March 13, 2010

Abstract Expressions: Both Ancient and Modern

While routing through my materials I came across a painting I did as a demonstration work for a course I taught last year for the Columbia Museum of Art on automatism in Abstract Expressionism. In keeping with my vow to either throw out excess material or use it up in a new way, I decided to "complete" this little painting by making it into a collage with strips of leftover paintings from a different course I had taught previously on lightweight mosaics.
Despite my title for this log, Abstract Expressionism is not entirely modern in that its adherents were painting about sixty years ago - how time flies! But there has been a resurgence of interest in this period and the theories behind the creation of 1950's and 60's abstract painting.

In my own work, I noticed something calligraphic about the black brush marks so decided to add finishing touches with prints of stone seals that I had carved last fall. They read Gold River and Black Water. Inclusion of these two prints makes this newly revived work something of a cultural overlay. In recent weeks I have been teaching more Chinese so integrating these disparate units of different times and far away places into my painting just seems natural.

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