Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Artistic Chicken or the Egg?

This is a week full of art and creative thinking. Yesterday, I took myself on a date. I stopped at some thrift shops and got some odds and ends for my art. I love finding little, old, useless things to use for my mixed media work. Also, I can find some great bargains on old frames. These days if I frame things at all, the frame becomes part of the piece. Therefore, the more scratched up and ugly my frame finds are, the better.
I stopped for lunch and read the newest issue of Art in America blocking out all the noise of spring break babble and babies crying.
Then I went to a great little museum here. The Gulf Coast Museum of Art is a wonderful place. It is surrounded by a botanical garden and the Florida wild life is out in full force. The show on exhibit was “An Adventure in the Arts: Selections from the Permanent Collection of the Guild Hall Museum, East Hampton, NY”. Geesh, that’s a mouthful!! Since this is a tiny museum, the show was small. It took less than twenty minutes to look at all the pieces in the show which included Chamberlain, Close, de Kooning, Ernst, Flack, Krasner, Johns, Rauschenberg, Pollock, and Warhol to name a few. Ironically, the piece I found the most captivating was an Alfonso Ossorio. He wasn’t listed on the postcard. It is easy to understand why his work fascinated me. The color, vibrancy, and compositional hysteria of his found object work was mesmerizing.
There were black and white photographs of Krasner and Pollock, as well as a few of Elaine and Willem De Kooning. All four artists had paintings hung along side their photos. The De Kooning painted in 1972 wasn’t his best work. I looked and shrugged. One thing that struck me was how the Krasner was so “Pollockesque”. The work was painted in 1947. I stood there thinking about which came first “the chicken or the egg”. In other words, I wonder who really came up with this style of painting first, Pollock or Krasner? I guess we will never REALLY know. In any case, I amused myself thinking back to 1977 when I met Lee Krasner. I was in school then and some students were invited to have an intimate talk with Krasner who was having a solo show at Susan Hilberry Gallery near Detroit. She sat in the middle of the gallery on a low bench. Students surrounded her like she was a guru or goddess teacher. I was front and center; sitting at her feet so close I brushed against her shoe. I am not one to idolize anyone, but in my na├»ve way, I was in awe. Then she started to speak. I think she was one of the most bitter, angry people I have ever been around. The vibes she sent out were vicious. The talk was a downer. I guess if I had painted all my life and watched my partner rise to fame while I stood in the background would make me pissed off too! So it goes!!! Tee HEE HEE

Work from permanent collection of Guild Hall Museum, East Hampton, NY

1 comment:

CMC said...

RE:Krasner...what a reminder that all these famous people didn't have everything going for them in their lives. We all know this and need to be reminded now and then.