Patrick Berran


Painter said...

Patrick Berran @
Rare Gallery
521 West 26th Street
New York, New York 10001

Part of The Orchestra collective

SisterBee said...

Wow. This is stunning. Especially love the whiteish gate at the bottom. So, so inviting. I'm bewitched.

Tatiana said...

Let's acknowledge that feels like a (comparative) breath of fresh air now. And I am instantly intrigued and pleased.

Nomi Lubin said...

Nice. (!!!)

poppy said...

'where do we come from, what are we, where are we going?'
an old classic....

Michael Cross said...

Those interested, be sure to check out the other paintings on the Rare website. This is one I like the least (Disney Surgery.... shudder) but the others are super. One thing bothers me with abstract technique-based work though and that is, why do artists always have to overlay a theme on it. Titles related to landscape diminish the work, which otherwise stands on its own. I suspect the pressure to be force-fit into a "collective" which is all the rage now as a means of artistic survival is largely what drives this trend. Painters this creative should make more of an effort to remain independent, as I imagine this one will soon be.

poppy said...

cross, good point, i see alot of peeps wantin to paint this way and referring always to landscape as if there are no other options available..wtf/?

A.Painter said...

I blame Turner

Dumbpainter said...

I blame Richter

zipthwung said...

Has the look and feel of expensive work.

Part of that look and feel is (take yor pick) a distancing effect (esthetic distance), anesthetic feel, or sterility to the work, something that has its roots in the aristocratic values of the privileged.

In order to be of the managerial classes, one must take a longer view - presidents are said to be trained to look seven generations ahead - and we know that to make tough moral and ethical decisions, you must not allow personal concerns to distort your objective lense.

For example, the United States has moral authority based on its superior system of governement - neither allowing despotic mob rule over the minority on the one hand, nor giving free reign to despots on the other.

Further, the US has an unprecedented adherence to human rights and allows the individual to succeed with a little hard work.

But not everyone can reap the rewards of American values - you must know what you want - and even then you need a little luck.

What of the losers? Are you supposed to give up your case of 1995 Bourdeaux to the rabble - who would be content drinking Yellowtail merlot (it tastes like wine!)?

No, you would reserve such pleasures to yourself, and rightly so.

Indeed, it is the maddening horde of idiotic locust appetites that are the threat, and we use works of art like this to befuddle them.

If polite anesthesia fails, we must humourously condescend to point out the weaknesses in their cultural bona fides.

Is this snarkiness? No it is the kindest face of the brutal truth.

zipthwung said...

Dude worked for Franz Akerman. I see albert Ohelen, don't you?

Sven said...

this reminds of this painting snow world by eberhard havekost but its not as good cuz its abstract and cuz of those obvious brushstrokes. so chew on that

CAP said...

Keep it real you virtual fathers.

Unknown said...

Very interesting and well made work. I note the Oehlen, but I'm also reminded of Eric Sall who, like Berran, spent some time at Virginia Commonwealth. What's in the water there?

I like the sense of adventure and inventiveness in his work. Quite an accomplishment for someone so new out of school.

Tatiana said...

Mmm. I looked at his website and this is still is my favourite of them all. Some of them get a little too hippie-drippy-abitrary for MY taste.
and it's all about taste, right? i think is very in vogue with current taste. Maybe.

CAP said...

Howard Hodgkin on a bad hair day.

Unknown said...

ravishing, beautiful, but yes, very in vogue with current taste. in its self-effacement, distancing, capitualtion.

Todd Camplin said...

nice blur

Thousand Points of Light said...

Well, at least it looks like painting after a spat of cartoons.

another 10 years, but out the gate so fast.

Hunter profs would really do their students a favor by encouraging a dose of subterfuge.

A.Painter said...

you're on a hiding to nothing if you're blurring......unless your German

getreal said...

"sterility to the work", yes, zip


webthing said...

I get the feeling abstract artists want to anchor themselves to earth with use of landscape, rather than float their head alone in the cosmos. Don't know if that's good or bad. Or maybe it's people coming into their studio and saying "oh, i can see...", title shit sticks? Who knows, but nice work no less, nothing wrong with being now, is there? If next kicks now off the stool, who cares. If they chat at the bar together, even better. No bother, i just watched zeitgeist so judgement is a little undone.

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
zipthwung said...


zipthwung said...

arbeit macht frei

Nomi Lubin said...

zipthwung said...

Has the look and feel of expensive work.

Oh, man. This is tiresome, zip.

So . . . you're saying he's trying to make paintings that look like art?

So, is there no one you feel is just painting from the heart and making good interesting exciting beautiful work that's not trying to be anything except what it is?

I know; I know; you'll give me some list a mile long.

But I really don't see why you'd imply such disingenuousness about this fellow.

zipthwung said...

So . . . you're saying he's trying to make paintings that look like art?

You mean am I implying it?

I'm just ASKING why someone would CHOOSE to paint this way - unless you are saying it's painted by instinct - perhaps a vestigal atavistic urge from the primitive reptillian limbic core of consciousness.

But as I said, this guy went to art school, and, duh, why do you go to art school?

