Sunday, April 13, 2014

Chatting with Henri Matisse

“Archives are wonderful places; you can look, you can touch (just a little and only with the most immaculate white gloves), but you can never chat, never bavarder, as the French say. Paradoxically, you peruse deeply. You read fast but intensely; you search far and wide but with great focus and … wait for a surprise. That day, at the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles, where I was working on a book about the culture of the post-World War II era, I had several surprises. Ransacking the past, I came upon an interesting dossier. Not only was the name on the file that of my mother, Gloria, but the name had, like hers, A Basque sound to it: Gloria Herrera. Somehow tired of Clement Greenberg and Michel Tapie, I decided to ask for the file. It was a real treasure trove. Ms. Herrera, a good friend of Marcel Duchamp, Man Ray, Max Ernst, Roberto Matta, and other artists living in California during the war, had collected many drawings and photographs of her friends. They were all there, tightly packed and cosseted. But the file also contained an anomaly of sorts: a black-varnished box secured by red ribbons. This object seemed in perfect condition, as if it and never been opened since its donation to the archives. I, of course, like a serious archaeologist confronted with an Egyptian tomb, decided to open it in a spirit of caution an apprehension. Slowly untangling the ribbon, I opened the box. The contents – a few pieces of colored paper – jumped out at me in an incredible array of tones, shades, and colors like a jazz improvisation. They were pieces of paper that Gloria Herrera had saved while helping Henri Matisse make his cutouts in Paris during the early 1950s.”

This is how it begins, my new copy of Chatting with Henri Matisse. The Lost 1941 Interview. In 1941, Swiss art critic Pierre Courthion interviewed Henri Matisse while the artist was in bed recovering from a serious operation. The extensive interview, initiated by the publisher Albert Skira and conducted during the Nazi occupation of France, was seen at the time as a vital assessment of Matisse’s career. After months of discussion and edits by both parties, however, Matisse abruptly withdrew permission to publish the book. Discovered in the archives of the Getty, the complete ready for publication manuscript was discovered by Serge Guilbaut and published by the The Getty Research Institute. 

I am so excited ...

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Out and About

A few of my works at an exhibition at Fuller Theological Seminary. Thin Space, a group show curated by Olga Lah.

Several of my works featured in the University of Notre Dame journal for the Center for Philosophy of Religion.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

I'll Stop If You Stop - a collaboration event

This was the first exhibition event to come out of a 2 year collaboration project. My fellow collaborators are poet and musician, Chris Davidson, and performance artist, sculpture, and puppeteer, J.R. Urtesky.

We are producing a body of work that is visual, auditory, and text-based and which explores the
potentials and limitations of working across different modes of expression. Specifically, a poet, sculptor, and painter are attempting to make work that, in conversation, explores the potentials and limitations of meaning making.

The project involves a monthly exchange of produced artifacts including but not limited to poems, text, painted/drawn objects, sculptures, videos, audio works, prompts, props but NO words of explanation. The only form of communication is the artifact, we each then have 30 days to respond.

Up until this event we had not seen the objects together or conversed about the implications of the making. We were very excited about what occurred and have decided to continue the exchange.