Notes on Melancholy, part 1

A depressive illness or a passing feeling? Mental detachment or a precursor to genius? Melancholy is a critical part of what it is to be human, yet we all seems intent on removing all signs of sadness, depression, or, quite simply, low moods from our own lives. In  A Field Guide to Melancholy  Jacky Bowring studies melancholy…

Are you possessed by topophilia?

C. D. Wright’s: The Poet, The Lion, Talking Pictures, El Farolito, A Wedding in St. Roch, The Big Box Store, The Warp in the Mirror, Spring, Midnights, Fire & All, is a collection of fragments. It is also a book on writing and reading, a book on how reading informs writing, and on the relationship between…

On a Clear Day

In two days I will finally get to see Agnes Martin at Tate Modern in London. It is a show I have been looking forward to see all summer. You will, no doubt, get a report – here is just a little teaser … Agnes Martin: Untitled (Study for “The Egg”) 1960. Ink on paper © Estate of…

How creativity works

The way of an artist is an entirely different way. It is a way of surrender. He must surrender to his own mind — Agnes Martin As many artists, Agnes Martin underlined the necessity of having a strict schedule, she went to her studio at least three hours every morning, whether she felt like it or not, where…

A beautiful mind

How does one write beyond words? AGNES MARTIN: Untitled from the “On a Clear Day” portfolio (1973). Screenprint on Japanese rag paper. My interest is in experience that is wordless and silent, and in the fact that this experience can be expressed for me in art work which is also wordless and silent.  – Agnes Martin Agnes…

Theory has nothing to do with it –

In the early 1960s, Agnes Martin’s geometric compositions evolved into what would later be seen as her signature style: the square grid. Referring to these paintings, the critic Lucy Lippard described them as ‘legendary examples of an unrepetitive use of a repetitive medium’. More and more I excluded from my paintings all curved lines, until finally my…

There is no halfway with art

history lesson Agnes Martin’s notes for “On the Perfection Underlying Life” lecture originally given at the ICA on February 14, 1973 on the occasion of the exhibition, “Agnes Martin” Some say she is rather esoteric in her writing, but I’m not sure I agree – just go with the flow and see what happens. In line…

beauty is the mystery of life

“the painting is a key to the art within you“ Agnes Martin, Untitled (1979), pencil and ink on paper, 105 x 105 in.

On art writing

Recently I have found writings on poetry to be much more relevant for visual art, than specialized visual art writing, such as reviews, catalogue texts or research papers. Writings on poetry, and especially texts on poetry written by poets, seem to grasp art more directly, even if the poet’s language are poetic -and by definition…

extending the list

So, this is the situation: yesterday I presented you for an ON-GOING READING LIST, today I have extended it. If this is how its gonna be, I’m heading towards a seriously busy summer  – . I started my morning reading a chapter of Christian McEwen’s inspirational book World Enough & Time: On Creativity and Slowing Down. It is the kind of book…