TO learn how to make stuff that looks like art, period (.)

Now go peel me a grape.

Nomi Lubin said...

But as I said, this guy went to art school, and, duh, why do you go to art school?

TO learn how to make stuff that looks like art, period (.)

I did not go to art school to learn how to make stuff that looks like art. Work that looks like art is bad art. That's how I take that notion, anyway.

This may sound hopelessly naive to you, but I went to school to try to learn how to paint me like me. I couldn't get there on my own, so I went to school.

Nomi Lubin said...

"perhaps a vestigal atavistic urge from the primitive reptillian limbic core of consciousness."

Yeah, why not?

poppy said...

yes, i like paint too Nomi,
nothing wrong with that... but to some people, everything has already been classified and filed away so i guess our job here is done.

A.Painter said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
A.Painter said...

....I think painters are all working within partiular myths or cliches. Maybe some painters are able to add new twists or turns to these myths and cliches, others just do the thing well and convincingly.

poppy said...

Painting is still being judged by modernist mythical dinosaurs. I wish they'd lie down and be buried already. No sweet nanny, this is not for you.

zipthwung said...

I'm not implying that you shouldn't paint this way - unless you are me, and in that case you should give up, theres no challenge. I'm that good.

Still, I like to re-enter the cave as a bhodisatwa and help other people who can't get there on their own.

I know: I know: you don;t need my kind of help.

Prepare to be chipped anyways. I have that power.

You know my name
Look up the number
You know my name
Look up the number
You you know you know my name
You you know you know my name

What if the Beattles had been in a Lord of the Rings Movie directed by Stanley Kubric?

What if LOTR was a movie set in manhattan starring Robin Williams Chloe Sevigny, Steve martin, Sarah Silverman, Dennis Hopper...you know people like that - all stars.

God I'd love to direct that.

zipthwung said...

Nick Nolte, Christopher Walken, Gary Coleman, Verne Troyer, Donald Trump...

youth--less said...

Lizbeth Scott, Frances Bean Cobain, Helen Frankenthaler...

poppy said...

Hey little sister what have you done?
Hey little sister who's the only one?
Hey little sister who's your superman?
Hey little sister who's the one you want?
Hey little sister shot gun!

It's a nice day to start again.
It's a nice day for a white wedding.
It's a nice day to start again.

Hey little sister who is it you're with?
Hey little sister what's your vice and wish?
Hey little sister shot gun (oh yeah)
Hey little sister who's your superman?
Hey little sister shot gun!

It's a nice day to start again (come on)
It's a nice day for a white wedding
It's a nice day to start again.

(Pick it up)

no-where-man said...

I must not give up. Giving up is the mind-killer. Giving up is the little-death that brings total obliteration.

ya'll sound like you need to relax over a beer - Hit summer warm up on Sat. lightens the spirit - the Dorota Jurczak is a stand out good vibe show, and the one below is far from my fav.

Anonymous said...

I like this best of what I could see at the rare website. nice tension between gesture and not-gesture, make a mark and wipe it out. and yes, refreshing even in its grand manner.

Anonymous said...

... anyway someone was asking where the floating abstract painting is.

I like the Stroll through the Uncertainty.

I remember as a kid the impatience, always asking, 'Are we there yet?'. I wasn't that smart to notice that every time I asked eternity grew a few thousand miles more across its girth.

Very simple questions, very hard on the answers, and patience.

This painting is tricky because it appears indebted to a landscape figuration, which it attempts to obliterate, using paint to enhance the landscape/imagery qualities. It hasn't found itself out yet. Though the trick is plenty obvious.
I think when you like paint enough you are not that interested in turning it into something other. Unless the other offers mutual benefit for the paint.
That's called partnership... give and take*

zipthwung said...

oh yeah Jim Shurter, Zen Master - influenced by Diebenkorn, Twombly and Pollock, among others. He's a regular Alan Watts of paint.

Me too. Plus deKooning, Sigmar Polke, Helen Frankenthaler, Sol Lewitt, Lawrence Weiner, Duchamp, Damien Hirst, William Randolph Hirst, John D. Rockefeller, J.P. Morgan, the Rothchilds, the Warburgs...

but rather than drop names, lets just say i absorbed Funk, Cobra, Blau Reiter, Pop, Vienese Actionism, Surrealism, Dada, Situationism, Lettrism, Didacticism, Maya, After Effects, Flash, Photoshop and political activism and now I'm kind of full, though Im working on a synthesis of Google, Actionscript and Art Brut.

Influences, heck I'm practically blood royalty. But I hate it all - I mean being influenced doesn't mean you have to like it right? I wonder why people list only their happy influences.

Brianryden@gmail.com said...

"I wonder why people list only their happy influences."

Telling people ones influences are The Mortal Kombat movies, Shemale porn, and being drunk doesn't bode very well for a career.

zipthwung said...

"my findings resemble those of Michele Lamont in her study of working-class people entitled The Dignity of Working Men. Lamont found that members of the working class distance themselves from upper classes by means of moral standards. In their perception, the upper classes lack integrity and straightforwardness (Lamont 2000). Likewise, the traditional dealers I interviewed claim that there is a dignity in promoting art for above the couch."

