Saturday, January 25, 2014

A Few Notes

My second computer just died.  So I'm on a bit of a blog-less streak which coincides with this week marking a year since I began ' Sunday picks'.  As much as I've enjoyed posting some favorite painters I feel like the backlog of artists I want to share is much smaller and I have an idea for a new sort of project for this year.  So for now I'm thinking of being a bit more sporadic.

Due to the computer situation, images are quite the ordeal to load unless taken directly from my phone camera.  So I apologize but I did see two good shows over the last week that I recommend. (check out the links for a visual)

First one was Reprefantasion at Fleisher-Ollman.  The other was William H Johnson at Arthur Ross Gallery which is on UPenn's campus.  Both were the kind of shows that require slow looking and reward with continual discovery of the painter's thoughts and process.  The best kind of painting.

Penn's campus is where I took the above pictures of an amazing tree and a salivating gargoyle. 

Thursday, January 16, 2014

In the Studio: Keith Haring

Keith Haring, Painting Myself Into a Corner, still from film.  As vibrant as his work with color was, I think the black and white is so timeless.  Hard to believe this is over 30 years old, from 1979.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Sunday Pick: William Crozier

Here is the work of William Crozier (1930-2011) a Scottish painter who spent years in London and was apparently particularly inspired by what was going on in Paris and the work of Matisse.

I read somewhere that Crozier estimated he made around 12,000 paintings, each in a single session.  The color combinations indicate a lot of investigation and looking.  

I like this quote from him, "I cannot invent anything – I've got to see it; and it can be for a quarter of a second. Suddenly it's there, and I know there's a picture there. It's got to be seen in nature. I could never be an abstract painter."  The paintings feel like a great blend of experience in looking and personal liberties taken to express what he saw and felt from the landscape.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Sunday Pick: Becky Suss

Living Room (Yogi 2), 72 x 96 inches, oil on linen, 2013

76 Meadow Woods Road, oil on linen, 72 x 120 inches, 2012

Navajo Rug, 14 x 14 inches, oil on linen, 2013

Pillow #1, oil on canvas, 14 x 14 inches, 2012

Wish You Were Here, oil on canvas, 36 x 36 inches, 2011

Diamond Street, Sumi ink on paper, 22 x 30 inches, 2011
It brings me great joy to look at and share the work of Philadelphia painter Becky Suss.  I first came across her work when my studio mate Katie Pomerantz put together a beautiful show, Wish You Were There a few years ago.  I recently stumbled back on her website and found some really interesting new work.

I love the way the images are composed and how they feel like continuations of each other from one painting to the next.  The drawings are really intriguing too, there are quite a few depicting murals here around Philly (see last image).  They blend many visual and conceptual thoughts: nature with architecture (which by itself has felt quite overdone as subject matter in my opinion)  but also the faux nature depicted in the murals up against real trees and grass and then also the doubling of making drawings of paintings -- so there are all of these strange layers going on in the work that are really subtle and thoughtful and visually exciting.

Suss is currently in a show, Reprefantasion,with some other strong Philadelphia painters at Fleisher Ollman, on through February 1, I am so looking forward to seeing some of these in person.