Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Ten things I learned this year about exhibition organizing

1. It's a man's world.

2. Don't expect answers to the emails you write.

3. Names count for something.

4. Artists are not reliable.

5. Artists are reliable.

6. You've got to sell it.

7. It's what you make of an opportunity.

8. All you need is one other person to believe in you.

9. Art costs money.

10. You're in this alone.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Imaginary wandering

(click to enlarge)
(Kano Motonobu, The Four Accomplishments, mid-16th century)

Similar to the image above, a multi-panel screen at the Met depicting the four seasons and attributed to Kano Chokichi, was accompanied by this label:
Inspired by Chinese landscape scrolls in which the mind travels through time and space along rivers and mountain paths, this monumental landscape transforms an interior into a vast space for imaginary wandering. The quintessential Chinese theme of the scholar-recluse attuned to the natural world and enjoying its unsullied beauty reflected Confusian values and the contemplative bent of Japan’s military ruling class. A timeless quality is achieved here by a seasonal progression from spring and summer at right to autumn and winter at left. The elevated tone, strong delineation of forms, and rhythmically patterned brushstroke corroborate the work’s attribution to a Kano painter named Chokichi, who is traditionally believed to have studied with Motonobu (1476-1559).

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

assuming my thought processes are of interest

(Molly Stevens, India ink on paper, 44" x 60", 2009)

Since spring, when I first started drawing things as opposed to words, I have repeatedly found myself outlining emerging forms that at once resemble shoots, humans interacting, dicks, auras, and what I’m today considering to be rock mountains. In fact, it was Mantegna’s mountain that made me think this (see November 17th’s post).

I went looking for the painting at the Met and found the painting among other Renaissance works and schematic representations of landscape – rocky mountains in particular, which were often butted up against perfectly round halos.

(Swiss painter, 15th century)

While there, it became clear that I had to look at Chinese paintings. Sure enough, there the forms were again, peaking above clouds.

(Wang Hui and assistants, Chinese handscroll, 1698)

And to my amazement, they are certainly exact representations. Google:

(Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, China)

Today it is Krazy Kat that has me riveted, with its shifting lunar landscapes, something like Monument Valley, all the setting for a deeply human love triangle between a cat, a mouse and a pup. (Click to enlarge)

(George Herriman, Krazy Kat, circa 1940)

(Monument Valley)

This is all to say that it does seem that I will be drawing large landscapes for Donkey Trail – in color.