Tuesday, June 29, 2010

a few new things

yet to be titled, #3 & 6, oil on canvas, 14"x14", D. Callis

The autonomy of the painted experiential object. In these works I have introduced an indexed image or a fragment of an image that is trying to signify an additional, external meaning but it is in tension with the absorbing visual field.

Today I received the announcement for the next exhibition at CB1 Gallery in downtown LA. CB1 is a really exciting gallery space with a very strong painting program. The next show opening Friday, July 78th is a group show including Edith Beaucage, Alexander Kroll, Matt Lifson, and Lily Simonson. In the introduction of the show gallery owner Clyde Beswick quotes New York Times, art critic Roberta Smith. While discussing current trends in the "art world" Smith says, "What's missing is art that seems made by one person out of intense personal necessity, often by hand. A lot but not all of this kind of work is painting, which seems to be becoming the art medium that dare not speak its name..."
That's it, isn't it!
"Moments of pleasure are the remnants washed ashore from a shipwreck, bits of paradise extended through time. We must hold these relics lightly, and use them with humility and restraint. Never seize them as our entitlements." G. K. Chesterton

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Jonathan Lasker

all images Jonathan Lasker, LA Louver, 2010

"over the last two years, there has been a gradual increase of interest in abstraction. During this time, I've puzzled over what this so-called return to abstraction could mean. I still cannot imagine it. For me, abstract painting finished with the black paintings of Frank Stella. The goal of a modern painting, which represented nothing but its own pure form, had been attained. When I began working, my objective was to find a way to make a painting discursive, rather than monotopical. I also wanted it to be discursive on its own terms, rather than in literary terms. Painting had already achieved this minimal monosubject, ie, the subject of its object reflexivity. To me, this existential objecthood was now ready to be depicted as subject matter in discourse with the additional component of the subjective psyche. It was possible to use our experience of the elements of painting for their associative powers, in a poetics of painting. A poetics which could also embrace broad topics, such as memory and presence, materiality and transcendence, and the flattening of high and low culture.
It is towards this end that I have painted unhappy marriages of the biomorphic and decorative, the mark of the "loaded brush" land the geometric, the psyche and popular culture. I want a painting that's operative. I'm seeking subject matter, not abstraction."
After Abstraction (1986), J. Lasker, Complete Essays 1984-1998

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Semester is Over, Summer is Here

The Sea that has no ending, oil on paper, 2009, D. Callis

You can always tell when my semester is over because I get active on my blog again. It was great semester but I'm loving the full-time in the studio. I have been rereading G.K. Chesterton's Orthodoxy. Take a read at this:

"It is possible that God says every morning, "Do it again" to the sun; and every evening, "Do it again" to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them. It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we. The repetition in Nature may not be a mere recurrence; it may be a theatrical encore. Heaven may encore the bird who laid an egg. If the human being conceives and brings forth a human child instead of bringing forth a fish, or a bat, or a griffin, the reason may not be that we are fixed in animal fate without life or purpose. It may be that our little tragedy has touched the gods, that they admire it from their starry galleries, and that at the end of every human drama man is called again and again before the curtain. Repetition may go on for millions of years, by mere choice, and at any instant it may stop. Man may stand on the earth generation after generation, and yet each birth be his positively last appearance."