Years ago, Al Held invited me to his place in Boiceville, New York, to see two large paintings that he had all but completed. They were immense, brightly colored works in which geometric forms floated, weightless.
By 1974, Thomas Nozkowski had made two decisions – he would paint on widely available, 16 x 20-inch, prepared canvas boards, and everything he painted would come from personal experience.
Peter Williams — who is sixty and black — is having his first solo exhibition of paintings in New York. And not one to ever play it safe, he is exhibiting two distinct bodies of work at Foxy Production (February 15, 2013–March 23, 2013) — three smallish abstract paintings and five large figurative ones — which share a palette of pinks, violets, blues, turquoises, reds, greens and yellows.
I bought The Poems of Alfred Starr Hamilton shortly after it came out and had it in my possession for many years. Somewhere in the midst of moving from one apartment to another it got lost. So when the publishers Ben Estes and Alan Felsenthal announced that their press, The Song Cave, was going to publish A Dark Dreambox of Another Kind: The Poems of Alfred Starr Hamilton, I preordered a copy. There was something about Hamilton’s poetry that I wanted to experience again.
For those who were unable to go to the Lancaster Museum of Art in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and see RAFAEL FERRER, Works on Paper, A Survey 1952–2012 (September 7, 2012–November 11, 2012), Ferrer’s exhibiion, Calor at the Adam Baumgold gallery will have to do.
The small selection of paintings and drawings currently at Edward Thorp Gallery serves as an introduction to Henri Michaux (1899 – 1984), one of the most original artists and writers of the 20th century. There are writers who made art — e.e. cummings, D.H. Lawrence and Henry Miller come to mind — but none of them achieved what Michaux could accomplish in his modest-sized works in India ink, watercolor, oil and acrylic. And there are artists who wrote beautifully and brilliantly — Marsden Hartley and Ann Truitt — but none of them worked in as many distinct forms as Michaux, who wrote poetry, prose poems, travelogues, art criticism and unclassifiable essays.
Roger Brown (1941–1997) died a decade after his retrospective opened at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C. (August 13, 1987–October 18, 1987), and traveled to three other museums, none of which were on the East Coast or in a densely populated urban center. More surprising, the show didn’t travel to Chicago, where Brown first gained attention and with which he is associated.
There are poets who wander around a city — from purposeful to aimlessly — and write about their experience. Charles Baudelaire trudged down the new broad avenues of Paris, alone among the window shoppers. While working at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, Frank O’Hara liked to walk around midtown on his lunch hour. David Schubert and Paul Blackburn descended the concrete stairs and rode the subway to Coney Island and other stops along the way.
Fritz Winter (1905–1976) is a German artist best known for the abstract paintings he did after World War II. He and Rupprecht Geiger (1908–2009) co-founded the group “Zen 49” in Munich in 1949. Willi Baumeister (1889–1955) was also a member.
Eternal time posits the existence of paradise, while infinite time does not. Henri Cartier-Bresson found human warmth in his photographs, which he thought as a “decisive moment” that entered into the eternal, whereas Hiroshi Sugimoto sees beauty and inspiration in the coldness of the universe. He recognizes that the earth is our home, but that we are not at home here.
For those weary souls who claim that there is nothing new under the sun, especially in the realm of art, where everything has already been done, I offer this observation by Kenneth Baker, which appeared without fanfare in the pages of the San Francisco Chronicle …
From 1955 to 1966, Jay DeFeo and her painter husband, Wally Hedrick, lived at 2322 Fillmore Street, San Francisco. They were at the center of a lively, politically anarchic milieu of artists and poets that included Bruce and Jean Conner, Joan and Bill Brown, Deborah Remington, Sonia Gechtoff and James Kelly, Jess, Robert Duncan, Philip Lamantia, Jack Spicer and others. Largely centered around small galleries and presses such as the Auerhahn Press, City Lights bookstore and press, the legendary Six Gallery (which Hedrick helped start), the East & West Gallery (run by Gechtoff’s mother), Batman Gallery, and Dilexi, this loosely allied group had no counterpart in New York. For various reasons, most of the figures associated with this group would neither be integrated into, nor adequately recognized by, the East Coast art establishment.