I left for studio without making coffee this morning. I didn't have the patience. When I reached studio I felt like I needed a boost. I was very slow about my work and lackadaisical. I could feel myself wanting to start new totems, to assemble my horizontal stripe pieces and to continue painting grids. I had emailed Sohns Gallery an update of the work that I have been preparing for the May show yesterday. The response was very positive, so I wanted to keep that project on track. This project is multifaceted, however. It is not so simple as to just finish one or two things or continue working in the same vein. I have started to create a body of work which merges disparate concepts and unifies them.
During a break, I started to read from Stuart Davis's notebooks. I was taken by his unapologetic classification as a painter, his ability to discern between craftspeople and artists, and most of all with his statements on what painting is. He claimed that a painting could be made of anything, but that the replication of nature is impossible. You are left with a surface and layers of paint, which has an inherently different make-up than the objects that an artist attempts to recreate from life. He also claimed that a painting must contain the emotion of the artist without being subject to every aspect of feeling that the artist may feel in their up and downs.
It was necessary reading for the morning. When I am troubled about what it is that I should be doing, it is nice to get that little ray of focus. It also made me wonder if there was any way that I was really including emotion in my grid pieces. Are they a painting on their own or merely a ground? Would I show them by themselves or is it necessary to hang work over them? Do the pieces that I hang over the top of the grid work retain their own autonomous function or are they only visible as a part of the whole?
Here are a couple updated images of the work for Sohns.