Sunday, February 11, 2007

Hunger for Images?

Yesterday I went to the Milwaukee Art Museum to see 3 contemporary painters talk about a 'Hunger for Images'. It was to coincide with the Francis Bacon exhibition, but I never saw the direct connection.

Plucking artists out of their studios and sticking them on a rigidly formal 'discussion panel' seemed totally ironic. A more open discussion led by the artists would have been more appropriate. The museum curator and director seemed like outdated caricatures of themselves.

However, hearing the artists talk about their paintings and give presentations on their personal work was highly inspiring. I came away thinking about painting as above all an object. I need to pay more attention to the materiality/physicality of the paint. I was especially moved by the words (and paintings!) of Jose Lerma. So...I'm absorbing and processing my thoughts right now, and I'll be posting new and different paintings very soon. I promise.


Sören Dawson said...

One of my former teachers, a minimalist colour field painter, said that the more you lean towards a non-figurative depiction, the more eggs you are putting in one basket. For his genre, colour and the actual paint become everything. Abstract painters teach, or remind, figurative painters that we all start the same, with a canvas and paint, and we all end the same, with a painting/object.

Katelyn Alain said...

exactly! sometimes i lean too much toward the depiction of a particular thing..and i forget that it's the job of the painting to speak through the medium as well as the 'symbol' or depiction of whatever object or figure i'm trying to portray.
i don't know how to paint.

Sören Dawson said...

Perhaps it is more a question of finding the right balance. A non-figurative painter doesn't have to worry about figures and all their inherent complexities. Looking at your recent works, how could you not deal with the weight and symbolism that "human" elements carry? Going back to a colour field painter, how could he/she not deal with the nature of the actual paint? However, neither side is completely void of the other. A figurative painter has to deal with paint one way or another, and a colour field painter has to deal with the cultural weight and symbolism that many colours carry.