Drenched in Light, Within a Ring of Fire

#70 – Tuesday July 17th

I just start putting things together, connecting points, drawing lines, being pulled along through the curiosity of where it might end.  This week began with my taking pictures of Molly Teardrop’s ball.

A long overdue visit to the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (SMoCA), and spending time in one of my favorite environmental art pieces, James Turrell’s elliptical skyspace, Knight Rise. The skyspace is a vaulted room with an elliptical hole in the ceiling opening up to the sky. There’s an integrated bench around the circumference, for sitting drenched in light, the sky reaching down, as day passes by.

The annular eclipse, Ring of Fire, last seen in the US in 1994, next in 2023. The Transit of Venus, which won’t come our way again until 2117.

Yayoi Kusama’s exhibition at the Whitney Museum of Art and the iconic photographer of everything fashion, Bill Cunningham’s “On The Street” video, SPOT ON, for NYTimes.com.

Contemporary anonymous Tantric paintings from Rajasthan, India.

A week beginning with taking pictures of a ball.  From a dog’s toy to the cosmos, into obsession, the intersection of art and fashion, the mystic, and a future where I don’t exist. All in all a very good week.

Thanks for reading.


Spot Obsession, Gigantansim, and Round Things, For a Better World

#66 – Tuesday June 19th

Yayoi Kusama, Self-Obliteration by Dots (detail), 1968, performance, documented with black-and-white photographs by Hal Reif.

I have a thing for spots, more accurately  . . . dots. Most recently I attempted to satiate my dot fetish at Damien Hirst’s dot extravaganza at Gagosian Galleries NYC space, and while enveloped by lots and lots of dots, big, small, and all in colors seemingly possible . . . I walked away unsatisfied. Now the good news for us dot aficionados, the Whitney Museum of Art will be exhibiting the work of  Yayoi Kusama , July 12 – September 30, 2012. Now in her 80’s Kusama has used the dot in her work for over five decades.

As an aside to the idea of art extravaganza, the April issue of Art In America featured an excellent essay by Ossian Ward “Scaling Up: Mega Galleries, supersized installations: has gigantism overtaken the art world?”.

SRAM pArt Project returns! The SRAM pART Project equips a group of selected artists with a box of 100 bike parts. These bike parts are utilized in creating a work of art, which is then put up for auction. All auction proceeds go to the support of World Bicycle Relief (WBR). Readers of It Happens Every Tuesday may remember I was one of the participating artists in the inaugural  SRAM pArt Project (raising over 140k for WBR)   This summer’s 2012 pART Project, features twenty-four artists residing on Salt Spring Island off the coast of British Columbia. Salt Spring is home to both an accomplished artistic community and a vibrant bike culture. The Salt Spring pART project sculptures are now on view and the on-line auction is open . . .

Thanks for reading


A Listing of Artistic Intentions

#47 – Tuesday February 7th

"Untitled #30"- Richard Diebenkorn (1981)

Since November when I emptied the studio, sending the recent work off to Perimeter Gallery, it’s all new beginnings. For the past several IHET entries, I’ve chatted up my processes for starting a painting, but another component of going forward is looking back. I have my art heroes, artists whose oeuvres I’ve long admired, and beyond simply reacquainting myself with the work they created, it’s the artist’s personal articulation of their processes I find both fascinating and instructive. One of my favorite painters is Richard Diebenkorn. Back in 1998 I went to see an exhibition of his paintings and drawings at The Phillips Collection in Washington DC. The exhibition, organized by the Whitney Museum of American Art, traveled from New York to museums in Fort Worth, DC, and San Francisco. Accompanying the exhibition was a fantastic book titled, The Art of Richard Diebenkorn*, a comprehensive tome of his life and work. Included in the bibliographical notes for the essay, Leaving Ocean Park by John Elderfield, and taken from Diebenkorn’s studio writings, was “a listing of artistic intentions” titled, “Notes to myself on beginning a painting”  This is Richard Deibenkorn’s list, printed exactly as it appeared in the book.

Notes to myself on beginning a painting

1. attempt what is not certain. Certainty may or may not come later. It may then be a valuable delusion.

2. The pretty, initial position which falls short of completeness is not to be valued-except as a stimulus for further moves.

3. Do search. But in order to find other than what is searched for.

4. Use and respond to the initial fresh qualities but consider them absolutely expendable.

5. Dont “discover” a subject-of any kind.

6. Somehow don’t be bored-but if you must, use it in action.Use its destructive potential.

7. Mistakes can’t be erased but they move you from your present position.

8. Keep thinking about Polyanna.

9. Tolerate chaos.

10. Be careful only in a perverse way.

Thanks for reading.


* The Art of Richard Diebenkorn – by Jane Livingston, with essays by John Elderfield, Ruth E. Fine, and Jane Livingston. Published by – Whitney Museum of American Art in association with University of California Press.