-Olav Velthius: Talking Prices: 2005

So that's weird because Mortal Kombat, Shemale Pron and being drunk is kind of highbrow in an art kontext, as far as I can tell. Look at "neo-goth" I'd hop on that bandwagon but I just dont have esthetic distance on that shit.

CAP said...

Interesting you mention DeKooning. I was just thinking about him in relation to Enaclite’s comment about blurring belonging to Germans. The other day had the opportunity to study DeK’s Whose Name Was Writ In Water (1975) up close and at length (well as up close as the absurd glass will now allow). Although you can’t see it in repro (http://www.guggenheimcollection.org/site/artist_work_lg_36_2.html) DeK actually uses quite a bit of blurring of gestures – probably by dropping a heavy damp cloth on them and tamping them – notably in the lower right corner. Of course blurring here is not derived from soft focus photography like Richter, but more literally to disperse line and color, direct other elements – something he gets into a lot more in the sparser 80s stuff.

All this to say that Richter does not own blurring, that if you want to think a bit harder about technique, the things and ways you make a painting from, there are still options. Also of note - DeK wasn’t fussed whether the painting drifted into landscape or figure or remained irresolute – what level of abstraction is enough anyway?

peer said...

It seems to me that the painting in question is quite nice. I checked out his website and there are more nice pieces. But finally it is only a painting, or only art depending on your perspective. Could it ever be more?!

This is a fun site...lot's of talk and opinions if the art is right that is. Lot's of different perspectives in all that...I guess it boils down to the fact that we all like what we like, and want it to be seen as good and worthwhile. I sure do. Maybe that is where influence as pedigree comes in! "If my influences are cool so am I!" or maybe not.

zipthwung said...

Let's begin
With the past in front
And all the things
You really don't care about now
It'd be exactly where I'm at
And to think
You got a grip
Look at yourself
Your lips are like two flaps of fat
They go front and back and flappity flap

I'm all staged
It's all an act
I'm really scared that I may fall back on the abstract
It'd be exactly where I'm at

If you're to be
The roaming eye
Pry it open and let me tell you why it sees
The harsh realities

no-where-man said...

im not sure where this painting fits into history, but i would like it on my wall.

no problem listing drinking and gender bending as interests, and wow being smack in the middle of Talking Prices ! and odder still right in the middle of dropping it on a few other blogs - ! wait, don't tell me the connection.

connect 4 indeed!

CAP said...

Nice of you to drop by and share that Peer. I’m sure everyone finds you good and worthwhile and your pedigree impeccable – or maybe not!
But the fact is we don’t all ‘just like what we like’ – we often change our tastes in art and much else - are persuaded by any number of factors and occasions – and these are not necessarily idle choices, but can influence our politics, careers and social circle (or be influenced by them). Liking is not be taken lightly. Argument is not just for the sake of amusement.

We inherit an art history, but up to a point we are free to reinterpret it, and mostly do this by making and collecting new art. It should be fun, but that’s not to say there isn’t much at stake.
Some people on this thread think painting ought to be the means of establishing their identity. If or when it doesn’t, obviously things are not so nice.
If we come to realize we don’t like our pedigree or influences, similarly, people are liable to take drastic and often unpleasant steps, the consequences not always foreseen. You think art doesn’t really matter in the long run? Take a look at what we measure ‘the long run’ by.

You may be a painter as well, and feel privileged by your pedigree, but don’t make the mistake of thinking ‘quite nice’ is all or enough and that ‘the right’ opinions or works are strictly a matter of coincidence.

webthing said...

Long before abstract painting, the Turks were looking in empty teacups and reading abstract patterns as cues for whatever, premonition. And even way before that ancients looked at stars and saw scorpions, lions, horses and even waterbearers (?) in the little flicky dots (aka stars) at night. It's human to look and see something recognizable in nothing. We assign meaning. Painters what, they play with this ongoing faculty of vision? Apparently we are so geared to recognize human faces it's incredible, remember feeling your cognition bust up when you saw this . Painting is volt-free, sometimes we love that and (always, oops) will. Some crap, crappity. I just want to know one honest thing, did Richter (where is gerhard?) think of soft focus photography and THEN go and paint about it, or did he get all playful with a painting, scrape a piece of timber across it and then stand back and go 'hmmmmmm...looks like...'
It doesn't lessen the impact for me at all, it could be nice to see that art is, u know, innate, even reference free, and the deducing of meaning follows, counters, probes, and even acts within the process, jeez it gets messy. Or what? Whatever the case, painting happens again and again (so says the keyboard). And also, it really gets the talkers talking, still. Maybe more than, then... To heck with Saatchi's triumph of, the ravenous eye goes a lot further and inspires more glorious bullsheisen from thy/thou wordiest of wordslingers. Keep the investigation/gesticulation/insinuation/masturb... taking eyesight to new, similar, kind of adjusted, erm, plateau's, here, whoa donkey! Look up at the knight...

A.Painter said...

Old Guy....

Its interesting what you say about De K.

Nomi Lubin said...

"Some people on this thread think painting ought to be the means of establishing their identity."

