Showing posts with label Philip Guston. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Philip Guston. Show all posts

July 7, 2017

Artist of the week: Lynda Benglis & Arlene Shechet


I haven't posted an artist of the week in a while. Here are two sculptors: 
Arlene Shechet and Lynda Benglis. 
Although two very different artists, different mediums and approaches, they both embrace process and have a painterly, corporeal quality to them. And of course, all that luscious pouring and hand-building of color and form!

Lynda Benglis, Corner Piece, 1969

Lynda Benglis is a heroine of mine, and not just for her audacious artworld antics back in the day! I first saw her work in 1997 at the Snug Harbor Cultural Center where I worked. It was a floor piece from the 70's that I looked at everyday for the two months of the exhibition. I have to admit that at the time I really did not get it at all! 

Lynda Benglis, King Pin III, 2007

Fast forward to 2011. I was playing around with spray foam making little gold sculptures for a show I was curating, and who did I come across but Lynda Benglis and her pieces Helios and King Pin, which not only looked almost exactly like what I was making, but were way better, more sophisticated, and executed a whole decade before mine! Needless to say, I took the time to really look at her work after that. She's been creating relevant artwork for five decades now. I'm embarrassed I was so clueless when I first encountered that floor piece! but she has become one of my favorite artists..

Arlene Shechet, Blue Velvet, 2010, filed ceramic, wood

Arlene Shechet, detail, Swoon, 2006, glazed ceramic, hydrocal, concrete, steel. 61.5 x 18 x 18 inches

Lynda Benglis, Storm Pattern, 2003, Bronze

Arlene Shechet, Mountains are Aware, 2012, glazed ceramic on concrete base
48 × 15 × 15 inches

Lynda Benglis

Lynda Benglis, Pink Ladies2014, cast pigmented polyurethane and bronze

Arlene Shechet, Because of the wind, 2010, glazed ceramic, steel, glazed kiln


Arlene Shechet, detail, Not Knot, 2010, glazed ceramic, hardwood, steel, 16 3/8 x 16 1/4 x 74 inches

Arlene Shechet, Beyond Itself, 2011, ceramic and glazed fire brick, 12 x 8 3/4 x 5 inches
Lynda Benglis, Bravo, 1972

Lynda Benglis, Zita, 1972, cotton bunting, plaster, paint, glitter over aluminum screen, 44 × 15 × 11 inches

Lynda Benglis, Proto Knot, 1971 Wire mesh, cotton bunting, plaster, gesso and sparkles

Arlene Shechet, in foreground, Not Knot, 2010, glazed ceramic, hardwood, steel, 16 3/8 x 16 1/4 x 74 inches

Lynda Benglis, Untitled (VW), 1970, pigmented polyurethane foam

Arlene Shechet, Full On, 2016, glazed ceramic, painted and carved hardwood, gold, 19.5 x 16.5 x 12.5 inches
Lynda Benglis, Wing, 1970, cast aluminum, 67 x 59 1/4 x 60 inches
and EAT MEAT, 1969/75 Bronze 24 x 80 x 54 inches
Arlene Schechet, Clue, 2015, glazed ceramic, 11 × 8 × 8 inches

Arlene Shechet, Tumbling Through Time, 2016, glazed ceramic, hardwood, aluminum, steel. 35 x 18 x 17 inches
Philip Guston, Untitled, 1968, acrylic on panel, 18 x 20 inches.
Lynda Benglis Hills and Clouds, 2014, cast polyurethane with phosphorescence and stainless steel
(yeah, it glows-in-the-dark!)
Arlene Shechet, Tattletale, 2012, glazed ceramic, glazed kiln brick and kiln shelf, and Plexiglas
63 × 24 1/2 × 22 inches

Arlene Shechet, Sounds Like2013, glazed ceramic on glazed kiln bricks
107 × 17½ × 17 inches

Arlene Shechet, Glazed firebrick

Lynda Benglis next to Helios, 
1999, bronze with gold leaf, 24 1/2 x 21 x 10 inches

Further looking and reading:



October 17, 2016

Philip Guston, Who The Hell Wants Paint On A Surface?

