Last week, while Eva Lake and I were chatting and discussing various things during her visit, she asked me why I was taking a break from writing. In the moment I had problems articulating my reasons, although I knew there were many. So as a prod, I decided to resurrect a project I‘d intended for this past winter that never came to pass—which is posting all the notes I had taken during my trip last December. I came across this passage last night, which bemused me, perhaps the name similarities are a coincidence, or perhaps they are not:
Friday, 12.09.05 2:03 AM
Here’s a story for you. A woman, named Eva Hesse journeyed to Germany (her returned homeland) for a year –with her husband to make art. He was the well known (although we don’t remember his name now) and she was the sidecar for the trip.
For months she could make nothing. It was horrible. She was a painter but finally she started playing around with the materials left over in the industrial site. Her work changed forever after this moment and there are smiling, happy photos of her exhibition in a German greenhouse.
After their time was up, Eva was able to bring her work back with her. Her husband who made huge sculptures was unable to bring the cost-prohibitive pieces back. Her short life proceeded to increase in her ability to make art, his we are not sure…
I need to read Eva again. Last winter, right at this time she was my touchstone. I think it would be important if I went to the library again. I found their art book section again today, yet the modernistas were represented by Egon Schiele and also Renoir comes to mind. I didn’t see many contemporary artists. However, I don’t know many Icelandic artists. Strangely, and this is probably a good thing—my visual landscape is bereft of any art books. Influence free.
POSTED BY NOTEBOOK ON 04.03.06 @ 6:24 AM | 2 COMMENTS
I feel my brain coming back again.
Many thanks to the folks who recently met up recently- it kind of kicked a little life back into me.
As Eva reports at her diary, it was a night of good conversation at Vital 5’s Hideout, with some of our delightful on-line NorthWest artists and writers.
A few fine mementos of the evening:
Joseph Gray, m, Eva and Steven Vroom
POSTED BY NOTEBOOK ON 03.31.06 @ 8:44 AM | 1 COMMENT
I had a great time last night ducking into a handful of galleries for First Thursday’s gallery openings (or continuation). Finally got to see the show and chat with the fine folks at Platform Gallery who have their fantastic exhibit build up until February 11th. An interesting group show of strangely related systems, I was particularly enamored with Lucas Kelly’s drawings based on erasure.
Hitting 4-Culture, Davidson Contemporary and then of course Shift Studio, I was excited for studio mate Michelle Forsyth who has a really strong show up of intricate . Of course there is hardly any art seen from the opening photos.
So there is much more to see, but sometimes its nice to not use First Thursday as a drive by fast food excursion. A common consensus appears the non stop rain is about ready to drive an entire population over the edge, however this didn’t stop a large amount of people from venturing out to check out the art.
I loved Being John Malkovich, although Malkovich himself I find hard to stomach sometimes (obviously the point of BJM).
I truly love Gustav Klimt’s work, although the poster industry has done a pretty good job of ruining him by sanctioning far too many dorm rooms with The Kiss.
But Malkovich as Klimt, I might not be able to suspend reality long enough. At least they are filming in Vienna. I guess I am coming to this party late as I see now the news about a Klimt movie has been hatched since July 07, 2004 (according to SurfWax).
Film synopsis: A portrait of Austrian artist Gustav Klimt (Malkovich) whose lavish, sexual paintings came to symbolize the art nouveau style of the late 19th and early 20th century.
Footnote– Malkovich is also starring in this year in Art School Confidential, coming to you from the Ghostworld team of Daniel Clowes/Terry Zwigoff.
Film synopsis: Convinced that art school will put him on the path to fame, Jerome (Minghella) must come to terms with his anemic talent, as he watches the girl of his dreams fall in love with another student. Then, strangely, he’s arrested as a suspected murderer – only to discover that crime might actually pay.
PS. Pretty funny Metafilter exhange on Klimt including the dorm room reference I was praying for and and a tip off to the book The Painted Kiss (a genre of books I have resisted so far).
Annotated super footnote, I guess I’m on a roll here. ..I saw an amazing exhibit in 1997 in Amsterdam called Wenen 1900: Portret en interieur that literally gave me goose bumps. Two flights down (this was at the Van Gogh Museum) I had been windy winding my way around the huge crowds out to see Van Gogh, as always- hard. Upon entering the top floor though I found this showcase of Vienna Secession artists , forgetting my irritation as I was literally blown away. There were Klimts, Schieles, Kokoschkas and many of the not so well knowns such as: Moll, Gerstl,Boeckl.
