Ken Kelly: Land Ho at studio e

When I ran into Doug Parry a few weeks ago he highly recommended a visit to studio e to see Ken Kelly’s latest show. Kelly is a long surviving/practicing artist in the Seattle art world.

The show and the space did not disappoint. Strictly drawing and painting exhibits seem to be a rare occurrence and for me it’s always a thrill to seek one out. I liked Kelly’s small works the best in this show. Particularly this subdued almost Robert Ryman-esqe pocket size canvas.

studio e is a cheerful building to come across in the Georgetown neighborhood, and I appreciate the work they are championing.

Ken’s show is up through July 14th.

studio e is open every Thursday, Friday & Saturday 1-6pm.

Ken’s instagram is here.

More images from the show below:

Last one here I think is my favorite.

Amy Sillman on Painting

Here’s possibly my favorite explanation about the what of painting. From the recently published Amy Sillman the All-Over.

Excerpt from: Interview with Amy Sillman, Fabian Schöneich, December 2016

AS: Yes, people are always asking what paintings  mean
I responded by staging a joke*. I don’t really think you can understand a painting by reading about it.

FS: OK, so what does “understanding a painting” even mean?

AS: Ha ha! Good question. People who don’t make paintings, no matter how sophisticated they are, often say, in a kind of desperation, “I don’t know how to talk about abstract painting−can you teach me?” But painters don’t need this kind of explanation. Painters appreciate paintings probably the way car mechanics look at cars: you sort of marvel at someone else’s ability to put something across and you look at how it’s built, how it works, its compression system, its layers, or something like that. You only really learn this over time by appreciating how hard painting is all the time, even as a kind of antique construction. In a way, I think you only understand it by trying to make a painting yourself−or living with someone who paints. It’s almost impossible.

FS: So understanding a painting is not about “reading” something, which it seems you’re saying is against the nature of abstraction and simply doesn’t work. Would you say that painting is physically “doing” something, while language is more about “thinking”?

AS: No−I’d say it’s both. And that each half sort of vexes the other. Half of my painting process is accident/chance/mistake/erasure/discovery (i.e. body!), and this is balanced by about 50 percent decisions/analysis/editing/conceptualizing/etc. (i.e. mind!). And this is where the “mood” of painting really appeals to me, this crazy slippage between what we do and what we think….And language, or utterance, is a state in between the physical and the mental, which is precisely why I love it so much−that intermediary space of not really knowing what will happen next.


*conversation references Sillman’s satiric table-seating diagrams.

I’ve always appreciated Sillman’s ability to make painting (and her work in general) funny.

The Circular File.

A phrase guide for the spring art season 2006.

Diebenkorn and Lake in PDX

Richard Diebenkorn, Untitled, 1943, watercolor, graphite, and paper tape on paper, 15 1/4 x 22 in. (38.7 x 55.9 cm). © Richard Diebenkorn Foundation


Time to get mobile. I haven’t been to the Portland Art Museum for a very long time.

Last week the exhibit Richard Diebenkorn: Beginnings, 1942–1955 opened at PAM. It will be criminal if I miss this.

Another reason to go down to PDX is to see Eva Lake’s new work in an exhibit titled Through The Ages. More of her impeccable collage on paper opens at Augen Gallery July 5th.

I exhausted myself in the summer of 2013 driving down to the Bay Area. By the time I got to the DeYoung’s Diebenkorn: The Berkeley Years 1953-1966 exhibit I was very sick, so not too much was said in the aftermath.

Sobering words to myself for that hard solo pilgrimage as I contemplate doing another.




Mitchell Retrospective on horizon

A retrospective of Joan Mitchell’s work is coming to San Francisco (in awhile).

“The Baltimore Museum of Art and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art have revealed plans for a major Joan Mitchell retrospective. Currently slated to open in April 2020 at the BMA, the exhibition will travel to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art in September of that year and then make a stop at the Guggenheim Museum in New York in early 2021.”

Looking forward to it.