Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Crit Notes 9/19/11

Some visuals for reference:

And here we go...

Me: I've been collecting broken glass that I find on the street--that's what these boxes consist of. The canvas is covered in torn paper (that was a summer project), and the wood pieces are scrap...That's all I'll say for now

SD: Can you say more about where it comes from/ the motivating choices?

Me: Basically, just walking around the street, picking up glass--I guess I'm attracted to the way it reflects light, contains color; the aesthetic of the gutter/ the spray paint patterns that happen on the sidewalk--it's like a whole weird construction language. There are all of these found compositions...I take a lot of pictures

AS: Is that in the work here? That jaggedness/ graffiti effect

Me: Not necessarily--the idea of the discarded/ forgotten objects is I think

SD: I think there's a change here from your work from before. There are stronger sensibilities--color choices were more about design principles/ they were more polite. Now things have gotten this gothic-y, more baroque symmetry/ this primary color idea. That could be pushed. Reminds me of artists dealing with subcultures without tropes. Choosing specific sensibilities--you could pressure the tension--how do they grow

AS: Louise Nevelson's wood sculptures--transforming something found into something...spiritual? You're amassing material, line inside of the entire building of it. But also challenged by the paper--the contained experience working on the canvas versus the semi-pictorial structured sculptures

Me: I feel like the canvas was kind of a vehicle toward the boxes. I started gathering the glass because the shards were like physical, ready-made color versions of the paper scraps. It's a more organic thing in a way, picking them up and deciding how to use them

AS: I'm more drawn to the wall sculptures. The painting alone is inward versus opening up. You have this mass-oriented aesthetic. Think about limiting it/ canceling out, trying out help focus/ work with the mess

Me: It is kind of limited already--the palette is limited by virtue of the glass--it's chosen for me. There are predetermined elements--it becomes more about how to present them

AS: Even more

PK: And the color for the light comes about how...

Me: Experimenting, figuring out how it works. The red and yellow made sense. For the green and blue, I had to play around--red was too much, etc.

PK: How are you choosing the texts?

Me: Basically, they physically fit in the space underneath the boxes, so they worked in that utilitarian way. Other than that, I mean, they're books that I chose to buy and read and have around on a shelf in my studio

PK: Did you compose the boxes so that we'd see the books/ the egg carton?

Me: It sort of just worked out that way--I needed a support system for the light bulbs, and that's what I had on hand that worked best (I tried tupperware containers, but they weren't stable enough)

PK: If we run with the clues (the associations that can be drawn from the books), is that good or bad?

Me: You can do that. It might not be what I'm doing explicitly, but sure...

SD: off of what PK's saying, the relation to subject matter--you talk about detritus, but then you use this perfect abstract, formal language to make the objects. Push the deliberateness of the subject; pressurize provisional decisions (what fits better, and why?)

Me: You mean, in terms of why I decide that something works better than another? (like, why blue light vs red light?)

SD: Yes. Formally, not purely balanced. But what you look for points to what you need to find--strong feeling.

PK: I mean, you have these propped up on books about women artists and art school...I just think that's something that can be pushed, directed

CA: I'm interested in the wall sculptures and how they relate to everything else. Yes, the process is similar, appealing, created in the same environment, but there's a huge difference--painting the wood white obliterates the content. Plywood, 2x4s have content--painting them all white papers over the distinctions. The books retain their content--they're intact--that's a different strategy in play. Not saying the same each time, but is the content of the wood not important?

SD: Suspiria, Dario Argento--shattered colored glass--> 70s horror, but not bad. Your visuals/ interests illustrate/ enrich the subject

JW: Are the wood sculptures done?

Me: Don't know--gesso'd them to unify them, but it's only one layer, not really enough, but basic

JW: Gesso'd with intention to paint them?

Me: not really...

