Thursday, March 1, 2012

The Morning Reading: "attempt what is not certain."


(The following list was found among the papers of the painter Richard Diebenkorn after his death in 1993. Spelling and capitalization are as in the original.)

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.


"Richard Diebenkorn: The Ocean Park Series" has finally opened at the Orange County Museum of Art has finally opened. It runs through May 27. Go.

By the way, the museum is free on the second Sunday of the month. (March 11, April 8, May 13).

Writing in the Los Angeles Times, Christopher Knight has this to say:

The large abstract paintings Diebenkorn made in his Santa Monica studio between 1967 and 1985, in which translucent veils of vaporous color seem suspended in shifting space from a tremulous linear scaffolding, have always seemed like the culmination of something. On a grand scale, they're the end of a century-long wrestling match between color and line as the dual engines driving Modern painting.

For American art in its ambitious, often aggressive postwar efflorescence, they bring a commitment to abstraction to a virtuoso climax. For the artist, who died in 1993 at age 70, they enfold into one grand and glorious whole everything learned in earlier nuanced series, which shifted back and forth between Abstract Expressionist and figurative canvases.

Diebenkorn was 45 when he started the Ocean Park Series. The best of the paintings represent a lifetime of nurturing skill. OCMA curator Sarah Bancroft has turned over almost all of the museum's galleries to the show, and it never flags. The reason, I think, aside from the intrinsic beauty of the handsomely installed work, is that these paintings no longer seem to be saying "the end."

To read Knight's review in its entirety, click here.

No comments:

Site Meter