Sunday, September 26, 2010

Caffeine IV at Murphy-Hill Gallery Chicago

I attended the opening of the Caffeine IV group exhibit at Murphy-Hill Gallery last night. A stellar line-up of who's who in Chicago art exhibited as many as three pieces of work each in this huge, spectacular space seemingly designed for museum work, in the old main Sears-Roebuck building in Garfield Park.

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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Photographing Artwork in the Museum Good or Bad?

Today’s New York Times has an article entitled “When It’s Illegal to Photograph Artwork,” by Jennifer Saranow Schultz. The topical conclusion is framed as the answer to this question asked of lawyers. The lawyerly answer, of course, totally parrots copyright law, 70 years. Ms. Schultz failed to ask museums why they forbid photography.

I think this is a topic worth pursuing and questioning. My operative philosophy as a working artist is that I look at the art of other artists, both my contemporaries and from history, with great intensity. I say directly in my personal artist’s statement without any hesitation that I stand on the shoulders of my artist predecessors.

The Art Institute of Chicago’s recent Matisse exhibit not only forbad photography, but sketching. When queried as to why, their answer was that they were concerned about dangers posed by messy sketching materials.

Given that museums are desperate for money, and given how blockbuster exhibits relentlessly push viewers into the gift shops, I think that the stronger reason for banning reproduction is obvious.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Ownership Isn't Everything

This is an interesting quote from an article in The Art Newspaper by Maxwell Anderson, entitled “Ownership Isn’t Everything,” concerning the utility of moving art from venue to venue in and out of circulation, so that more of us can be exposed to more art, with less static reliance on standing collections.

“If we gather art for research and display, we don’t have to own it. We can commission it, or we can borrow and return it. Stewardship is the new normal—ownership matters less and less in the increasingly restless worlds of both bits and atoms, as ebooks and timeshares have proved. Museums have to devote the largest part of their budgets to caring for the permanent collection, but the public is increasingly demanding impermanent experiences, such as loan exhibitions, and tires of seeing the same works in the same context year after year. While as museum curators and directors we shake our heads at this dismaying phenomenon, and make pilgrimages to see familiar works in familiar places, that covetousness is becoming quaint. In an era of jet travel, careful packing and shipping, high-quality digital reproductions, and licensing versus buying, the enjoyment of static collections is less important to most people than the enjoyment of works not before seen, or not before seen in combination with other works.”

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Repetition, Bad Habit or Not?

From one of my favorite bloggers: Ancient Artist: Developing an Art Career After 50, in a post labeled Repetition How Do You Know It Isn't a Bad Habit(Drawing, "I Found It Just Like Anything Else, I Stopped Looking," by Nancy Charak, 44"x30", oil wash, oil stick, prismacolor, graphite on 90# Stonehenge.)

Key quotes:

  • How do you know if what you are doing is part of your creative process or a habit you need to break?

  • Do I feel passionate about this or is it just fun to play with pretty colors?

  • Am I mimicking or exploring?

Mimicking is making duplicates of the same thing, "If you copy - you have two of same thing, who needs it?" Exploring is looking for depth.