type myself to death. No amount of Lean Cuisine will stop the lurking horror vaccui.

We'll be going to the zoo soon. They have hipamapatamouses.

webthing said...

well old guy, i hear ya. in a way i agree with you and am disagreeing with myself, which is weird, but only because there is still something vital missing, and i'm trying to throw up chunks that might point to it. if i even paused to ask myself why i'm doing that, i'm sure that i'd stop. so i won't ask, yet. i know what you mean about the anomaly apparent in calling everything images, or sight based, but the theatre and literature, as images, are different, and therefore important in another way. as an image, you cannot reflect upon the theatre, as it is in motion, so you are within the procession of the image. stare at one point of literature and you cannot glean anything from its message, it is also procession based. but with painting you can pause your sight because it is an image that is frozen, facilitating a different kind of reflection, realization, consideration, etc. For this reason, you can see why painting and photography have suffered their much maligned relationship to each other, by understanding their relationship as images. Film as image correlates more to the theatre and literature, because it must be flickered at us in a chain for personal reflection and realisation to be made. Sorry to be so awfully blatant and i am aware that these notions have been toyed with and subverted in each discipline many times before. Anyway, that aside, in this way whatever digital is doesn't even need to have the process or material based distinction so focused on anymore. Images are either frozen, or in motion. Whether it is made of paint or pixels (essentially all photonic anyway) would matter less. I'm not saying forget these elements, but just to take them from the centre of discussion. Leaving us able to discuss the content a little more. Learning more from the message, not the process, but still valuing process. And as the message will be different to everyone (but possibly not in some rare cases, maybe this is where the opus lies), anwyay so messgae based discussion is where the subjectivity comes in...

(ps, old guy, we'll have to ask the synesthete's about the sound part)

contemporary discussion of art might, if subjectively adjusted, and certainly not to homogenize anything, be more telling, or more engaging? considering that reading a review of art is mostly a foray into discussion of materials, techniques and cross references to other works, which is fine, this approach is still based on the 'can't call it yet - will have to wait for hindsight' ambiguous formula of contemporary art definition. i don't know if that makes sense. but pick up any art journal or review or whatever else and read the reviewing style and there is most certainly an objective format, which i find too glossy, lacking in its role of at least an attempt at adequate translation, humanness. i'm talking only about an adjustment of how contemporary art is discussed, not so much how it is made. it might seem ill considered, but i have been milling over this for some time, and god forbid it sounding institutionalized because thats exactly what i'm arguing against by suggesting a shift from formalized objectivity to independent subjectivity. i know that words themselves are a formalized objective code, but dare i say it, well grounded poetic use often proves it can strike us otherwise. i admit, its rare. but so what? so i still believe words have the ability to do more. if we formalize art only by the fact they are images, but subjectify them by how their representative, or non representative elements speak to us, personally, might we learn more? i understand not everybody is going to be well put for such a task but if i can assume any major watermark in the last 100 years of art production it has been the steady rise of the curator. As messy as they may seem to make it, and i'm not doubting that they do, to me it signals that, for whatever reason, what we are feeling the need for is not more producers, but good interpreters, some people who can filter out the noise of an expanding array of signals. so here they are, our new guides. but we dont like them, i dont really like them, because the way that these interpreters are operating, discussing and arranging by genus, origin, materials, and very rarely facing up to the actual content of the image, makes it seem rare to even scrape the surface of what can be seen, and discussed, in the image. its like getting a bunch of scientists to tell us what our poems mean. thats good, i want to know what they find, but enough already when we're struggling to find the poets to tell us what our paintings mean? zip is a poet of sorts, though he/she would hate me saying that.

if an images meaning is so subjective that it differs to every one of us, then it really is pointless to be looking for a unanimous masterpiece. if that were the case, let's take it as a given, and continue. until we find one that subjectively we agree on. but how will we know if we're always being objective about it? i'm saying maybe this is why we cannot find one anymore. because the truth of the matter might be that we're trying hard to hold up the magnifying glass in an objective manner so everyone can see the values of certain works, but it doesn't seem to work. maybe when the channels of opinion were limited (access to publishing), voices seemed to be in chorus, because eventually, fewer publications from fewer hands gave the impression that there were more resolute definitions. but now that everyone is a publisher, we're all out of phase. i'm just ranting that if that's the case, let's find a way to at least admit or allow in the subjectivity element against the absurd attempt at objective reasoning, which repeatedly fails (though it'll get you a residency) and tarnishes what we might understand image making to CONTAIN.