Not sure who the some people are, but that's not what I meant to convey.

Rather that painting be a kind of record or transcription of my experience (in all that "experience" implies), and the struggle to make that accurate being the struggle to paint "like me," instead of slipping into wanting to make something "look good," and becoming distanced from the experience.

peer said...

Old guy says:
"But the fact is we don’t all ‘just like what we like’ – we often change our tastes in art and much else - are persuaded by any number of factors and occasions – and these are not necessarily idle choices, but can influence our politics, careers and social circle (or be influenced by them). Liking is not be taken lightly. Argument is not just for the sake of amusement."

Maybe...but finally I think liking or taste is unavoidable. Taste, culture are powerful determinants. I don't feel liking is 'light'...on the contratry I feel it is almost inescapably heavy. There is a range of art that tries to step past its maker's'liking' but it seems to me noone steps very far...we can stop with a piece when we feel it is past our taste but it is quickly claimed and so this stance is purely relative.

I think painting really dies when it forgets this and takes itself too seriously or earnestly...art about art as a position is really about identifying this relativistic impulse. I think Guston and Dekooning understood that well. Art is always conventional. It has to be to be recognised as such for any shift to occur. And you don't have to take this stance for it to be an accurate picture.

Anonymous said...

attributions signposts often come up in the wackiest of order,
think R couldn't get it right and starting taking the paint off, when all of a sudden it started to look right.
One thing I do notice is that the chance, the playful thing and where it ends up is not as mysterious as one would think. When you backtrack all the random [whatever] starting from the point where idea/image forms a pattern, what comes out is that you have traced logical steps, ones that the senses eventually have a handle on for interpretation -- could be spatial, allegorical, historical, so on so on, whatever you personally find the most flexible, and personally intriguing.
Personally I like high-jumps hurdles and long-jumps... Just thought I'd put that in.

George said...

old guy,

read somewhere that De Kooning would cover the painting with newspaper to keep it the paint wet. I think some of the newspaper sheets may have ended up as paintings on paper.

... Richter owns the blur, at least when it's applied to an image. One might be able to get away with it in small bits, but any more than that, and "Richter’ is the first thing that comes to mind. It starts to function in a way which uses Richter as a "lookie it’s art" form of validation rather than as a visual device. This is not to say that as a device, it can’t or shouldn’t be used, but at the current moment, the reference comes with the territory.

Anonymous said...

Of course erasure is the historic allegorical term for Richter but many artists have used the smudge for putting things exactly where they want them. Old guy mentions a subtle antidote in a not so antidotal painting.

George said...

cp, I don’t disagree. In practice, I do think what occurs is that the audience will think of Richter. Actually, maybe not so much with Berran’s painting, but I saw someone else’s (blurred) work recently that had that affect on me.

Whatever, it’s time sensitive. Since Richter is quite visible at the moment the association is made with him. This fades over time, about a generation it seems. Looking like DeKooning is less of an issue today than it was 25 years ago. Of course, with any formal device, if one uses it in a fresh way, then it probably won’t matter.

DarthFan said...

i too know of the dekooning. I was reading one time about how someone vcould look through his window and see him working - the standard practice of stepping back after making a mark, to be able to see the overall composition.
Richter doesnt have to do that - all he has to do is make the picture and blur it all at once, where dk would have tomake one smear at a time.

richter works smarter not harder, where DK works to balance the figure on some formal edge. Until the later stuff where DK becomes a Hitchcockian outline, a shadow of his former self, all rim highlight, no fill.

The kicker is DK worked from memory a lot, and GH works from photographs - at least of the famous people, unless they come to his studio to be effaced.

But DK used newspaper to wipe away paint, maybe he used it to take a shit too. He was a working class type of dude. I discovered there's this nice kind of moist toilet paper - it feels kind of plastic in a way. Really soft, so you can take several shits during the day and go easy on the sphincter. Whats your fave TP? I've been known to use coffee filters in a pinch. SOmeone was just telling me they were at a party and their hosts said they used "Penny Saver" magazine - the local cupon rag I guess.

But sometimes you might have to choose beteen good toilet paper and a cad red - then you have to ask yourself, is being true to yourself making art feeling the luxury of good quality toilet paper.

All that brown. Its kind of like painting, isn't it?

no-where-man said...

does this Artist employ the "painting over photo tech" or deal with the burden of being a German Artist "at that time"?

Unknown said...

hello folks-The richter comments are true, but I don't feel that entirely represents the paintings's character. At the opening someone followed me in the bathroom pulling on my shirt, asking if I had "a hard-on for richter." I think there are moves within the space that contradict what Richter would allow as a final painting-almost a battle between what De Kooning would allow and what Richter would allow.

zipthwung said...

hey pat I like your site

I think the div id="wrapper_in"

(container) should have a little padding though. Give the content some air!!!!

Do you ever worry about your paintings being decorative in the sense of say, a dyed silk scarf? Or are you more ito the process and zen of the whole deal? Because I don't see any one pic on your site that is ugly in the anti-esthetic sense or even the urban decay sense, or a psychological no hope sense - because I see a lot of entropy and hopelessness everywhere but not really in your work.

