Tuesday, November 29, 2011


Semaphore is 24" x24". I am very glad to be working again.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Mr. Still Creates His Museum

Beneath the elegant and cool exterior of the new Clyfford Still Museum designed by Brad Cloepfil beats the heart of an artist of turbulent and extraordinary control. Thirty-one years after his death his complete oeuvre is present in Denver Colorado, a city he probably never visited in his life. The story about the museum is controversial and well documented elsewhere. It is the reality of the art and the museum I want to discuss.
The building is close to perfection- a simple and elegant structure in which the art takes center stage. The details, particularly the concrete walls that allow the wood forms to be expressed are lovely. Natural light enhances the artificial and benches strategically placed in front of major paintings are a welcome element.
I have seen Still's work in other museums; notably the Metropolitan & MOMA in NY and the San Francisco Art Museum. Seeing it as he wished it displayed, without other artists' work, creates an experience that brings to mind the Rothko Chapel in Houston. The installation is quite traditional, sequencing from his early student work to the final works in the 1970s. The first floor has various artifacts ( paints, a baseball glove (?) and other memorabilia which seems less than important. Last month the Denver International Film Festival offered a series of films about the Abstract Expressionists, which I think would have been a good addition to the museum. Whether that would have fit within the stringent requirements of the artist's will, which determined much of the form of the museum, I don't know. Suffice to say that though it is legally a separate museum it's location next to the Denver Art Museum, ( and the security guards inside who were clearly from the Denver Art Museum) as well as a path leading from the front door of the Still Museum to the outdoor patio of the DAM coffee shop suggest a close relationship. Still's will required no restaurant inside the museum, or more critically, that no other artist's work be shown there.

So the work will be seen, in its magnificence, and it is wonderful work, but without the sorely need context of what was going on in the period it was created. A pity, I think. Nevertheless I am exceedingly grateful for the opportunity to see such wonderful paintings in such a comfortable setting.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

newest painting

I called this Halloween because I finished it on October 31st. I see little things I would like to fiddle with but I am leaving it be for now and just happy to be back to painting.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Prospect II New orleans

Yes, it was smaller than last time, 26 artists versus 80+ in 2008. But it is still New Orleans and some memorable art and experiences at the best American biennial. I loved the Sophie Calle intervention at the 1850 House and was lucky to catch both the riveting Joyce Scott performance, Miss Veronica's Veil and the start of William Pope L.'s piece, Blink in the Lower 9th Ward. images top to bottom: Joans Dahlberg video Macbeth, william Pope.L. and me at the Sophie Calle installation.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

color study

I have been in a bit of a slump lately- not painting which makes me very unhappy. However, I have signed up for an intensive color class with Sandra Kaplan at the Art Students League of Denver www.asld.org
I took a color class many years ago and think it is time to refresh my skills.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Joan Mitchell Lady Painter by Patricia Albers

Last year I read the big DeKooning biography and the similarities of their lives is inescapable. Both painted big,bold expressive canvases and both were in NY in the 1950s and 60s. Both mingled at the Cedar bar with other artists, musicians, poets and writers of the era. Both drank much, much too much but still managed to create sublime paintings and have successful careers.
And how many more of us recognize the name Willem DeKooning and saw his work in their art history texts then know the name Joan Mitchell?
I was fortunate to see the big Mitchell retrospective at the Whitney in 2002. I went with a friend who is not big on contemporary art. We both were absolutely blown away by the sheer power and beauty of her work. I am a generation younger than Joan Mitchell,and a painter who has worked in the art world since the 1970s. I certainly knew who Joan Mitchell was and had seen her work occasionally at museums or exhibits.I think I, like many other accepted the generally held description of her as a "second generation abstract expressionist" which clearly meant that she was 2nd tier. In the 70s and 80s with the growth of the feminist movement in art her work was "rediscovered" as museums sought to include women artists in exhibits and collections. Joan was certainly uneasy with this, as the author describes in the book.
This is one of the best written biographies of an artist I have read. It reads like a novel, yet it is carefully documented and footnoted. I might quibble that the author often relied on one source who may have been biased, in some of her facts, but the strength of the book is its power in describing Joan life and her times. I was lucky to have the catalog from the exhibit so i could see many of the paintings. As always with artist bios, seeing the work described is very important and frustrating if it isn't available. Will publisher's start using the power of the internet to provide links to images and will the Kindle get some color so we can read books and see the artwork? Stay tuned...