Now i'm going to sound really lame, but it's too late now. i don't have a preference for any work recently posted, but could discuss them all in a similar way, if i look at this work by varo, and for most of the other work here i've felt the same, i see its technique and know its position in the breton puppets of the day, but moreso, subjectively, it's meanings wander through many things. In Zahn i saw an attempt at a mutant and bland kind of neo Buddhism, in Jensen a similar kind of (certainly not original) intuitive symbol toward the act of seeing as a method of identification, both works seeking a quasi religious state of reflection (which, arguably, most painting does), though in Stettheimer words did not come easily to me, and here in varo, well, depiction of a deluge, deliverance in something petrified, vagina as vessel... i don't want to continue coz it's too embarassing... but what year was it from, post war baby boom or thereabouts? and i'm wondering if these sorts of discussions of images might lead us out of the contemporary sludge and back through some kind of adjusted pathway aligned more to the messages in art (painting as it is here), and not the materials of art, as if it were furniture.

(its gonna be tough to hit 'publish your comment' on this one, here goes....arrrgghhhh)

zipthwung said...

ChewZ or CanD? I thought the perky pat layout was supposed to be cheap - just cheap mass produced meditative objects, not 600,000 dollar masterpieces. Or is it the aura? Will PKD manifest by unfolding himself out by the deck out back?(thats a cute yard).

Menstrual flow. I really did have "le derriere pisse" no shit. Literally.

I was reading on another blog theres a mystical link to vaginal excretions, perfume and the fountain of youth/fountain of life.
Id do the research but I don't have my shit together for the JStor or project muse any help on that would be greatly appreciated

Mahdi Tourage The Hermeneutics of Eroticism in the Poetry of Rumi Comparative Studies of South Asia Africa and the Middle East 253 Comparative Studies of South Asia Africa and the Middle East 253 2005 600616 The Hermeneutics of Eroticism in the Poetry of Rumi Mahdi Tourage Michel Foucault writes that in societies that made use of ars erotica secrecy served the purpose of amplifying the truth that is drawn from pleasure and the importance of a master in transmitting it in an esoteric manner He writes that the need for secrecy in sexuality was not because of an element of infamy but because of the need to hold it in the greatest reserve since according to tradition it would lose its effectiveness and its virtue by being divulged It is no surprise then that secretive traditions often find in eroticism an apt metaphor for the expression of their esoteric concepts In the same vein as ars erotica secrecy enhances the mystical enterprise and elevates it to the level of esotericism It is imperative that something of the secret be revealed because secrecy is not the same as concealment A secret that is fully concealed might as well not exist However a total revelation would make the secret meaningless just as in eroticism consummation equates with termination for eroticism is the deferral of consummation Thus the constitutive element of secrecy and eroticism is the communicative..

Lacan says something like that - turns into a "gift of shit" or something.

Old Guy said...

Phew! At 1260 words, I think you might have set some sort of record there, Webthing.

If it’s any consolation, I understand you a lot better for it.

But I’ll wait and see if anyone else jumps in here before saying more.

Concrete Phone said...

Yeah, good going webthing!
Looks like we are approaching the question of 'intersubjectivity' of which the formal is included.
It seems to me that the subjective is hinged upon many things. And if that is the response we are looking for, for art, indeed painting, doesn't this need to be highlighted in all aspects, the quantum-sense-of-the-subject... [?].
Subjective sequences may indeed lead nowhere, or ride but a short life, or are built only for their distance. How do we detect this, or is it our job to do so? I think not! Painters tend to be builders of the skeptical world in an effort to transcend, or at least to convince.
Too, highlighting sometimes comes up stronger via alleviation, abbreviation, or even via an overshadowing of the pivotal aspects of the subjective, which up-until-now were unable to be discussed, disconnected away from the sensible.