I have the catalogue which is the only reason my memory is serving me so well at the moment; unfortunately it is in Dutch, which in the last 8 years I have failed to learn. The decorative arts in the exhibit were additionally to die for. A wonderful sense of design went into everything from the mustard pot to your door handle. I’m really such a sucker for this whole era.
When I visited the Neue Gallery in NYC for the first time and saw more art from this same period (including an entire room of Schiele drawings) I had almost the same reaction. I’m sure this has been on my mind lately after reading Roberta of artblog’s posting about her recent visit there. It’s quite the gem of a place if you have any interest in German or Austrian modern art. I would link to their website but it appears to have disappeared.
After watching the news for too long,and seeing various internet thought lines cropping up….I am-
Hoping for a little more compassion and dignity out of people… a little less cheap sentimentality and vicious fanaticism.
At the other end of the aesthetic spectrum from Mr. McCarthy, is the extraordinary painter Julie Heffernan. We found ourselves a few blocks down the way from the New Museum at a Soho’s,P.P.O.W. gallery.
Until a couple days ago,I was not even aware there was not only one, but two shows of her painting in NYC this month. As usual it is always a treat to see her work. In my humble opinion, she is the most talented painter on New York’s horizon. This new work retains its wonderful organic focus,continuing to combine those elaborate Velazquez suggestive self portraits with nature(and landscapes). This time around though she has snuck in bright pigments(lots of pinks hues)and additionally found a way to return to those strange allegorical “paintings-within-a-painting” that I first witnessed at the beginning of last decade. I almost missed this show (it all comes down in a couple of weeks) which I would have really kicked myself over later.
I feel very fortunate that I had the good luck to stumble upon her work eight years ago,for it has been fascinating to see how she has evolved. Her technique alone is phenomenal, I don’t know who as a contemporary, in this country anyway, would be considered comparable. As usual I find it really surprising she has not had more critical attention, although I suppose her quiet subject matter (oriented in the manner of seventeenth century still life painting) doesn’t qualify as hype provoking. All the better for viewers.
At any rate I could go on and on about the pleasure her work brings. A second exhibit of her painting can be found uptown at Littlejohn Contemporary Gallery, which I am hoping to grace with in the next week. At P.P.O.W. I purchased a catalogue of this new work for a reasonable $10.00.
Yesterday, while standing in line at the grocery store for what seemed to be standardized eternity, I picked up a copy of the recent Vanity Fair for leafing purposes, and came across a 2 page blurb about the “hot” Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
Not that this is new spin. But Oh Lord, I thought,what if all these hipster want-to-bes could be here with me right now? Buying rotten produce in depleted aisles. Squeezing past all the empty carts in the store strewn in every possible direction. Rolling their eyes at the high school cashiers, who really don’t give one damn. Watching the asbestos stirring semi-trucks barrel down the street, and to be listening next to me, right at that very moment- to the store manager, for when an elderly woman complains to him what a poorly run grocery it is,he tells her in condescending tones,”How did you get to be so miserable, lady?”.
In Praise of Meat
I don’t know,could any thought be more delicious than having a meat-filled day on this first Friday of Lent? Sausage,steak and eggs? Beef jerky, hamburgers, corn beef hash and then a quiet dinner,just you and a pot roast?
I just had to meander into the world of carnivores- in dedication to all that is meaty.
Moonmilk’s “Meat Bubble Chamber” from the three part series: Meat on the Move”.
The Institute of Official Cheer’s Gallery of Regrettable Foods:Meat Cookbook
Two briefs: history of meat and foul
Disgruntled Housewife’s Heavenly Meatloaf
What’s for lunch Richard I? Mmmmmmmmm.
P.S. As if to curse me, Fox is running the Lisa Converts episode right now!
Praying for a flashback to 1992- when they didn’t exist in NYC…
Recently, I’ve noticed a completely unscientific but optimistic trend in my workplace: the barrage of Dunkin Donuts coffee cups littering fellow coworkers desktops and garbage. This welcome sight seems to follow a general consensus, finding it is a far superior beverage to that other product.
On to other related, but belated topics:
The article that ran in last Friday’s edition of Salon analyzingHugh Rodham, gets the “two-pint-Chubby-Hubby-with-extra-sprinkles” award from Dangerous Chunky.