- M A D I S
O N _G R A Y | deep_SIGHT
- "I used to be so
nervous I got palpitations. Now I don't have that
trouble. I see the canvas and I begin.
- But, you have to keep
on the very edge of something all the
time, or the picture dies."
- ---Willem de Kooning
Museum NYC |
9.8.00 - 1.7.01
of the Avant-Garde
- L A C O N I C _R E V I E W :
- Here's my short take on the show I
breezed through quickly at the Guggenheim (NYC) late this
morning, right after seeing the exhibition a floor below
of Frank Gehry's proposed Guggenheim Museum on the East
River in Lower Manhattan (see "The Leviathan
and the Water Lily"). It
comes down to 4 words:
"Green Stripe," 1917
- The stripe's in the wrong place, but to me
it's still the best piece in the show. I've just looked
up the Guggenheim website.
And I see that, gratifyingly, while there's no picture,
the short summary on Rozanova does single out this
would argue that, in their kinetic play and monochromatic
fields, Rozanova's abstract paintings, such as Green
Stripe (Color Painting), 1917, are even more radical,
more engaging, and more experimental than Malevich's
monochromes of the same period. Indeed, contemporaries
implied that the 'father of Suprematism' was envious of
his younger colleague's sharp intelligence and original
- I don't linger in museums. Unless there's
something that catches my eye. Something didactic.
Something relevant to my own work. Then I stop. And
study. My take is very practical. Relevance.
As I will no doubt say again, perhaps as soon as the
forthcoming Gehry critique, I look for sources of emulation.
Ways of seeing, ways of making paintings and buildings
that cause me to stop, reflect, and say that's really
good, I like the way she thinks. I'd like to achieve
something of that in my work. But I feel like I've seen
these paintings before---in their
original form, by Braque, Picasso, Gris, Metzinger, and
pre-1917 Malevich. And they fall short by and large of
the exquisite chromatic and technical achievements of
surface realized by another 'Amazon,' Belle Baranceanu,
an American painter working in the 20s on the West Coast.
That's more relevant to my painting. Which is not to
disparage the works of these six woman. They made some
fine paintings. And some aren't really fine at all.
Mediocre in fact. It's simply to say that I've already
learned the same lessons they've learned from the same
painters they themselves learned them from, Rozanova's
and Malevich's relationship notwithstanding. My paintings
are better than the worst if not also the run-of-the-mill
of these. And the one painting that seems truly in
advance of its time, that sings with unmistkable
originality, that instructs me, albeit in a simple way,
is . . . "Green
Stripe," 1917. The
stripe's in the center. Which keeps the painting from
being even more prescient and progressive than it is.
But, still, Rozanova was on the edge of something.
- © 2000|MADISON GRAY
Web site ©2000 JEF7REYHILDNER
theARCHITECTpainter.com | New York, New York USA All