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Monthly Archives: October 2008

Figuring It Out – Part 7

People are always blaming circumstances for what they are. I don’t believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and, if they can’t find them, make them. George Bernard Shaw Two paintings changed everything about how we portrayed ourselves […]

Figuring It Out – Part 6

The quest of the Inner Ring will break your hearts unless you break it. But if you break it, a surprising result will follow. If in your working hours you make the work your end, you will presently find yourself all unawares inside the only circle in your profession that really matters. You will be […]

Figuring It Out – Part 5

Expressionism fueled both of the aesthetic engines of abstraction and figuration all through the 20th Century. I guess we could quibble about the historical origins of it, but I want to concentrate on the break with the 19th Century made by Picasso and Matisse at the early years of the last century. Both artists used […]

Figuring It Out – Part 3

I was coming down in an elevator the other day. It stopped on a number of floors and folks crowded in. As the elevator filled we could feel the rising discomfort. Most all of us pulled out our blackberries or cell phones, busily whirring through the message lists and text messages. The forced physical intimacy […]

Figuring It Out – Part 2

IN High Times Hard Times Katy Siegel and David Reed gave us a taste of abstraction in the Scorsese Seventies. It was an era of dwindling painting prospects in NYC, grainy visions, washed out color, graffiti, and violence. Artists were busily deconstructing painting’s physical limits. Surface, side, material and whatever one could make of the actual “thingness” […]

Figuring It Out – Part 4

This post had been lost in the quagmire of failed programs a couple of years ago. I was happy to find it again and I’m reposting it to complete the Figuring it Out series. Before we discuss prescriptives I think it important that we discuss the twin barrels of the Postmodern rifle that is pointing […]

Figuring It Out – Part 1

Abstract figuration. There – the dirty, filthy words have been said. You can almost here the air rush from the room. No one, it seems, has any need for such a disreputable beast. I am exaggerating, hopefully, but after the debacle of Eighties NeoExpressionism, the failure of Postmodern abstraction and the continuous ABFIG hegemony displayed […]

TBTF – Too Big To Fail

There seems to be a perception among participants in U.S. financial markets that if a large banking organization were to get in trouble, the government would, under most circumstances, intervene to prevent its failure (or limit the losses to uninsured creditors upon failure). This possibility of a government bailout is commonly referred to as the […]

By The Inch

 This past week I was struck by a couple of things. The first was watching James Kalm’s video of a bunch of art bloggers attempting to institutionalize art blogging. Why? No one takes this seriously and they shouldn’t. It isn’t reporting. Anyone can have a website or a blog – and you, my friends, are […]

Interview: Michael Zahn

I first encountered Michael Zahn’s paintings in a show this past summer entitled “Late Liberties.” It was an exhibition I was very interested in mainly because there seemed to be a renewed interest in abstraction. Many of its works were still dealing with abstraction from a post-structuralist viewpoint which was a bit of a disappointment. However, I […]