Philip Guston painting
Philip Guston, Alchemist, 1960, oil on canvas, 61 x 67 inches

Philip Guston in an interview with Joseph Ablow 1966

"For reasons which I did not understand at the time... when I went into nonobjective painting or at least non-figurative painting, I felt I was even then involved with imagery, even though I didn't understand the imagery, but I thought it was imagery.

For some reason that is not quite clear to me yet, and maybe I don't want to be clear about it either, I was forced and pushed into the kind of painting that I did. That is to say that the demand, in the dialogue of myself with this, was that I make some marks.
It speaks to me, I speak to it. We have terrible arguments going all night for weeks and weeks.
"Do I really believe that?" I make a mark, a few strokes, and I argue with myself. Not "Do I like it or not?" but "Is it true or not?" And "Is that what I mean? Is that what I want?"

But there comes a point when something catches on the canvas, something grips on the canvas. I don't know what it is. I mean, when you put paint on a surface, most of the time it looks like paint.
Who the hell wants paint on a surface? 
You take it off, put it on, it goes over here, it moves over a foot. As you go closer, it starts moving in inches not feet, then half-inches. There comes a point, though, when the paint doesn't feel like paint. I don't know why. Some mysterious thing happens. I think you experience this, maybe in parts of canvases or something like that. If you can do it by painting a face or an eye or a nose or an apple, it doesn't matter. What counts is that the paint should really disappear. Otherwise it's craft or something like that."
Philip Guston painting
Philip Guston, Portrait I, 1965, oil on canvas, 68 x 78 inches







June 20, 2016

Artist of the Week: Philip Guston

Philip Guston
Philip Guston, Alchemist, 1960, oil on canvas, 61 x 67 3/8 inches
Philip Guston
Philip Guston, Position I, 1965, oil on canvas, 65 x 80 inches

Since I'm moving to a new house next week my time at the studio, or anywhere else for that matter, has been temporarily taken over with packing. Thankfully last week I was able to take a slight reprieve to go and see the Philip Guston show at Hauser & Wirth. Although I needed to climb over a few boxes to write this to you I wanted you to read it before the show closes next month.

Seeing this exhibit couldn't have come at a better time for me. While I'm at the cusp of an important address/life change, my work is also having a moment. It has reached its point to change directions.

With that, I think I can safely say this show has changed my life! 
Although it has left me with more questions than I know what to do with, I'm inspired to dig deeper within myself to find the thing that most interests me.

Philip Guston
Philip Guston, Portrait I, 1965, oil on canvas, 68 3/8 x 78 inches
I need to know why these paintings work!
How they work. It is baffling me. I've never been so perplexed by an exhibition. Why not paint to the edge? Why the same size brush throughout? Why the color choices? Why the muddy grey that's somehow not muddy at all? How is it possible for that black to work so well as a figure? How is he pulling this off? A line here, a gesture there and somehow we know exactly what he's trying to say. I don't know how he's done it but I'm determined to find out! 

Philip Guston
Philip Guston, Inhabiter, 1965, oil on canvas, 76 1/8 x 79 1/4 inches

Guston believed artists don't always choose the kinds of paintings they inevitably end up making. That might go without saying. Guston was an artist who changed his course more than once and at no small cost to his professional career. 

When I consider that, it makes me wonder why I am making the kinds of paintings I'm making...


Philip Guston
Philip Guston, Untitled, 1962, oil on canvas, 66 x 73 inches
Philip Guston
Philip Guston, Group II, 1964, oil on canvas, 65 1/8 x 79 1/8 inches
The show at Hauser & Wirth highlights the period smack in the middle between Guston's pure abstraction and late figuration. It's interesting that you can almost see his wheels turning, each brush stroke transporting him from one important moment to the next. Perhaps this work would look wholly different if we weren't able to place it so effectively in its historical place. But perhaps it would have succeeded just as well. I'm not sure about that, but I am sure that his mode of expressive painting seems to have chosen him rather than the other way around. No matter what, Guston was open to finding his absolute truth and the best way to represent it.

Philip Guston
Philip Guston, Painter III, 1963, oil on canvas, 66 x 79 inches


Philip Guston
Philip Guston, The Wave I, 1967, Brush and ink on paper, 13 7/8 x 16 5/8 inches

I'd say that's kind of where I'm at: I'm searching for my absolute truth and the best way to represent it.