We are there! Next job... to get here.

Quisquilloso said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Old Guy said...

I’m a bit surprised that a painting by a woman about women, amongst other things, has drawn so little comment from female painters (in as much as tags indicate gender). We’re certainly not rushed on this post either.

I’m not even sure what Nomi thinks of it.

The psychoanalytic side I think is obvious and Zip has flagged other sexual codes. I started out wondering what Remedios would make of it, rather than its place in Surrealism. But both are useful to an interpretation. The work comes toward the end of her kind of short life, (1913-1963) she a Catalan who remained in exile in Mexico. Other works from that time like A Visit To The Plastic Surgeon and Woman Leaving Her Psychoanalyst use a central figure in elaborate (early 20th century?) costume, with vaguely Renaissance setting and seem to target a certain kind of middle class independence, respect for tradition. The figure is always alone. By 1959 I don’t think there was any pretence that she was probing her unconscious, unveiling big taboos. Maybe there never was.

But the work is not light, it looks and feels gloomy. It doesn’t have that sense of mischief you get with Dali, Magritte or Ernst. I don’t think those guys took Freud all that seriously either. But they knew how to stir a picture.

This gravity led me to think about the theme of exploration – just who is exploring what – and a more troubling ambiguity. I think this has got a lot to do with the mood, as much as any menstrual tension. But yes those trunks or pillars are phallic and yes she is riding in a little egg looking for just the right seed way up at the source through caverns measureless to manbaby and daddy was a hydrologist until she got to be her own woman in another land but you already knew that myth.

By 1959 of course she could have had a helicopter or a hovercraft as an egg, dressed like Audrey Hepburn rather than Emily Pankhurst but keeping up is just what she wasn’t doing. Looking right back and down is where the gloom sets in. I think you sense that, looking at the way the picture is painted as much as the atmosphere. There is maybe disappointment, disillusion with what could have been, what has become. For a discoverer this is definitely not a eureka moment or triumph. The explorer calmly unbinds herself, but it’s obvious she’s not going to be able to take the fabled bottle or source, it’s a trick and part of the liquid and transparency. She can go there, but there’s nothing to take back.

So much for a close reading.

Lastly, just to say a little more about criticism and curators (not too much I know, because this isn’t ArtcriticsNYC). Just looking through a slice of reviews in Art Forum and Art in America, I don’t see too much wrong, given the constraints (Flash Art is a little different). Obviously I have my favorites and hates amongst critics, but these are reviews of shows rather than individual works and at most get one repro to talk about, so a fair bit of the space goes on just description (in AiA roughly 500 words to the average review, in AF around 700) and most seem to get at some particular content rather than just pigeon holing it stylistically. So I don’t see a problem with the state of criticism really.

If there is a problem it’s that this kind of criticism doesn’t carry the same weight it once did because the sheer number of curators and opportunities for curating mean works are endlessly resorted under other themes anyway, regardless of what the works might mean ‘by themselves’. By themselves now regarded with some suspicion in academic and theoretical circles. And curators are rarely much good at explaining their choices or the results, are happy to rest on the event itself, building a kind of institutional momentum for those with a ticket to ride.

Nomi said...

I like it more than I like most of the most famous Surrealist painting. It's more personal and intimate. And weirder in a less "ooo, cool" way. And sexual in a nice weird but not too creepy way. I'd like one of those red things . . .

But I can barely see it and haven't tried that hard to find a bigger image of it.

d'metrius rice said...

I saw her retrospective at Washington,D.C.'s Natl. Museum of Women in the Arts and she had so much work!!

No Rush said...

old guy - how come in just about every artist you review, you criticize them for not being what they are not? that seems pretty easy for you...

