Reading symbols

A short note on Goya’s “Red Boy” Portraits of children accompanied by animals have a long tradition in Spanish painting. Outfitted in a splendid red costume, this young boy, the son of the Count and Countess of Altamira, is shown with a pet magpie (which holds the painter’s calling card in its beak) a cage…

some days …

Even in Kyoto —hearing the cuckoo’s cry —I long for Kyoto. Matsuo Basho (tr. Robert Hass) Matsuo Basho

What art can do …

Good art activates both heart & mind. Its a dualisme not always well reflected in contemporary conceptual art. We often see art drowning in its own philosophical – or; as is more & more the case today – political slogans. I do definitively understand the need for political revolt; but for the artist the uttering…

The Odyssey of a Painter

Not necessarily because he is a favourite painter of mine, but because his meditations on making art is just wonderful And obviously; he also is a great painter The Bench Painting series (1989–2009), was originally conceived as an homage to the Italian Renaissance philosopher Giordano Bruno. Burnt at the stake for heresy in Rome in 1600, Bruno…

Looking at boulders

There are few things I like better than a great ekphrastic poem: Adjacent,Against, Upon Rick Barot —after Michael Heizer I may be looking at the set of boulders that is now in front of me, but it is you I am addressing. You are near or you are far, depending on the accuracy of the…

Learning by heart

Art does not reproduce the visible, but makes visible that which is not easily seen. — Kimon Nikolaides I’m reading Corita Kent’s: Learning By Heart and today her teaching made me think of Yoko Ono. from Grapefruit an artist’s book written by Yoko Ono, originally published in 1964. From Learning by Heart: … when we give names to things,…

Facing the Collage

My original plan was to spend five years learning the art of drawing. Two years in, my master-plan has taken on a life of its own, and I am no longer in control of my evolution … There seems to be an incommensurable difference between looking at art from a theoretical point of view (as…

“I never really separated painting and literature.”

Claire Daigle writes: In 1959 Twombly executed some of the most spare works of his career, among them the 24 drawings that comprise Poems to the Sea, done on the coast of Italy. What order of poems, punctuated with numerals and question marks, are these? The sea is reduced to horizon line and word, scribblings and…

Trespassing time and place

Cy Twombly (American, 1928-2011) is a great painter, but sometimes it seems even more accurate to describe him as a great writer. He writes of many things: his love of other great painting and writing (and sculpture and architecture), his love of nature and history and of the places where all these things intersect most…

I DON’T LIKE HEARING that poetry is dying or dead –

I prefer the absurdity of writing poems to the absurdity of not writing poems… Possibilities I prefer movies. I prefer cats. I prefer the oaks along the Warta. I prefer Dickens to Dostoyevsky. I prefer myself liking people to myself loving mankind. I prefer keeping a needle and thread on hand, just in case. I…