I'm just finishing up the last of the works for this show. It is at George Fox University in Newberg, Oregon (just outside Portland.) It opens Nov. 25th. Strange works, clumsy works but unapologetically optic works. I'll explain more later (I'm teaching a studio class right now and no one wants to be disturbed so I had to do something productive.) If your in the Portland area please stop on by, I'll be there the night of the opening.
Monday, November 10, 2008
Sunday, November 9, 2008
When I was twelve years old I learned semaphore signal flags. This was something my father thought was important. Semaphore is a abstract visual (flag) symbol system used to share pertinent information from sender to receiver. I've been thinking about that a lot lately. Sending signals.
Thursday, November 6, 2008
Jim Morphesis, skull study
Las gentes cruzan el mundo en la actualidad sin apenas recordar que poseen un cuerpo y en el la yida- really roughly translated- People cross the world in actuality, reality, barely able to recall that they posses a body and in that body, life. I came across this posting in the site of a good friend, Elenor Greer.
So appropriate. Last night I went to a lecture of LA artist Jim Morphesis. I first met Jim in the mid eighties when he was a visiting professor at Claremont Graduate University. I studied with him for a year. He had a profound impact on my practice. At the time he was one of a small group of artists, including David Amico and Merion Estes, that were revitalizing painting in the 80's Los Angeles art scene. It was a time of "cool", "slick" and "reserve". It was one of the times of the "death of painting" and Jim Morphesis had dug up the bones and he was making them dance. And they still do.
Last night I was struck again by physicality of Jim's work. Of the urgency of it, by the sensuality of the surfaces, the marks. He demands that you recognize the body; the body of the painting and as that body demands its recognition you are acutely aware of your own body. The works scrape along, scratch along, slip and lick along.
They are wet from secretions both of pleasure and waste. They work like a Baudelaire poem, "... I remember! I saw everything - flower, spring, furrow- swoon under its eye, throbbing like a heart ... smell of the tomb in the swirling dark, and my timid foot bruising, at the edge of the swamp..."
So stinking romantic, and yet so very tasty.
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Monday, November 3, 2008
study of meat, J. Morphesis
Dramatic, compelling, powerful and passionate; these are words often used to describe the work of Los Angeles artist Jim Morphesis. Morphesis made his reputation from his intense paintings of the male torso, derived from the image of the crucifixion, an omnipresent element in his art to this day. The artist was raised Greek Orthodox and often attended church with his grandmother.
His work can be seen in numerous museum collections including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.*
Works on paper, studies and major works including pieces from his "meat" series are on display at Biola University Art Gallery thru Nov. 20th.
Jim will be lecturing on his work, at the Biola on Wednesday, Nov. 5th @ 7:00pm. Contact the Art Dept.
(562)903.4807 for location.
*info from Kennebeck Fine Art
Sunday, November 2, 2008
Anne Bogart, A Director Prepares: Seven Essays on Art and Theatre
Saturday, November 1, 2008
Songs of Ascension is the most recent work of Meredith Monk and Ann Hamilton. It is currently being preformed at the REDCAT, Disney/Calarts Theater in Los Angeles. I took my painting class to see Thursday nights performance. I was not prepared for what happened.
When the approximately 90min. program ended and the performance group cleared the sparse stage several of us sat speechless, in fact, breathless. Thoughts of anticipation, utterance, the liturgical, and dare I even say, the sublime. One of the students said that her body understood what had happened the last 90 mins. but the language had not yet arrived.
As we drove back to the university we drifted back and forth between animated talk of "already / not yet" and a grinning silence. After I dropped everyone off at school and was driving home I found myself driving in silence and listening to the sound of my breathing.