Friday, September 17, 2010

Fuzzy thinking

Nothing lasts forever, we can agree, as we realize anything made by man falls apart in time, but there remains the question as to what sort of art, the vainest of ways to make a living, will last a generation or so beyond the artist's dying day. I'd say the artists whose work lasts are those whose obsessions are about their process, their art-making, not their notices, their contracts, or the amount of air kisses and flattery one of their shows inspires. History, however it comes to be made, and who ever writes it, is a metaphysical dead end the better art makers side step, and instead make the punch and panache of their invigorated wits count in the strokes of the brush, the curl of the paint scudding over the surface, the blurring and clarifying of forms, shapes, colors and its lack: painting, coming from the modernist angle that still seems a sound and malleable way of handling the hairier knots on the chain, comes as where the world ends, the limit of what the eye can see, the forms the eye is blind to but the mind, muddle that it is, tries to imagine in a sheer swirl of perception. It is about the essaying forth of projects that strive for a moment of perfection that suddenly dies with the slightest re-cue of temperature, it is always about the attempt to convey a new idea. The articulation of the perception may end in inevitable failure, but the connections made along the way, the bringing together of contrary energies made the attempt and its result worth the experience.  This seems to be the material that the shrouded groves of History recalls, the earnest and frenzied striving of artists who are too busy with their work to realize that history may, or may not, finally absolve them of strange rage for paints and brushes.