JW: It's clear that you're still building a language, that it's really early on--kinks still need working out. I like the expansiveness of the process, that it's inclusive--it's clear that it's in process. I lose the location of the light when I squint, which makes it better--it's not quite the transformation it could be (with the light bulbs). Maybe if the cube could disappear. That pink reflecting on the wood is my favorite part. You're in a tough but great spot. The problems, but also the options are at the forefront. Your folded drawing uncollapsed. Branching out. Push on, expand more, focus on taking it to the level as is implied--theatricality/ subcultures--focus, open towards; make decisions inside the work

SL: Excessiveness--organic out of nonorganic parts. Not the light-- out in the woods/ in the thicket. light unneeded--out of destroyed is glowing of light--stained glass--> spiritual, serene form. The white wood pieces are moderate in scale-- trying to hold back/ be succinct?

Me: More like outbursts--the canvas was such a slow process, wanted something faster to get out what I was trying to do, engage in 3D. Scale is determined more by my arm span/ the table than anything

SL: Out of flat?

PK: The light boxes with broken glass are starting to create space--created, animated explosion. The way they're arranged with the wood pieces creates the kind of space I think you're trying to go for more than any individual piece (walking around the box and almost colliding with the wood piece on the wall behind it, etc.). The red one more than the blue one

NL: Are the boxes finished?

Me: not necessarily. They're the kind of thing that could be built up forever...I'm still collecting glass, I could see adding to them

NL: Have you thought about pushing the drawing farther out from the wall?

Me: Not really. I did turn it around a lot to see horizontal vs vertical...

PK: is the light behind the canvas attached to the wall?

Me: yes.

GC: Do you have a guide for judging when something is working, for judging what is right and wrong? Interest in the impulsive. Reciprocity in how you are doing?

Me: It's more like trying to get at a feeling that matches the feeling of the initial encounter. If it translates, if the feeling matches, then it's 'right' or 'working', if not, then it isn't

GC: since you make a large number of works, is there room for one to critique another? Agree with JW, you're in an interesting place, but this is homeless work, unclaimed, on the cusp of something. You are always open with your work, always granting and responding intuitively--your intuition s getting really strong, but the next step is to bring in torque and tension to that. Important issue to contemplate through making work? Have discourse in the work

SD: work could get a lot more fierce, develop language. divine from the tea leaves, telling you about standardized installation, graphic. suggest and say something, divine the manifesto being presented by the work. Don't keep in niche. Charles Burns--graphic artist. you've got the language of traditional modern, formalized abstraction, but what's emerging is fierceness as sense from the work--that's what could be pushed

GC: said differently, there is of course always a level of energy involved in your work, but the ways of reaching it are not quite up to the same pitch as the energy you're bringing to it. Think blunt and dumb--if you glue the books together , how is the visual image compromised? Even for the gesso--there's something so recognizable about gesso--its absorbency...the white on the wood pieces could reach the same pitch in an energetic way--not that any of this has a laissez-faire energy or the energy of a yawn, but some resolutions don't meet on the same plane.

Me: when I was talking to you before about the mirror piece feeling contrived, I think that issue of pitch is exactly the perfect explanation for what is wrong

(this is the mirror piece, which I didn't show at the crit)

GC: Try in this process. Be flat-footed. Don't ignore or be a gymnast. Seen it from the beginning--theatrical, more lighting from behind doesn't take off. Black-white drawing has its own quality--it hasn't begun to transcend itself. Too accustomed. What is your task-master? What disturbs, pushes? I mean, to me, the lights turn it into some kind of jack o-lantern pumpkin piece...which is really selling it short

CA: picking up on GC etc. Bold moves--all problems on the table but critical eye to see what parts work. You say you have more boxes made, but why aren't you questioning the fact that they're boxes. Are the boxes really doing a service? Alright, it's a quick fix, but how can you make the intuitive better? What if you build forms from just the glass--what about one color? What would that drawing look like with just one light? Does it have to be those colors? Put out with a response, go back, question the elements, one premise at a time. Methodical for critical eye, come back again and go beyond contrivance

SD: make a lot of work. more raw--pull out again--look for what happens in the in between spaces--taking shots of work. I like the little glows--subtlety could come in. Red and blue vs black and white

GC: photograph, draw, paint, document from it, take it apart and put it back together