Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Go North...

I apologize for being away for so long, I've been traveling (more on that later).

Locally, it is worth noting that George Kinghorn has left MOCA Jacksonville. He'll be the chief curator for a small museum in Maine.

So, we wish George the best of luck! Whether or not we always agreed with his curatorial choices matters not; what matters is we were pleased to see George develop his own aesthetic in concert with larger contemporary concerns. He did not remain static.

Further, I understand that the curatorial duties will be absorbed into two existing positions at the museum. I understand that one of the people who will be making some of the new decisions has a very deep interest in cutting-edge contemporary work. It shall be interesting to watch what happens next…

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Won't Pass This Way Again

The New York Times reports that Robert Rauschenberg, the irrepressibly prolific American artist who time and again reshaped art in the 20th century, died Monday night. He was 82.

From the Times' piece: "Cage meant that people had come to see, through Mr. Rauschenberg’s efforts, not just that anything, including junk on the street, could be the stuff of art (this wasn’t itself new), but that it could be the stuff of an art aspiring to be beautiful — that there was a potential poetics even in consumer glut, which Mr. Rauschenberg celebrated. “I really feel sorry for people who think things like soap dishes or mirrors or Coke bottles are ugly,” he once said, “because they’re surrounded by things like that all day long, and it must make them miserable.”

From PBS: "Born in Port Arthur, Texas in 1925, Robert Rauschenberg imagined himself first as a minister and later as a pharmacist. It wasn't until 1947, while in the U.S. Marines that he discovered his aptitude for drawing and his interest in the artistic representation of everyday objects and people. After leaving the Marines he studied art in Paris on the G.I. Bill, but quickly became disenchanted with the European art scene. After less than a year he moved to North Carolina, where the country's most visionary artists and thinkers, such as Joseph Albers and Buckminster Fuller, were teaching at Black Mountain College. There, with artists such as dancer Merce Cunningham and musician John Cage, Rauschenberg began what was to be an artistic revolution. Soon, North Carolina country life began to seem small and he left for New York to make it as a painter. There, amidst the chaos and excitement of city life Rauschenberg realized the full extent of what he could bring to painting."

To attempt to mount a suitable eulogy for him would be a sysiphean effort. Instead, I urge you to read the Times' piece, and then go look at his work when the opportunity presents itself.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Summer Time and the Livin' Ain't Easy

You’ve undoubtedly noticed that my regular posting on this site has been suspended. I don’t really have any excuse or reason for this, except that it’s spring, and I seem to have a severe case of Spring Fever. I find myself less and less able to give measured pronouncements about art and culture because more and more I am inclined to piddle in my backyard, or go treasure-hunting at the beach.

That is not to say that I plan to abandon the site, instead, I will attempt to post interesting thoughts to this site as I find them, and the occational review of a show.

Speaking of shows, Al Letson is mounting Summer In Sanctuary on the 17 & 18 of May at Theatre Jacksonville. Tickets are $15.00 and well worth it.

My review from a couple of weeks ago is here.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Solid Foundations...

Not to beat a dead horse, but I ran across this article concerning the development of young artists in the Wall Street Journal.

I remember how desirous I was to "shake off the shackles of conformity," when I was in high school, and later in college. However, the value in grounding oneself in solid practices can only result in stronger work, both aesthetically and conceptually later on.

Now I wish I hadn't rushed through my foundation courses.