Friday, June 19, 2015

Wisdom from Anne Tabachnick

Anne Tabachnick, “Cambridge with Tulips and View” (late 1960s), acrylic and charcoal on canvas, 38 x 48 inches

There is this thing that happens very occasionally.  I think everyone has felt it happen to them.  It's where the world conspires to get you to notice one thing in a heightened way, so when you see it, it feels nearly predestined.  (Maybe some call that fate but I don't believe in that) 

Here's what happened:  I spent about 1.5 hours this morning trying to respond to an email that I had been putting off for about 2 weeks.  I was trying to describe essentially what I think is important in painting, what I paint.  That thing no painter wants to or can define.  So I fumbled through this email and sent it off.  It was cobbled sentence fragments.  Then I stared at 8 different paintings on my easel for the next 2 hours.  I was too hyper aware of what I was doing and so everything was shitty.  I gave up and decided I needed to reorganize myself.  I needed to look at paintings, do some reading and figure out some jumping off points that I was excited to paint from.

I grabbed 9 books to start that process and the first one I open, first page I open to is this.  An Anne Tabachnick catalog that I have looked at many times but never taken the extra time to read.  This is literally the first thing I read:

"My basic preoccupation as an artist has been an apparently formal concern with painting as painting, per se.  Yet, I am simultaneously guided by the notion of mystical presence of art that made me fall in love with painting in the first place.  I could be called a Second Generation New York School painter, an identity which places me in an artistic, ideological and temporal milieu but does not begin to characterize my work.  I have called my work 'lyrical expressionism' hinting at its evocative nature.  My pictures are figurative - always insisting on some reference to natural visual phenomena - but are expressive through abstract means."

I feel like she reached through time and space to give me those words at this moment.  I LITERALLY KNEW BEFORE I googled her name that she died 20 years ago to this day.  I was positive that the world would answer back to affirm its awareness.   I was one day off.  She died June 20, 1995.  I honor you today Anne.  A great painter and thinker, your work sustains that mystical presence that guided you.


Peggi Kroll-Roberts said...

Meant to be. Your energy manifested just what you needed. Love this post. Thank you.

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