Die Happy

"Paint as you like and die happy." -Henry Miller

somenotesonfilm:

A little over a month ago I posted a link to something I’d written about the history of art over on the Partially Examined Life blog. In that post I’d included an image of the top painting above, Simon Dinnerstein’s The Fulbright Triptych from 1974. When a reader asked for more information about the painting I shared some of my thoughts on it in the comments.

Lo and behold, Simon found my comment and contacted me. We wound up emailing back and forth and eventually meeting to see his painting together. It’s really been an amazing experience to speak with this artist about his work. The Fulbright Triptych is an incredible painting full of rich detail and complex networks of meaning - I’ve spent countless hours examining it and thinking about it since discovering it a year and a half ago.

You can expect more from me on this painting soon, but for now I wanted to share this excerpt from a recent article about it, “Simon Dinnerstein’s Irregular Grid.” The comparison to Tarkovsky may be of interest to readers of this blog:

The regular grid makes its ambition clear: It means to cover everything. The irregular grid admits failure from the start. It appears repeatedly, for instance, in the cinema of Andrei Tarkovsky — idiosyncratic collections of art prints and objects appear in Solaris, The Mirror and Stalker. The irregular grid is like an extended hand, grasping at a torrent of images, each meaningful in its moment, and most of them lost in the end. The creator of the irregular grid has a strong sense of tragedy. He recognizes that his ambition is doomed, that completeness is outside the scope of the fallible mind, and perhaps of the nature of systems themselves.

Dinnerstein’s grid is a tragic grid. It has the poignancy of the packrat: He does not want to lose a single slip of memory. And yet, he is artist enough to recognize that he cannot keep all things, and even if he could, there isn’t room enough in life to go on looking at all of them again, and loving them properly. So he loves each thing one more time, as he did the first time he saw it, and then he moves on.

If you’re reading this and you’re in New York, I strongly urge you to go see The Fulbright Triptych. 14 feet long and filled with countless tiny details, it can only be fully appreciated in person.

It is on display until March 31 in the lobby of the German Consulate (871 United Nations Plaza, 1st Ave & 49th St - open from 9am to 5pm Monday through Friday). On the evening of March 10 Simon will be giving a talk on the painting and on the form of the triptych in art alongside a performance of “Triptych” by the composer Robert Sirota. He will also be available to discuss the painting between 4 and 6pm. Admission is $5. There is also a book available devoted solely to this one painting, including many full color closeup reproductions along with essays by Jhumpa Lahiri, Guy Davenport, Rudolf Arnheim, John Turturro, and others. My copy is beat up from overuse and overflowing with margin notes - I may buy another - highly recommended!

Stephen Early

Stephen Early

Jordon Sokol, Self Portrait, oil on linen

Jordon Sokol, Self Portrait, oil on linen

Blakely Dadson
Holy Trinity, 2011
51.5 x 51.5 inches; acrylic, graphite and charcoal on paper

Blakely Dadson
Holy Trinity, 2011
51.5 x 51.5 inches; acrylic, graphite and charcoal on paper

(Source: chambersgallery.com)

Blakely Dadson
What tha Bumboclaat!, 2011
51.5 x 51.5 inches; acrylic, graphite, charcoal and gesso on paper,

Blakely Dadson
What tha Bumboclaat!, 2011
51.5 x 51.5 inches; acrylic, graphite, charcoal and gesso on paper,

(Source: chambersgallery.com)

Harvey Dinnerstein, Nocturnal Passage, 2009, oil on canvas, 56 x 96 in
Spencer Museum of Art, Kansas University

(Source: collection.spencerart.ku.edu)

Virgin and Child
Dieric Bouts (Netherlandish, Haarlem, active by 1457–died 1475)
Date: ca. 1455–60 Medium: Oil on wood Dimensions: 8 1/2 x 6 1/2 in. (21.6 x 16.5 cm)

Dieric Bouts has based this small, exquisite image on the ancient Byzantine formula for the affectionate Virgin (glykophilousa)—a type popular in the Netherlands. However, he has dispensed with the gold background and halo of Byzantine practice and has endowed the painting with a human tenderness and simplicity not found in icons. With his subtle and tactile modeling of the flesh, the artist heightened the illusion of living, breathing beings. Focusing on the loving relationship of a mother and her son, his portrayal emphasized human emotions and enhanced the intense inner experience of private devotion.

