Knocking at an Empty House

January 4, 2014 § 2 Comments


From the essay ‘The Porcupine and the Car’  in Reasons for Knocking at an Empty House: Writings 1973-1994 by Bill Viola (1995) (Thanks to Julie at Unreal Nature.)

Artists have known for a long time that the most interesting connections in things involve areas of low, or ambiguous, information, so-called “gaps” in recognition. This is the time of involvement, of participation by the viewer, in a work of art. The process of learning itself demands that initially one must be confronted with something one does not understand. René Magritte wrote: “People who look for symbolic meanings fail to grasp the inherent poetry and mystery of the image. No doubt they sense this mystery, but they wish to get rid of it. They are afraid. By asking ‘What does this mean?’ they express a wish that everything be understandable. But if one does not reject the mystery, one has quite a different response. One asks other things.”

(Image: Still from video,  “Quintet of the Astonished,” 2000, by Bill Viola.)

Stanley Lewis

September 15, 2013 § Leave a comment

Stanley Lewis is one of the seven artists included in the upcoming exhibition, See It Loud, at the National Academy Museum in New York City.

A Contrarian Streak

September 15, 2013 § Leave a comment

See It Loud an upcoming show at the National Academy Museum in New York City investigates the work of seven influential painters who were beginning their careers at a time when Abstract Expressionism dominated the art world and the teaching of art. Leland Bell, Paul Georges, Peter Heinemann, Albert Kresch, Stanley Lewis, Paul Resika, and Neil Welliver all followed individual paths through abstraction toward the re-investigation of representation, perception, and narrative in painting.

The show opens September 26 and runs until January 26, 2014. For more information about the show and the individual artists:

Frank Hobbs Interview with Larry Groff at Painting Perceptions

June 18, 2013 § Leave a comment

I’m finally getting around to posting my interview on Painting Perceptions, which came out in April. Many thanks to Larry Groff for this exceptional blog and website.

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Dignity in Work: Cleveland’s Matthew Dibble

March 11, 2013 § 1 Comment

A Visual Conversation: The Paintings of Matthew Dibble

By Katherine Aimone

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“Too much thinking can be an obstacle for me when painting; the ‘judge’ always seems to get in the way. My connection can only be found in the moment, and I often come back to a sense of my feet on the floor while painting. During these moments some real work is possible…. As artists, we do much better trying to keep things simple. We do better to compare ourselves solely to ourselves. Self-inventory is useful, while self-condemnation is not. Without calling our whole identity into question, there are inquiries that we can fruitfully ask. How am I developing as an artist? Am I doing the work necessary for me to mature? Did I work today? Yes? Well, that’s good. Working today is what gives us currency and self-respect. There is dignity in work.”  —Matthew Dibble

The Angel

March 8, 2013 § Leave a comment

“I go to the studio everyday because one day I may go and the Angel will be there. What if I don’t go and the Angel comes?”                                                                                                                      

-Philip Guston



Present Surroundings: Walter Murch, 1907-1967

October 28, 2012 § Leave a comment

“I think a painter paints what he thinks about the most. For  me, this is about objects from my childhood, present surroundings, or a chance object that stimulates my interest, around which accumulate these thoughts. I suppose you could say I am more concerned with the lowly and forgotten object, the one people discard because they are finished with it or see it in a certain logical automatic way that I would like to break.” 

“When I am in the painting, I don’t know what I am doing. After a period of getting acquainted, I begin to recognize that the painting has a life of its own. If I lose contact with its life the painting is a mess and if I keep harmony with it, it turns out well. It is possible to discover a work of art in the process of creating it. Beyond that, whatever emotional results may occur in the mind of the observer, I can’t control nor would I want to. I remain only the artist.”

From Walter Tandy Murch: An Introduction, by Michael Grimaldi, Linea, 2007

Walter Tandy Murch bio.

More on the artist can be found at Painting Perceptions.

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