Painting resists photography

Tor, oil on canvas, 72″ x 108″, 1981 Our experience of paintings today tends to be mediated through photography. We rarely stand in front of actual paintings. What we see are images of paintings and what is essential to painting is that its artifacts are physical and in their physicality paintings resist being reduced toContinue reading “Painting resists photography”

A Painting Is a Presence

A painting is a presence. Not that it has presence, though it does. We’re talking about good paintings, real paintings; whatever any of that might mean, in them presence is an essential quality. Maybe quality isn’t the right word…. Is a being reducible to its qualities? Is presence something beyond quality as well as number?

Mysterious Foundations of Truth

If the things themselves are holy, it is in the gaps between them, the form of their unstable, shifting relationships from which we uncover the sacred. The details grow to something greater. The mystery of representation is that it can never quite get at the thing itself. The mystery deepens insomuch that, nonetheless, in itsContinue reading “Mysterious Foundations of Truth”

Immersion, Quality, Presence

I don’t have a clue. Ideas are simply starting points. I can rarely set them down as they come to my mind. As soon as I start to work, others well up in my pen. To know what you’re going to draw, you have to begin drawing… When I find myself facing a blank page,Continue reading “Immersion, Quality, Presence”

The Studio Visit, Shoal Hope

An excerpt from my novel, Shoal Hope: Chapter 21 Albert slaps a quarter down on the counter. Swivels on his stool. A half-chewed toothpick in his mouth. “Thanks!” The soda-man replies, “Thank you!”Crossing a dozen steps to the door and onto the street, “Gotta get Peter to agree.”

What Happens When Avant Garde Leaves the New Academy Behind?

Avant Garde. We all know what that means! We learned it in school! There was always something of a cognitive dissonance, sitting in a slide-show survey class and taking notes to regurgitate on a test about how the modern avant garde was – and therefore supposedly still is – so transgressive! The old story aboutContinue reading “What Happens When Avant Garde Leaves the New Academy Behind?”

Drawing Distinctions

Another cross-post from Horizons of Significance, The following is an address to be given at the first session of a class at a school that as far as I know does not yet exist.  Nor do I know who the students might be, or their circumstances.  What I do know is that I’d like toContinue reading “Drawing Distinctions”