No Rush said...

I get an very bad feeling about the condescention you heap on the artists you review. I mean no, Varo's not Boedicia, Pirate Jenny, Kate Millet, Beth Ditto or fukin Norman Vincent Peale. She's a good enough artist to get her meaning across, and you are a good enough observer to pick it up. Why expect her--or any artist-- to do more than that?

Varo reminds me very much of Anais Nin another artist Im sure you could scorn, but she was a distinct person in a place and time, the circumstances of which you seem to have little empathy for.

As for exploration, you might see and feel in Varo's work an attitude along the lines of the words of the philosopher Little Richard--"I got what I wanted but I lost what I had." The honesty of that is valuable to me.

Old Guy said...

Oh wow! Another devastatingly hip putdown from Big Daddy!

I'm so crushed.

No Rush said...

there was a question, but i guess no answer

Old Guy said...

Why think only you know what an artist does or how it might be described?

(that's an answer not a question)

No Rush said...

my question was--what do you get out of your process? You give this rundown of pros and cons ( or this deconstruction/reconstruction) but you always start out on top and end up on top. you the critical brain. You remind me of John Currin. he does that too, in his paintings. I just dont buy the method

Old Guy said...

What do I get out of this kind of interpretation? As I’ve said before, I think the object of commentary here is basically to suggest a path into (and out of) the posted work – a way to get at the meaning or reference, that might be missed or ignored elsewhere. But that’s not to say that meaning is pleasant, happy or welcoming.

It’s just one reading of a work that allows many – but hopefully a fresh or interesting one.

Now Webthing endorses the subjective to this end, Concrete urges the intersubjective. I see it in terms of identification versus interpretation. Identification is those parts or aspects to a work we can all agree are really there, they’re objective if you like. Interpretation is what those things imply or then lead to – a fuller, if more contentious meaning.

Now there can be right and wrong interpretations (so I don’t see it as strictly subjective) in as much as a wrong interpretation does not respect identification at some point – calls an egg a football, say – but a right interpretation is not the one and only interpretation! (even in law, determinations need not rest solely on letter or precedent – the spirit moves in mysterious ways!)

So what I get out of it is seeing if I can identify the work adequately – and I take this to be largely the business of style – and then where I might be permitted to run with it – to history, politics, geography, sociology, psychology, literature, etc.

For Remedios I think this involves acknowledging Surrealism as a decisive influence, and on those terms I think she shows how the movement dissipates by the 50s, starts to turn into something else. It’s not to say Surrealism never amounted to much, but Ernst, Dali and Magritte pretty much staked out that territory, make it hard for followers to find much distinction while remaining consistent with it. Hence it tends to dilute, as do all styles.

But that’s a very general interpretation, what about this particular Remedios? Commentary here seems evenly divided on its attractions. Taking some details from her life and times, I suggest something like a post-menopausal reading – a reading that applies (metaphorically) as much to Surrealism as the turmoil of the twentieth century, and given that the artist didn’t live all that much longer, had, I thought, a certain poignancy.

So I see the painting as about looking back in this way, perhaps all the way back to the Renaissance (which ironically means rebirth of course). I don’t see this as so terribly insulting or humiliating to her or women in general. You could say it gives the painting greater dignity or solemnity. Then again this is just one reading and if you think it wrong in identifying some detail – say the woman’s costume, as period rather than military dress, then we can turn to early 20th century costume, that required women to wear derbies for riding or other outdoors adventure without the least sense of impersonating men (indeed the hat’s shape, as Remedios indicates is slightly different).

But I think to simply launch personal insult in response here does you more disservice than I.

No Rush said...

You do go on, don't u? Again your tone (suffragette sinbin, finicky, Remedios thinks of everything, post menopausal, ad infinitum, ever since you started posting, not just this thread)is trivializing and not funny. I have no problem pointing this out. I dont expect you to stop, I just dont feel like ignoring it.

As for identification, it still looks like a bowler to me

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