Im going to play some sonic hedgehog game and contemplate death.

Michael Cross said...

Still, I'm leery of smeary.

Unknown said...

hey zipthwung-im glad you like the site--its in a process of revamping though.

but i think there are a lot of aspects in the paintings that are "ugly" ..-.-this painting in particular-it shocked the hell out of me-i couldnt touch it, in the realm of the other works at the time that this painting was made..it was something totally different. But i accepted it and im glad that i did.
I dont strive for the works to be beautiful, or one to be ugly-i dont have a "paintings happen as they happen" attitude either. I think it is more about my personal comfort level--how far to push a painting- or not. And within that would be arguments of beauty, etc..
Each work is involved with something specific to that work. The evolution of them right now is exciting to me, I have abandoned a lot of aspects of my work over the last year. A lot of my peers didn't recognize these works as my paintings-and I take that as a big compliment.

youth--less said...

Its a kinder, gentler skateboarder they're turnin out these days. When you are skateboarding fast everything is a blur except where you focus. Slipping glimpse indeed.

Unknown said...

no rush..
.ha that's an awesome observation-people get confused when they see my work after they know that i sing in a thrash band and skateboard.
I think they expect to see a little of Mark gonzales and Chris Johansen

Unknown said...

As Willem deK said, whatever an artist’s personal feelings are, as soon as an artist fills a certain area on the canvas or circumscribes it, he becomes historical. He acts from or upon other artists.

poppy said...

really great that Pat dropped by,.. I don't believe as you paint these you are trying to reach a place or state characterized by freedom from or oblivion to pain, worry, and the external world are you? Also,you are probably not on any anabolic steroids either? What obligation do you feel to answer questions about Richter or DeK when you paint?

Unknown said...

thanks poppy--not sure if it was a good idea or not to comment. i did however, because i was stoked on what people were saying and wanted to interact. I do feel it is important to answer questions about influence while working-or at least to be conscious of that possible criticism. You learn to use or negate that influence in diff ways.

A.Painter said...

..I dont think of Richters blurred abstact stuff when looking at this painting, these have more alchemy..

CAP said...

So Pat, can I ask a tedious technical question, about how you achieved the blurring in this work?
Even with Richter, there are varieties – the sheer scale of his stuff often suggests some custom-built tool. Another painter suggested to me commercial ‘badger’ brushes for laying off and softening, but a lot of his stuff looks too thick or heavy for that. Any hints?

Also I often wonder why Richter and others always seem to blurr laterally - any thoughts on that?

Anonymous said...

Keep on.
If you ever want to talk about this sugar in relation to the erasing [you don't say but suggest] thatgives the painting its speed... thoughts would be good Pat.

Unknown said...

concrete phone,,,i don't understand this comment

"If you ever want to talk about this sugar in relation to the erasing [you don't say but suggest] thatgives the painting its speed... thoughts would be good Pat."

old guy
as far as the technique, im pretty sure in the larger works richter uses huge squeegees, and i would say that they are laterally because it makes sense as a human action-relating to the body, left to right..almost landscape as well..etc.
if you see my paintings in person, they are oil on wood...and the surfaces are smooth-- tons of layers of gesso, sanded down, virtually no brushmarks show. my technique involves squeegees, and constant fanning out and walnut oil. i work in a lot of layers, so in some cases i dont want the previous layer to show---the tons of gesso allows the paint to really absorb over time, and appear as one with the painting surface.

but still-with all that is going on in the painting, i dont see why it is a direct conflict/reference with richter-When painting it, i thought that, but the space and marks made- fluctuate in a sense where it shows and denies the reference.
any thoughts?

youth--less said...

I think therefore i am.

We have fog here--so the blur is quite real. A slow blur--summer morning's fog is so fucking dreamy, somedays you never really wake. Double vision--speedboat, 2 coors and a vicodin. Wake me when September comes.

Unknown said...

awesome---sounds like you just rode "The Beast" off the westside highway

Anonymous said...

apologies, it's kind of early here, don't function too well... Pat you pretty much answered it anyway in your response to Old guy. I like how you talk about your surface and process, having these different things happening though really working for this unified surface. I always wondered if it was to do with some integrity of painting, or that we grew up on TV. [in search of someone who has never seen a screen and works 'like unified', to test the hypothesis]
anyway,... this is what I was getting at, some text on your homepage

Abstract spontaneity succeeds when representational details are brought forth. The mood of the work is similar to a path of utter destruction until the sugar comes along to rescue a dwindling hope.

so this sugar in the face of dwindling hope, what's that?
Or, maybe since writing that you have moved on. Only if you feel like commenting...

CAP said...