Virgin and Child
Dieric Bouts (Netherlandish, Haarlem, active by 1457–died 1475)
Date: ca. 1455–60 Medium: Oil on wood Dimensions: 8 1/2 x 6 1/2 in. (21.6 x 16.5 cm)

Dieric Bouts has based this small, exquisite image on the ancient Byzantine formula for the affectionate Virgin (glykophilousa)—a type popular in the Netherlands. However, he has dispensed with the gold background and halo of Byzantine practice and has endowed the painting with a human tenderness and simplicity not found in icons. With his subtle and tactile modeling of the flesh, the artist heightened the illusion of living, breathing beings. Focusing on the loving relationship of a mother and her son, his portrayal emphasized human emotions and enhanced the intense inner experience of private devotion.

necspenecmetu:

Matteo di Giovanni di Bartolo, Christ Crowned with Thorns, c. 1480-95

necspenecmetu:

Matteo di Giovanni di Bartolo, Christ Crowned with Thorns, c. 1480-95

(via greluc)

deyoungmuseum:

“For me, a color is a force. My pictures are made up of four or five colors that collide with one another, and the collision gives a sense of energy. When I put green, it doesn’t mean grass. When I put blue, it doesn’t mean sky.” —Henri Matisse, Chatting with Henri Matisse: The Lost 1941 Interview, available August 2013Richard Diebenkorn was influenced by myriad aspects of Matisse’s oeuvre, including his later collages, which Matisse referred to as “painting with scissors.” Diebenkorn’s Untitled (Yellow Collage), currently on view in Richard Diebenkorn: The Berkeley Years, 1953—1966, clearly embodies Matisse’s apt adage.

deyoungmuseum:

“For me, a color is a force. My pictures are made up of four or five colors that collide with one another, and the collision gives a sense of energy. When I put green, it doesn’t mean grass. When I put blue, it doesn’t mean sky.” —Henri Matisse, Chatting with Henri Matisse: The Lost 1941 Interview, available August 2013

Richard Diebenkorn was influenced by myriad aspects of Matisse’s oeuvre, including his later collages, which Matisse referred to as “painting with scissors.” Diebenkorn’s Untitled (Yellow Collage), currently on view in Richard Diebenkorn: The Berkeley Years, 1953—1966, clearly embodies Matisse’s apt adage.

"When I saw ‘St. Jerome in the Wilderness’ at the Met show, I was immediately struck and silenced in front of it. The amazing spatial adjustments of the trees on the left had for me an energy and restraint at the same time that seemed almost to be a choreographed ballet. I was taken by the strange placement of the books in the recess of the rock. It was mesmerizing. St. Jerome, in his up front and so close size felt like a mystical challenge. The red of his hat was like a tremolo to the entire painting, and of course the density and weight of the lion threatened the middle space. The salmon stripe of the house behind the large tree can break your heart by its perfect amount and intensity, and the sky has an eccentric voice of its own. For that matter, I think another one of the amazing things about this painting for me is that all the quietly different voices of the painting’s components still live in energized restraint together."
Frances Barth

(Source: paintersonpaintings.wordpress.com)

Leonid Ouspensky, St. Genevieve of Paris, 1984. Egg-tempera on gessoed wood.

Maurice Denis could hardly have disagreed with Ouspenky’s statement: “Colors are colors; red is red.” Ouspenky might at first appear to be in favor of aesthetic autonomy, as understood in Modernism, but he rather speaks for the relative autonomy of the pictorial principles of the icon. Before mentioning “color as color” he notes how Matisse did not fully understand the icon since he “focused on the externals.” Therefore, the “autonomy” he gives to red pertains to its freedom from the constraints of naturalism, nevertheless it still remains, in its inherent properties as a color (“matter as God created it”), guided and at the service of a theological inner message, overlooked by Matisse. In its relative autonomy an icon could never be “without figures” or abstraction. In fact, the “non-objective” tendency of abstraction, its rejection of the “shell” of Nature, has a dualistic tendency and in this sense actually becomes, in its distortions or deformities, a “violation of matter,” rather than the re-presentation of its transfiguration by the Spirit.   
- Fr. Silouan Justiniano

Leonid Ouspensky, St. Genevieve of Paris, 1984. Egg-tempera on gessoed wood.

Maurice Denis could hardly have disagreed with Ouspenky’s statement: “Colors are colors; red is red.” Ouspenky might at first appear to be in favor of aesthetic autonomy, as understood in Modernism, but he rather speaks for the relative autonomy of the pictorial principles of the icon. Before mentioning “color as color” he notes how Matisse did not fully understand the icon since he “focused on the externals.” Therefore, the “autonomy” he gives to red pertains to its freedom from the constraints of naturalism, nevertheless it still remains, in its inherent properties as a color (“matter as God created it”), guided and at the service of a theological inner message, overlooked by Matisse. In its relative autonomy an icon could never be “without figures” or abstraction. In fact, the “non-objective” tendency of abstraction, its rejection of the “shell” of Nature, has a dualistic tendency and in this sense actually becomes, in its distortions or deformities, a “violation of matter,” rather than the re-presentation of its transfiguration by the Spirit.
- Fr. Silouan Justiniano

Studio Vérité: Carol Prusa

her influences:
Agnes Martin
Ann Hamilton
Domes of Florence
Studies in Chemistry
Traditional icon painting

Process
1. Silverpoint geometric drawing, ego driven
2. Float ground graphite wash, a denial of ego
3. Heighten with white what unfolded in the process, to see new possibilities
all this inside a dome: the cranium, petri dish, or bowl