Artist Philip Hartigan talks about art, interviews other artists, and more
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On accidental art
Above is a late painting by Willem de Kooning. Setting aside the debate about whether, because of his advancing Alzheimer's, he really knew what he was making, the big looping linearity of his late style is unmistakable.
Now look at what I saw in the car park of a shopping mall just off I-90 in north-western New York State, where Patty and I stopped for some grub on our drive back from Maine:
Over time they had made so many repairs to the cracks in the tarmac that they accidentally created an homage to Willem de Kooning. Judging by the way people were looking at me, and nearly driving over me, as I knelt on the blistering surface and took photographs of the 'pavement' they were driving on, these observations hadn't really occurred to anyone else on their way to pick up fast food or to buy sweatshop jeans. Subscribe to Praeterita in a reader
Artist Mary Ellen Croteau is showing these columns made from recycled plastic cartons and lids in the window of the Columbia College bookstore on Michigan Avenue. They are a playful homage to Brancusi's "Endless Columns", with a serious environmental message for our times:
Mary Ellen also runs a wonderful experimental art gallery in a window space in west Chicago, called Art on Armitage. I will be exhibiting a mixed media piece there during August 2012.
Linoleum as a material for printmaking has been used for nearly a hundred years now. Normally, you cut an image out using special gouges similar to woodcut tools, cutting away the lino around the image you want to print. This is called relief printmaking, because if you look at the block from the side, the material that remains stands up in relief from the backing material. You then roll ink with a brayer over the surface of the block, place paper over it, and either print by hand or run it through a press. You can do complex things this way (for example, reduction linocuts), but the beauty of the process is that it is quick, simple, and direct.
A few years ago, I saw some prints that were classified as coming from etched linoleum blocks, and I loved the textures I saw in them. In the last few months, I've been trying to use this technique in my own studio, learning about it as one does these days from websites and YouTube videos. I've also had email exchanges with several pr…
I'm back in Paris, teaching for the fourth consecutive year. During my most recent free weekend, I visited the Rodin Museum for the first time in more then twenty years. My visit coincided with the best weather so far -- bright and sunny and mild. The view of the Invalides from the gardens of the former Hotel Biron is spectacular:
This summed up the experience of the museum, actually: the building being as deserving of admiration as the work displayed inside it. The rooms on the ground floor were full of these mouth watering combinations of belle epoque decoration and Rodin's writhing, muscular statuary:
Typically for me, the documentary material also caught my eye. Here is on the of the photos of Rodin using rooms in the hotel as a temporary studio, where he would entertain admirers, hangers on, and potential new clients (Rodin is seated at front-left):
The gardens surrounding the museum consist of sandy pathways leading through orderly bushes and topiary, interspersed with…