The lateral drag or blur I suppose always suggests motion or speed (a vertical one would suggest vertigo or rain perhaps?).
It’s a crucial point in Richter because the photo reference is not necessarily to motion, can be lens focal length at taking or printing – but of course the more emphatic the dragging/smearing becomes in a Richter, the more it is about the painting tool emulating or referring to a photo quality – and obviously Richter is prepared to pursue that to abstraction and massive scale, so that in the end he’s using a plank and assistants to drag massive deposits of pigment over and off – but it still has this reference or ladder of steps back to photo blurring which is why the work is so resonant, and why of course dragged blurring in anyone else’s painting is instantly in his shadow.
Can it be used in combination with other painterly elements? Unfortunately Gerhard (ruthlessly methodical German that he is) has explored these pretty thoroughly as well (what do they call that Aaron – grundlichkeit?) so that doesn’t leave a lot of room to manoeuvre unless like someone like Oehlen you’re prepared to just bury the thing under a sheer deluge of other stuff – from various fabric supports to spraying, masking, etc etc.

I guess if there’s any lesson to be drawn from old DeK it’s about proportion and balance in these matters – if the blurr gets too big – start to worry why other things are too small.

Unknown said...

there are a lot of things i have moved on from in that paragraph--I used to have criticism that I would be a "virtuoso" painter-that I was showing off, things were always beautiful. The works in question were always explosive, splatters and all that-mostly ink drawings..I wanted there to be a notion of a destructive manner, that the space was eating itself-only giving the viewer little snippets of something that they could latch onto-and those snippets were important to me. more than not that was what i considered areas of "beauty." i wanted to pull that out of something that was just fucked up looking.
I want the paintings to reveal themselves slowly, like in a conversation-you dont get it at first but it hints at you here and there. It shines out, and hides. Making you look more. And i think that as an abstract artist, aside from formal aspects, i use notions of modernism or influence of other artists to do this as well....the blur for ex.

i see that as something that keeps me going in the studio...and after the paintings are completed. To me it's a dialog that I see as rewarding-and to the viewer that is what i call sugar, the beauty...the red herring, etc,

poppy said...

Pat, sorry to bug,..
i was just going to ask you if you're working with narrative in mind and I see you are in a way by bringing representational elements forth in your work.. it is important for this to happen in the 'destructive' process?

This blur thing-a-ma-jigger makes me thing of the J.John's swoosh where the tool is left on the canvas. Not for this work but I've seen the john's stuff poppin up in alot of work lately..

Unknown said...

hey poppy,
yes i feel i am working in a narrative way-i am an abstract painter but i dont solely paint about abstract painting...nor do i care for much abstraction ( i do like some)-because it usually speaks of just that, abstract painting.
So the blur, to me is another element to make that area activate in a manner that the rest of the painting does not. To me that area in the painting makes a calming motion, it has speed-yet its slow, and the marks that come out of it-appear to me as very violent. Something is growing in there. The destructive manner, is not really how i paint-rather i see the works as a residue-a secretion.
j Johns used the blur as a mark, and leaving the tool there cancelled any magic that mark had, if it had any. The mark is itself and can't take any other qualities..it's a cancellation of a gesture-or negating its importance. the same way he killed the gesture with the flags.
does that make sense..?
what about john's later work @ Matthew marks, did anyone see that show-it looked like paul klee?

poppy said...

thanks for reply..
didn't mean to imply yours was upholdin these values JJ's... I was wonderin aloud about all this blur talk, and, where else had i seen some swooshy stuff lately. NIKe.- but one guy in particular got j's swooshies going on..can't think. A german guy?

Unknown said...

i was just going on a johns tangent-
are you referring to bernard frieze, swooshy guy?

zipthwung said...

i feel the need for speed. Cliff jumping is vertical though.

The jj at MM was kind os a snooze - aryl socks and string can communication - dangerous curves or just taking the piss in old age? I rather think the latter. Otherwise its too pretentious to contemplate.

Im glad there's no grid - graphic design really sucks that way.

But where's the risk? Or is that sort of a dated idea based on macho posturing to try to mitigate what is in essence a very safe pastime? I mean, aside from dealing with your issues on canvas instead of or as a compliment to traditional therapy.

And the violence - I'm kind of blind to that. Even Herman Nitch with his bloody sworls just look like a dandified slaughterhouse.

webthing said...

Pat thanks for jumping in, it probably wasn't easy (or maybe it was too easy). We all suffer under the weight of the past, but the best piece of wisdom i ever received was when somebody said 'if you believe there is more work to be done in any area, about any thing, then there most certainly is'. And i can't even remember who said it to me. Maybe i said it myself. I just don't know.

CAP said...

Pat (if you’re still there) -at the risk of sounding like a Hunter Gatherer, I find myself wondering about the talk of explosions, accidents and so on and if your means don’t pre-empt the end?
The mission I think is sound – starting from applications or technique and discovering content as you go – but ‘explosions’ in your work (that on your site at least) seem to rely a lot on wipes/drags pours/dribbles which admittedly suggest the paint is ‘doing’ a lot of the work, are bold and sudden but which in themselves are just too pretty these days (history, the critical climate, etc) – bring with them ‘pretty’ content – make it harder to find the ‘ugly’ or unexpected. Every little elided or over-painted shard (as in the top right corner of this example) starts to look, well… pat.
I’m suggesting the idea of the ‘explosion’ might usefully be unpacked, is all.
Rather than look to the application that just lays down the biggest part of the picture, you might want to look at other tools or process and at just what sort of accidents will look accidental – ugly – and scary enough

zipthwung said...

yeah theres this bunch of stuff that is either bathos or pathetic satire - people call it irony but I call it avoidance issues.