Monday, June 6, 2011

Why I like abstraction

I don't know if abstraction is the best word for it but I paint in a form that isn't necessarily true to what we see in the natural or built world. I find it interesting after more than a century of non objective painting, people still struggle with art that doesn't look like something they recognize. While my paintings are based on all that I see and experience i choose to allow the viewer to make whatever connections he or she wishes. Once you put a chair, a flower or anything else too recognizable in the painting you are leading the viewer into a rather specific direction. What I love about non objective or abstract art is the journey it takes me on, where I can see things that connect to my experience. And in really good art it makes subtle or not so subtle changes each time a I see it. So titles are problematic and a distinct challenge. This painting is titled, Good Morning...

Friday, May 20, 2011

excellent website

I have been enjoying reading the Art Info website and blog posts. I have always followed Tyler Green's blog and he moved to Art Info last year. Nice layouts and lots of good information. Plus you can sign up for the daily newsletter if you are addicted, like me.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

slide show of my paintings

I have been painting more and exhibiting less since the flurry of exhibitions in 2009-2010. Here is what is new.Click on the little icon on the left which will take you to Picasa site with more information on the works, or contact me.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Month of Photography in Denver

Accolades to Mark Sink for organizing the Month of Photography. We were out of town in early March so missed the openings of many of the shows. We went out Sunday afternoon to catch two: the closing day of exhibit at Edge and the two shows at RedLine. The impact of all this photography on exhibit is marvelous- it certainly affirms how diverse the medium is and how pretty limitless it can be a art medium. Traditionally Unconventional is the show at Edge curated by Jessica Ellis and John Davenport with work by Susan Goldstein, Carol Golemboski, Kristen Hatgi, Davis Kaleda, Jocelyn Nevel, Christopher R. Perez, John Rodden, Rett Rogers, David Sharpe, Sarah Timberlake, David Seiler, Keiren Valentine, Michele Wysocki, David Zimmer. Lots of good stuff. I particularly liked Susan Goldstein's small mixed media prints. They demand a close up look- I wish I knew how she does it.
The two shows at RedLine are up till April 26th. The Alternatives Processes exhibit includes an array of early techniques like Daguerrtypes, tintypes, platinum prints,and all kinds of wonderful processes. As beautiful as the results are I was rather disappointed that the imagery was so reflective of historic work. It was a bit deja vu and led me to wonder how more contemporary images would look like using these processes.

The larger show is an exhibit from Houston's FotoFest as well as a smaller exhibit of work Mark found on line and locally. Both are knock down terrific exhibits- we spent lots of time there and I want to return. Some highlights were Andy Freeberg's( see above) large prints showing the reception desks of Chelsea galleries. It says all that needs to be said about the clubby, unfriendly atmosphere of high end galleries. I loved Viviane Le Courtois' video of peeling potatoes ( Ok, you gotta see it) Emma Livingston's luscious photos of Argentina and Ion Zupcu's black and white prints of cubes.
Go to http://monthofphotography.blogspot.com for all the details.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Dale Chisman

last day to see the Dale Chisman retrospective at RedLine in Denver. I spent time there this week surrounded by his beautiful canvases. Abstraction lives in his inventive work. He was a treasured teacher at the Art Students League of Denver and his work lives on in the many students who have benefited from his vision.

Monday, January 24, 2011

January painting




the painting and the drawing and collage that preceded it......
Posted by Picasa