Cities…

As a part of being in Junior Art Seminar (and I guess you could also call it Art Capstone Part I) I am encouraged to attend artist’s lectures. Last Monday I went to hear a talk at the Quick Center by Audrey Flack, a Jewish abstract impressionist painter. Before she came onstage we watched this video of her band playing. She talked about how her paintings received poor reviews, one comment having been called (and I quote) “The ugliest painting of the year” before being called the “worst painting of the decade.” As you might imagine, the story progressed into a heartwarming tale about how she made more money selling her paintings. She is currently 82. It was also interesting to hear her refer to her own work as “a masterpiece”, though she did so in a way which did not come across as extraordinarily conceited, at least to me. Afterward, the famous Dr. Eliasoph, or “Dr. E”, the head of the Art History department, had a quick Q & A with her, during which he named several artists and wanted to hear her reactions to each of them. Thanks to my education at Marchutz (and I should mention that Leo Marchutz was also a 20th century Jewish painter)  I had some knowledge about some of those artists.

On Thursday I went to see another artist-speaker, though this time it was in an art room along with an art class which was required to go. The artist, Nathan Carter, is a friend of one of the professors. The theme of this semester is cities apparently, which of  course goes in line with the field trip we had about 6 weeks ago. A lot of his work explores the idea of what passes through the airwaves whenever someone sends a text message or sends out a radio signal. He told us that he’s very motivated by sounds, and that he likes to listen to loud music when he works. I got a bit too excited when he showed a slide with a Slayer logo, but then he played some NY-centric hip-hop while we viewed some of his work and I decided that he probably listens to just about everything.

Despite the fact that my art class and I are headed to NY on the 23rd, there was an exhibit that ended yesterday, and my professor had shown it to me specifically, since she thought it related to what I’m doing. So on Friday I went down to the Marian Goodman Gallery to see it, and spent about 45 minutes looking at it, and doing some sketches (another useful habit I picked up from the Masters of Marchutz). The series, called Fatigues, by English-born artist Tacita Dean, is made up of large boards painted black, then drawn-on with chalk. There were 2 rooms, and each room had 3 drawings (or rather, sets of connected boards). Each middle drawing (or set) had 6 boards, and the other 4 had 3.

After accidentally getting off at the wrong stop (Fairfield Metro instead of Fairfield) I returned to campus and got to bed early, and awoke early the next morning for Spring “Break”…

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