Going against type is a good strategy, but to really scrape the pavement for body parts you have to look into the void.

"This sickness is not unto death" (John 11:4)

what does that mean? it means you have to get rip roaring drunk, I think.

CAP said...

Avoiding the void.
Voidoids form a queue to the right.

Unknown said...

i'm definitely still here, i think this is great and those last comments are awesome-i understand what both of you are saying-the explosion thing, like i said was what i was doing-im trying to get away from that. i dont agree with the idea that the paint is doing a lot of the work- there's more control and accidents with the materials then maybe what it shows. and the beauty vs ugliness case is a notion of taste, would you be saying the same thing if they were all simply ugly? that's too easy.
With the historical and cultural climate and regards to abstraction now..there's a huge surge of painting that is ugly and faux naive, triangles seem to be everywhere. There have been numerous abstract painting shows in NYC this past year that support that. I am not interested in that-it's only dialog is in itself and its reference to history

webthing said...

So you like to paint. You spend a lot of time in a room doing it. But then you need to eat and pay for somewhere to sleep. You realise how smart you will have to be to fool the people who buy your paintings, knowing that most of those who appreciate them can't afford them (not at least until a decade later when time has absorbed them as safe), this has happened for centuries right back to the great family portrait masters.

What you're saying Zip and Old Guy, in one way or another, is that there is no room for surface, and that art should plumb the deep chaos of our violent/futile voidspace - and no less, come back with something rusty and 'real'. Something that couldn't care about being bought out of erm, attraction. It must be shocking and vile and collected out of pure importance to the human race at any given juncture. Who is that collector?

History has taught us that only few artists succeed, and those who opt to go totally mad in a room for the sake of a plastic society end up suicidal. While those who don't succeed (the majority) go crazy without anybody noticing.

For what? Is martyrdom admirable? Is it more 'true' to 'dare to be ugly?' Are we really to focus everything on the grim realities we are terrorized by?

Don't get me wrong and assume I favour a side of the void/surface dichotomy, or the ugly/beautiful thing, because I flip bewteen wanting both. And even then i get bored. Too much of anything spoils a meal.

This has been the first few years of a new century. It hasn't really felt like one, tending to be just more of the same, but I feel that hindsight will reveal something different, and that's what I attribute most of this 'explosion' thing to, because it's been everywhere but mostly in music. Maybe Patrick is a musicians painter?

webthing said...

Sorry, was a musicians painter.

Plus, hated to state the case for wanting to make some friggin cash, but is it so bad? How else can you keep going. Isn't the dream to just paint and do nothing else? There is only one thing that allows that to happen. It really sux.

Totally Bombastic...

CAP said...

Pat -
Well, to take the Aldrich post recently - triangles are definitely breaking out!
As to Beauty/Ugly - I took this to be what you were getting at in talk about finding scraps of beauty amongst the 'fucked-up'.
A dialogue with history is unavoidable (as I think DeK and Sharon point out) – but it is a dialogue with something. Whether it’s your personality, place or time, it’s never just history for history’s sake. I don’t think even the most arid formalist would hold with that.
That dialogue is what makes it more than just some private ‘taste’.
On the one hand you seem to appreciate the need for destruction and ugliness (the fucked-up) – on the other you shun much of it in current abstraction. Surely these should be alerting you as to which techniques/manners should be detonated?
The dialogue with history, can start with your peers

Unknown said...

webthing's post is brilliant

old guy

"On the one hand you seem to appreciate the need for destruction and ugliness (the fucked-up) – on the other you shun much of it in current abstraction. Surely these should be alerting you as to which techniques/manners should be detonated?
The dialogue with history, can start with your peers"

i believe that is exactly what i am doing. I am wanting both (ugliness and beauty)-its the in between that i like. But that;s not everything i am interested in.How can i tell you everything in a blog post. Obviously there is history, and it is unavoidable, you can';t deny that. I just think artists should concentrate on what interests them, when the time comes and things butt up against a historical reference deal with it-or deal with it from the start, the work CAN come from that-and most does, mine does. But I just don't believe that should be an underlying theme that governs a body of work, that;s all. I've been there, "oooh that looks like... or uh oh, that looks like..." It shouldn't be an anxiety attack that prevents you from exploring. Your audience is so narrow at that point.

i like the musician's painter

webthing said...

Pat i'll bet u 10 bucks that we see some kinda curated 'Musician as Painter' show somewhere soon, and that maybe it defines a bunch of things coz heck, 30-40% of the last posts here have been in bands. Aptly, the show would be curated by Painter. Maybe the new "explosive triangle" millennial buildup began in '99 with Oehelen in Red Krayola, but of course it goes wayy back to early Mayo Thompson, and then wayyyy back to Kandinsky, and then wayyyyyyyyyyy back before that to Socrates, somehow, and then spirals back into the present via a thousand others.

zipthwung said...

i like triangles, actually. I was into circles but thats a dead end. I need to progress, and triangles help you keep track of where you are.

