It is about that time. A new statement about the work. I don’t know exactly what it will look like. So i start here. Parts of this will make its way to my website where i write about my philosophy and process.
-Less this time – there is less to say. Interested in simplifying further. The next show of my work will be in September.
-Working more with thoughts and process of a contemplative studio practice. Being more succinct about what is happening in my body.
-Titles of my work are now dates that the work is completed. The works are abstractions a date is the only reference necessary.
I make paintings about American Western landscape; impermanence, space, repetition, breath, horizon, land, location. Not only as i see it, but as i feel it. I feel the work before it is created. It feels a particular way. My body understands what it has to do in order to make that work. When the work is completed – yes – it looks as it should. But more so, it makes me feel a particular way. If i do not feel the work – it has failed, it will fail for the viewer as well.
My work was recently referred to as “boring and jarring” – the best and most exciting description i have heard. It came from my husband in regard to a recent work. I think to myself, how wonderful to be bored and jarred. That is all life is actually, a series of moments to which we react – bored or jarred, among other responses. Different sequences of time – different rhythms. Boring rhythms, jarring rhythms, our hearts beat, we react. What do people say about the West (at least the ones that do not care for it)? “There is nothing there” i.e….. boring and jarring. They are bored or jarred, or both, by the fear of the land’s nothingness-having to face themselves-it is unsettling to the point of frightening for some.
I think so often of the writings of Agnes Martin. In 2010 I was in Chicago visiting the new wing of the Art Institute of Chicago. There is a beautiful gallery there that includes a Ryman and a Martin. Sitting in the space i see a man and his family of two children file in. They view the space quickly, take a brief glance at the Martin painting and its title, and in a good deep Midwestern bellow from his beer and sausage diaphragm, the father exclaims, “Well! Of course its untitled, she has nothing to say!”….. After all the years of growing up in the galleries at that Museum and hearing those comments, even with years of teaching and listening and coaching and counseling parents and students about the art field – i still want to say in my deep bellowing Midwestern voice, from my green tea and salad diaphragm, “Why, you fucking asshole, when will you take the time to learn to look and feel something greater than your own presence?” Rest assured, i don’t do this – it’s counter productive. I don’t seethe anymore when witnessing that response to work and certainly not to Martin’s. You redirect your energy. Those are teachable moments for everyone involved given the opportunity.
So, I think that i can rest in boring and jarring for quite some time.