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Hard in the Paint by Raymond Pettibon, ..”mines the American subconscious” (short article)

November 17, 2010

Link to short article and more images:

Perfect Game: Raymond Pettibon, Hard in the Paint

Raymond Pettibon, No Title (That obliging schoolgirl…) 2010. 30 3/4 x 41 7/8 inches.

The further myths or facts of Crow.

November 17, 2010

‘Crow Country.’ Ink on paper (13x19cm approx). April’10
The following text is from a friend:
‘Thought you might find this amusing, given you’ve been drawing a lot of Crows recently, ironically often with no heads. Crows bearing a grudge never forget a face: Apparently unlike most other creatures, Crows can recognise individual human faces.
This is following a study in America where a man had in effect abducted a crow out of several flocks in parks around town. With the rest of the flock nervously watching, a man would creep up on a unsuspecting individual catch it in a net then release it after a few minutes. When the man then next visited the park where these crows lived, the flock would immediately  pick him out from the crowed and attack him. If other people wore a mask in the image of the original abductors face, (even long after the event), the crows would attack them to. Even if they wore the mask upside down the crows would still identify it by inverting their heads. They were not fooled by changes in cloths, hats or scarves!
: a woman who fed about 40 crows one winter. Was subsequently stalked by them.
They would wait outside her house everyday. Following her every morning on the walk to work.
Anyone else who came out the house they left alone.

:Another man who kept a pet Crow and walked outside in public with it.
Would be attacked by wild crows, even when the pet crow stayed at home.

Personally, I like that final excerpt of true crow comradeliness.  A species should look after its members.
‘Crows Surround’. Graphite on paper.2010. 95x90cm.

Sketchbooks -part2- as a constant state of mistake making, incompleteness and potential.

November 12, 2010

For some the sketchbook may be the definitive middle, between the conception, into actualisation of work. These are the thinkings become visible, existing as a real working element into the creating of art. An appropriately titled exhibition The Time of Privacy has Passed is soon to be holding a catalogue of sketch books (mine included).

Personally, in the past I was not impressed by the students’ sketchbooks, full of dodgy collage, news paper cut-outs, and a host of materials utilised. Clearly it was stuffed to the brim to ‘show your thinking’ (like you do at a maths exam) that to me seemed contrived to please the teachers. Yet, you can see how this should work as a methodology, for one, sketchbook work serves me as a memory for things I’d like to do, like to repeat, and importantly, where I wanted to go. Exhibiting to my minds eye ideal states of future artistic flourish that will be done.. I just don’t know how it will all evolve, yet. 

The sketchbook work here could be generally regarded as a constant state of mistake making, incompleteness and potential. Possibly, with mine -usually in stark black and white pens- they are simple enough to look like the printed page, yet they are askew,  randomised, with ambiguous dodgy thumbnail drawings.

Work Tables and Tischmatten, Dieter Roth and Bjorn Roth (short article)

November 12, 2010

Stick the Landing: Dieter Roth and Björn Roth, Work Tables & Tischmatten at Hauser & Wirth

By Michael Tomeo. October 18, 2010

Bürotisch-Matte, Bali-Mosfellssveit, 1994—1996 

When I was in art school, there was a painting professor who would shock new grad students by propping their palettes up next to their paintings and explaining, in great detail, why the palette was aesthetically superior. The students were crushed. How could a perfunctory manipulation of materials possibly be more successful than their über-personal paintings? He’d then rebuild their egos until they painted exactly like him, but I think he had it right the first time—materials are everything.

For Dieter Roth (1930 – 1998) everything in life was potential fodder for work. He brought a kitchen sink approach to the German concept of Gesamtkunstwerk that included rotting food, photographs, paint, crayons, film, sound and all sorts of random crapola. Although it could be considered a bit OCD, Roth saved the gray mat boards that covered his worktables and considered them objects d’art in their own right. Called Tischmatten (German for table mats), these works are currently enjoying their own lofty retrospective at Hauser & Wirth.

The best Tischmatten seem barely able to contain the avalanche of stuff that came across Roth’s desk. InBürotisch-Matte, Bali-Mosfellssveit, layers of photos, Q-tips, straws, ribbons and drawings cling impossibly to the surface. Similarly, Forcierte Matte (Abandonnements=Etüde) includes gravity-defying plops of acrylic paint that give the work a visual heft that is lacking in the rest of the show. Although a couple of the early works are daringly spare, the magic is lost when the sheer number of alike works visually reduces them to a few stains, a math problem and a couple of paint squiggles. Unfortunately, and although it goes against Roth’s conceptual ethos, some editing might have worked in his favor.
Table Hegenheimerstrasse, 1980—2010 

In the upstairs gallery, entire desk set-ups have been reinstalled as sculptures. Empty chairs and desks make the artist’s absence palpable. I tried to picture the famously reclusive Roth doodling away at these desks while ignoring calls from curators and galleries but somehow the whole thing felt sanitized. They’re way too boring to be good sculptures and way too clean to serve as some sort of studio period piece. Rather, they feel like lonely archival shrines that just scream “dead artist.”

Kaffeetisch-mit-Telefonecken-Matte, Bali/Mosvellsveit (with Björn, Karl, Vera Roth and others), 1990—1993 

Despite the dialog surrounding Roth’s work, which tends to focus on its abject qualities, a warm sentiment creeps into the Tischmatten that were family collaborations. Reluctant to play along with conventional art world systems, Roth included his family into his working process. Kaffeetisch-mit-Telefonecken-Matte, Bali/Mosvellsveit (with Björn, Karl, Vera Roth and others) reads like a haphazard scrap booking project as a chessboard mixes collage-like with photos and childlike drawings. Given the long history of male artists isolating themselves in their studios, it’s nice to see that Roth was a dad who didn’t care if the kids spilled stuff in his.

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November 9, 2010

Did I say scientific? I meant to say psychedelic.

November 6, 2010

Preliminary drawing in a fine permanent marker pen.

November 5, 2010

This is working towards a new methodology of my paintings. Transparent oils will ‘activate’ the drawing. Diluted into very organic washes and smears where the drawing can still be seen vividly underneath.. two studies have been posted which illustrate this type of painting, as I work further into the alchemy, and further into the decision making process. 

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