That may seem a bit obtuse, but I just found a cool site of

google hacks

In case you didn't know, google is going to become self conscious in three to five years based on moore's law or whatever.

I'm a huge fan of chance as heuristic devices - coupled with editing systems of rule based emergent behaviors.

Unknown said...

awesome-lets curate that show

have you ever seen the seinfeld episode where george buys $5800 worth of triangle paintings from Elaine's boyfriend who almost dies from the junior mint?

I want to make a video piece out of that

"what am i gonna do with all these triangle paintings?"

nat said...

Damn,... I just deleted my other post by accident so here is the summary---

Pretty and beautiful=OK
Titles=not OK

DeKoon blur =gesture
Richter blur= image/reproduction
Pat blur = object, paint

Technique such as pointilism divorced from philosophical or historical context=OK, example = Krushenick pop abstract vocabulary.

Why no Bill Jensen reference above?
Nice paintings, thanks for showing up...

webthing said...

can't believe i missed that one, george buying paintings? kicking myself (trudges off to youtube). come to think of it doesn't the john malkovich teacher character in art school confidential also do triangle paintings? lets not forget the esteemed critic matthew collings, the english man who knows everything, who also does them in his recent paintings, sort of. funny, maybe egyptian intelligences are returning from jupiter into the collective graphic designer consciousness again, because everything got sharp and greek font looking there didn't it, or hegelian thesis/antithesis/synthesis theory is back in triangular pictorial form again. or maybe its just the old food pyramid, to remind us all to eat grains and beans before fish and carrots. i guess i kind of liked triangles somehow as well, the real multitasker of all the platonic solids. nice hacks zip, while we wait for google to breathe, you might like some of this if you like rule based emergent mathematical behaviour. i always thought it novel, that idea that if networks get complex enough, the internet itself might just 'wake up'. such a lofty nerd fantasy, almost as good as the downloading of a person, lets just say old billy gates, into a similarly complex neural computer, and shooting it out into space. haha! to heck with Lost on TV, how about Bill In Space on the iPhone. has anyone heard of the singularity?
damned rambling again...

painters as synesthetes!?!(historically unfinished)?

Anonymous said...

With due respect webthing and pat the triangle is a very important bit of information. Unlike the triangles sold and bought over the TV the true triangle is something to behold.
If you like I could send you both some information that may enlighten = simple questions answered,
why the triangular, when and how it began, who is involved now, past, current and future impacts.
Kids have been playing with triangles for thousands of years. Some cultures understood the power of the three sides, in 2, 3, 4, and 5 spaces. Egyptions could control resonances in the 10.
Some say if you stare at the simple triangle long enough you can see the third point, even when you have forgotten what the second point was. That's the power.

zipthwung said...

My problem with this art stuff is that many people are working in parallel but no one is efficiently networked.

This is a symptom of the system, which allows redundancy as a structural component.

There is room for more blur, but people want the best blur, so they must be shielded from the truth - that only one artist is allowed to make the blur for a limited number of people. This may strike you as patently absurd, but there is a definite hierarchy that must be maintained in order for prices to remain stable.

The defense of this system is based on romantic notions of originality and self ecpression dating back to the 18th century, which is the 1700's - I always find that confusing.

So currently their is a great deal of intrest in atmospheric landscapes like Kaspar David Freidrich and armless dwarves like Napoleon.

to quote wikipedia:
"omanticism elevated the achievements of what it perceived as misunderstood heroic individuals and artists that altered society. It also legitimized the individual imagination as a critical authority which permitted freedom from classical notions of form in art. There was a strong recourse to historical and natural inevitability in the representation of its ideas."

SO you can see how its important to have a clear history to uphold the linear lineage. Blowing smoke is a way to combat the stltifying weight of history, and to clear ones head of the miasmatic cultural diaspora.

I havent really read Deleuze and Gyatari but they say stuff about rhizomes and I
d say they understand the ecological viewpoint.

On the subject of singularities, there a great application of that idea by Vernor Vinge, who says INFORMATION will do the y=x squared thing and so then you will achieve total transparency.

I like that idea because Im a failure, and it means I can move on to talking about theory rather than explaining why i'm a failure.

Failure is good - its a great option and obviously if you can get some of that down on canvas it makes some of the best and most valuable work.

youth--less said...

Forget triangles. Let's go for Omanticism. That sounds lovely.

webthing said...

wow zip awesome.


Anonymous said...

Escher and his penrose triangles, are you kidding,
drop them...? 

amy boras said...

failure is the only thing that wolves run after.

poppy said...

I wrote a poem about failure as an option.....
zip remembered me it...

Unknown said...

ravishing, beautiful, but yes, very in vogue with current taste. in its self-effacement, distancing, capitualtion.

Amy..Really! I don't mean to single you out (and I don't know you) but I seriously don't get this one.. I mean what am I looking at!! This is so uninspiring and when I look at it I feel like I am in a swan dive off a 7-11. Depressing stuff.

Unknown said...

nomi is my homey.

Anonymous said...

for the record: two different amys here

Anonymous said...

And Daniel I only wish this made me say "I mean what am i looking at"